2023 NFL Draft
Kenny Pickett: It Would Be ‘Awesome’ to Play With Jordan Addison Again
With Jordan Addison officially declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft on Monday, speculation has been flying on whether the Pittsburgh Steelers would pair Kenny Pickett with his former teammate at 17th overall. If Omar Khan makes it happen, it would fulfill a dream of Pickett and Addison’s.
“That would be awesome, man. We talked about playing in the NFL together while we were at Pitt,” Pickett said on Cam Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast. “That’s like the college teammates dream, especially like a quarterback-receiver, that kind of dynamic. Especially how well we played together.”
Pickett and Addison really came onto the national scene during Pitt’s ACC title season in 2021, as the duo connected for 17 touchdowns. Pickett believes his former wideout checks all the boxes when it comes to being an elite receiver at the next level.
“I’m so proud of him and what he’s done in his college career,” Pickett said of Addison. “He’s probably going to run low 4.3’s, maybe high 4.29-4.28 if he’s got a good start. He’s got that kind of speed. I think people are kinda underestimating his speed. And the thing about Jordan is that he runs routes at that speed. There’s some guys that run 4.3, but they don’t play at that speed. That’s what’s impressive about him, is that he plays at that speed. He’s in and out of cuts at that speed. So, he’s an elite receiver. Whoever gets him is going to get a special talent.
Despite being highly gifted as an athlete, Pickett thinks Addison’s greatest attribute is his demeanor and work ethic.
“I think the most impressive thing about him is off the field,” Pickett said. “His attitude, how he attacks work every single day. How he was so eager to get in the film room with me. And he never missed a throwing session since he was a freshman at Pitt. For two straight years, he was always there.
“When your No. 1 receiver is doing the right things, everybody else follows. So, it was easy to get the room right when Jordan was in there. He kind of showed everybody by being extremely quiet, too. It took him about a year to open up to me. After one year of being together he finally would talk to me more. He’s just kind of a quiet kid that loves to play, is tight with his teammates. I’m really excited for Jordan and his future.”
Addison entered the transfer portal in 2022 and got a massive NIL deal at USC. His numbers were not as strong as his 2021 season at Pitt but still respectable — 59 receptions for 875 yards (14.8 average) and eight touchdowns in 11 games.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic has the Seattle Seahawks selecting Addison at 20th overall in his latest mock draft. The Steelers have bigger needs than wide receiver, but it would be awfully tempting if Addison is still on the board at 17th overall.
“If the Seahawks invest in Geno Smith for the short term, surrounding him with more talent would be an understandable strategy. The first receiver drafted here, Jordan Addison has inconsistent play strength, but he is a twitchy athlete with the crafty routes and play speed to work all three levels of the field,” Brugler wrote.