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    NFL Draft Projections: Kenny Pickett landing spots include Lions, Panthers, and Seahawks

    Kenny Pickett's current 2022 NFL Draft projections have him as a potential top-10 selection, but what are his possible landing spots?

    It has been an interesting journey for Kenny Pickett in the last six months — his NFL Draft projections and potential landing spots have evolved significantly. Entering the year as somewhat of an afterthought at the quarterback position, Pickett is now in serious consideration as a potential first-round selection. He could even be the first QB off the board. Let’s take a look at Pickett’s potential landing spots in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    NFL Draft Projections: Kenny Pickett’s landing spots

    Pickett heads into the first round of the draft ranked as the 36th overall prospect and QB2 on PFN’s Consensus Top 300 Big Board. Pickett’s ranking among our four NFL Draft analysts varies between 27 and 76. He’s the No. 1 QB for NFL Draft Analyst Ian Cummings but is No. 76 overall in his top 300, perhaps demonstrating the questionable nature of this QB class.

    When you look at Pickett’s scouting report, the dilemma for teams is clear. Pickett might very well be the most NFL-ready QB prospect available in 2022, but he lacks the upside of some of the other prospects at the position. Pickett’s stats in 2022 underlie the solid nature of his game. He had 42 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. Let’s examine the potential landing spots for Pickett and his possible fit at each destination.

    Detroit Lions

    The Lions are listed first here because they have the second overall selection. However, the likelihood of Pickett going second overall seems slim. If he ends up in Detroit, the most likely time for him to be selected would be 32nd overall. The Lions certainly have the need at QB after the struggles from Jared Goff, but the question is whether Pickett is the right fit.

    While Pickett could come in and immediately improve the Lions’ offense, would it get them to a ceiling that competes for NFC championships? Yes, the product on the field might look better, but are the Lions in a position (or likely to be in a position) in the next couple of years to make the most of it? The answer is probably not.

    Therefore, would the Lions be better targetting a prospect with more upside who can develop alongside the growth of the team and hopefully develop the Lions into an NFC powerhouse? That is a tough dilemma for Detroit in this year’s draft.

    Carolina Panthers

    The debate in Carolina is similar. While Pickett would almost certainly improve the Panthers, would adding him make them a challenger in 2022 or 2023? The Panthers’ roster has some intriguing pieces, but it’s far from complete. So, will Pickett be able to elevate them? If the Panthers’ coaches and front office don’t believe he can, then a player like Malik Willis perhaps makes more sense.

    The complicating factor for the Panthers is that Matt Rhule may very well be on his final chance in Carolina. Therefore, given the issues they’ve had at QB, will he push for the “safer bet” that Pickett appears to be? If that’s the case, Carolina risks sacrificing long-term potential simply to do enough in 2022 for Rhule to show growth and keep his job.

    Seattle Seahawks

    At No. 9, we reach the options in the draft where Pickett’s ability makes a team competitive in 2022. The Seahawks are coming off of their first losing season in a decade, but their roster has some intriguing pieces in place. From a skill-position standpoint, Pickett would have DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Noah Fant, and Rashaad Penny at his disposal.

    That is certainly an offense loaded with potential firepower if he can unlock it. The question is whether the rest of the roster is ready to challenge. There are big question marks around the offensive line and in areas of the defense that could prevent this Seahawks team from challenging. The roster is not drastically different from the one Russell Wilson led to a 7-10 record in 2021. The Seahawks may be better using a top-10 selection to address the holes on their roster if they aren’t sure Pickett makes them significantly better.

    New Orleans Saints

    It has been a frustrating last few years for the Saints. They won the division for four straight years and couldn’t even turn it into a Super Bowl appearance, let alone a victory. In 2021, they were 5-2, including victories over the Packers and Buccaneers. Consequently, their season fell away to nothing because of uncertainty over the QB position.

    There’s a lot of talent on this roster, and with consistent QB play, it’s not inconceivable they could challenge in 2022 or 2023. The Saints also made a trade to pick up a second first-round pick. Therefore, they could use that other selection to add another talented potential starter to their roster. If they can add Pickett and a player to replace Terron Armstead at left tackle, this Saints roster certainly looks formidable.

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    When you look at the Steelers’ defense, they certainly look like a team ready to challenge. With Ben Roethlisberger looking a shell of his former self, they made it to the playoffs in 2021, and the defense has arguably improved since then with the addition of Myles Jack at linebacker. There are questions on offense — none more so than at QB.

    The issue for the Steelers is that their offensive line is far from perfect. Is Pickett enough of an upgrade over free agent signing Mitchell Trubisky for them to select him over an offensive lineman in the first round? If the answer is not a resounding “yes,” the Steelers might be better looking to add a talented piece to their offensive line or looking for a piece to bolster their pass rush or secondary.

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