Kenny Pickett was largely considered the best quarterback available in the 2022 NFL Draft at the conclusion of the season, though several put now-Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis ahead of him after offseason showcases were completed.

The reasoning?

Willis’ incredibly high ceiling and apparent improvement as a passer. But one thing that Pickett possesses that is invaluable is that he boasted the highest floor in this class and could potentially have a much higher ceiling than he’s been given credit for.

Why Kenny Pickett’s floor is underrated

The NFL is a quarterback-hungry league and generational talents with sky-high ceilings are hard to come by. Players like former Liberty signal-caller Malik Willis have a chance to become one of the best players in the NFL within just a few years because of the rare athleticism and physical tools they bring to a team.

But with that so often comes a trade-off — the team that picks up a player of this type is betting that all of those traits and abilities will fully translate to the next level without any severe shortcomings that ultimately cancel them out.

In the case of athletes like that, there are frequently glaring concerns about passing ability and virtually no floor. If they don’t reach maximum potential, the team is left with a player who may not even be a competent backup and is left to go back to the drawing board.

With a player like Pickett, the foundation is set even if the same type of “electricity” doesn’t exist within his game and a team gains a player who should at least be a back-up who can consistently win games when called upon. Said player can stick around for a long time with the chance of him developing into a “game manager” type of multi-year starter. In this scenario, the supporting cast matters a lot to the team’s overall success.

 

The offseason and QB1

The tape from a season and from the entirety of a quarterback’s college career tells the majority of the story as to who they are as a player and what they bring from a tangibles perspective. But after all of this is over, when all of the games are played and all the evaluations are made, come offseason showcases like the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game and the NFL Scouting Combine.

While these allow some players to stand out after they were put at a disadvantage by players, coaches or other factors around them, they should not change where a quarterback is ranked in most cases.