Pittsburgh Steelers second-round pick Kenny Pickett has decided to forgo his hand size in the NFL Draft, citing that playing football in “tough weather” like Pittsburgh might be a better option for him. He was one of many players who felt as though their smaller hands would get them cut from the draft pool and quashed any concerns about not being able to grip an NFL ball.
Kenny Pickett acknowledges hand size concerns ahead of NFL draft, cites playing in ‘tough weather’ at Pittsburgh. Read more in detail here: where is the nfl draft 2021.
11:00 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Eric Woodyard
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Kenny Pickett was forewarned of what was to come.
Pickett, a top quarterback prospect in this year’s NFL draft, addressed queries about his hand size one day after opting out of having his throwing hand measured at the Senior Bowl weigh-in.
Prior to this month’s NFL scouting combine, when he will get an official measurement, the former University of Pittsburgh quarterback stated he would enhance his hand mobility with exercises. He also mentioned his experience playing in Pittsburgh’s “difficult weather” as evidence that his hand size would not be a hindrance at the next level.
“I believe hand size is like the No. 1 item in the selection process for quarterbacks every year,” Pickett said Tuesday. “The good news is that I will be performing in Pittsburgh.” Anyone who has visited Pittsburgh knows that it is not the most pleasant location to visit in October and November.
“So I’ve played in bad weather before, and I didn’t measure in this week. I just want to provide as much information as possible. I’m now working on mobility issues.”
Pickett, a Heisman Trophy nominee and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner last season, is playing for the National team at the Senior Bowl this week. He had four hours of interviews with NFL clubs on Monday, then another hour with teams before practice on Tuesday.
Pickett’s draft status increased considerably in 2021 after returning to school on the suggestion of Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who informed Pickett that if he had entered the draft last year, he would have been a “Day 3 player.”
Pickett is the top quarterback and the No. 16 overall player on ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s newest Big Board, while ESPN’s Todd McShay ranks him as the No. 20 overall player, just one position ahead of Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.
“In this draft process, Kenny has put himself in a wonderful position,” Nagy added. “I know he’s going to crush this process just by the way he’s wired and spending time around him — and the kind of guy he is and talking with the guys at the Manning Camp and have been around him, the guys at Pitt — he’s going to crush this process just by the way he’s wired and spending time around him — and the kind of guy he is and talking with the guys at the Manning Camp and have been around him, the guys at Pitt — he
“I believe he’s already begun to do so in the interviews. He’s got a very good vibe about him, and the way men flock toward him reminds me a little bit of [Joe] Burrow, who I met via this process. He’s a natural leader, and it comes naturally to him.”
During his time with the Panthers, Pickett threw for 12,303 yards and 81 touchdowns. He had the most 300-yard passing games (16) and 400-yard passing games (5) in school history by the end of his collegiate career.
Pickett led Pittsburgh to a 32-17 record in games he started, including a win against Wake Forest in the ACC title game, when he threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a 58-yard touchdown run.
Pickett stated, “I believe everyone knows what sort of year I just had, and it was a lot different from the prior three years.” “So I’m simply trying to demonstrate that playing at a high level for 13 games isn’t a fluke. I can be the same man every week, and I want to be the same guy now that I’m down here in Mobile.”
Jeff Legwold of ESPN contributed to this article.
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