Louis Riddick interviewed for the Steelers general manager position this off-season and the former Pitt grad is a fan of Kenny Pickett, who he compares to Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr.
While Pickett is not everyone’s cup of tea, he certainly has plenty of polished traits that will draw teams in. However, for Riddick, it might not just be what Pickett can do on the field, but what Pickett does off the field. Part of a quarterback’s stock is all about the off-field, and Riddick says that Pickett has that it-factor off the field.
“Kenny does not need to compensate for anything,” Riddick said to WPTS Radio. “He aces, man. He’s got A-pluses across the board. He’s a family guy who just got engaged. There’s a great support system around him…. he’s intelligent, driven, committed to the craft, and committed to being the best possible player he can not only for himself but for his teammates.”
Pickett carries himself on the field with a swagger that many will like. Riddick thinks Pickett will allow anyone who picks him to lay their head down at night and sleep peacefully. However, on the field, there are discernible traits that to Riddick, make Pickett a desirable quarterback.
“Kenny is smart, he makes good decisions,” Riddick said. “He has accuracy. Kenny puts the ball where receivers can catch and run. He doesn’t make them work for it… Kenny can make quick decisions and weave through a lot of information quickly in order to make the correct decision for the football team. He throws with accuracy short, intermediate, and deep. He can attack the field between the pro numbers or outside the numbers.”
So, with all that in mind, who does Riddick see Pickett as comparable to overall? Well, that would be simple. Carr is who Riddick throws a vote in for.
“He’s the mold of, as you’ve heard, a more athletic Kirk Cousins,” Riddick said. “But if there had to be one comparison for him, that would be Derek Carr of the Raiders.”
With all of that in mind, where does Riddick see Pickett landing? Well, there is one team that he thinks would be a pretty cool fit for the former Pitt quarterback. It entails not leaving the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
“Hey, It’d be pretty nice if he was wearing the Black and Gold, wouldn’t it,” Riddick said. “And he just walked across the hall and suited up for that team. That’d be pretty cool.”
Still, while Riddick would endorse that idea, he is not quite sure that is where Pickett will end up. There is a bevy of teams in pursuit of Pickett, and Riddick threw out a few teams where Pickett could potentially land. It includes Pittsburgh, but also others.
“I think 6 to Carolina is a very good possibility because he has a relationship with Matt Rhule,” Riddick said. “The Saints could take him at 16. Pittsburgh could be lurking at 32. From 6 on down, anything is a possibility. I would not want to be Kenny Pickett on draft night. I just don’t know. I could be all the way down from 6 to 32. The guy whose records he broke waited forever.”
Pickett will be at home in New Jersey waiting to hear his name called at the NFL Draft tonight. Just where will he land? And will Riddick get his wish of seeing him in the Black and Gold? That remains to be seen.