NFL Draft: Prospects who should tumble down New York Giants’ board
By Zak Musso
Kenny Pickett, QB – Pitt
There is a very slim chance the New York Giants will take a quarterback in the first round as they seem firmly committed to Daniel Jones.
Giants’ owner, John Mara, even went so far as to tell reporters earlier this offseason, “People are realizing it [quarterback] is by far the most important position in sports, and either you have one or you don’t. We think we have one.”
It is likely the right call for the Giants to stick with Jones this year as the 2022 quarterback draft class is relatively weak compared to previous draft classes.
Additionally, since Jones has only one year remaining on his rookie deal, and the Giants Super Bowl window has yet to open, it just makes sense to ride it out with Jones. If Jones is successful, the Giants will likely have their quarterback for the future; The Giants will likely have their quarterback of the future; if not, the Giants will be armed with another premium draft pick to take his replacement in the 2023 draft – a draft that appears to be loaded with quarterbacks headlined by Bryce Young and CJ Stroud.
Tyrod Taylor and Davis Webb were both also added to the quarterback room, so there is really no room for another quarterback on this roster, barring a radical trade.
But, draft season is full of smokescreens. The Giants shocked everyone when they picked Jones in the 2019 draft and, with a new regime, you cannot count out the possibility of the Giants falling in love with a quarterback. If this happens, it should be a quarterback with a crazy high celling, one significantly higher than Jones’. Kenny Pickett, quarterback from Pittsburgh, most definitely does not fall into this category.
Pickett’s celling is one of lowest among the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. There was a noticeable buzz about Pickett’s hand size, 8.5 inches, which would be the smallest in the NFL, at this year’s NFL combine. Hand size is definitely a concern for a northeast like the Giants, as the conditions are snowy, rainy, and cold for the majority of the football season.
Additionally, the hype train on Pickett is all based off his 2021 season. In 2021, he threw for 4,308 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions, finishing third in the Heisman voting, and winning the ACC Championship. In the previous two years, Pickett had just 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.
Pickett is no Joe Burrow.
Burrow is the anomaly in the quarterback draft class rankings. Rarely do quarterbacks develop from a mediocre college quarterback, to a season star, and have that success translate to the NFL. Pickett is more Mitchell Tribusky. Both prospects played at non-traditional power college football schools and had one breakout year, but that success has not translated to the NFL for Tribusky. The two quarterbacks are almost identical in stature: Pickett 6’3, 220 pounds and Tribusky 6’2, 220 pounds. Neither are tremendously athletic or known for having big arms. No team drafting in the top 10 is looking to draft a Mitchell Tribusky.
Another concern with Pickett is his age. After playing five seasons in college, Pickett, at 23 years old (turning 24 in June), is already older than six NFL starting quarterbacks: Trevor Lawerence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Davis Mills, Mac Jones, and Jalen Hurts. Pickett is just months younger than both Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa. Daniel Jones, entering his fourth NFL season, is just 374 days older than Pickett. Starting a career at 24, after taking a beating playing five years of college football, likely means Pickett’s career will be shorter than that of the other prospects.
While the Giants should not take a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, if Schoen does decide to shake Giants Nation in his rookie season as general manager, he should not take a quarterback with a significantly lower celling than what they already have.