The 2022 Senior Bowl has officially kicked off in Mobile, Alabama with the introductory press conference by Executive Director, Jim Nagy. The two players that were chosen for the press conference were Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis. With the majority of the top quarterbacks being down in Mobile, it’s going to be a hot topic all week for the likes of Steelers fans and media alike as the team starts its journey without long-time signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger.
Nagy opened things up immediately talking about Kenny Pickett. He compared his personality to the likes of Joe Burrow with how he is handling the pre-draft process and his ability to rally teams around him.
“Kenny has himself in a great position in this draft process right now. He is going to crush this process. He kind of reminds me of [Joe] Burrow. When I got to know Joe through this process guys just gravitated to him. He’s a leader. It comes easy to him.”
Burrow, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, just stamped his ticket to his first Super Bowl this Sunday in just his second year so the comparison, of course, raised some eyebrows around the Mobile Convention Center conference room.
It opened up a plethora of questions surrounding Burrow to the point that Nagy openly apologized to Pickett during the press conference for bringing up the subject.
Just as many saw Pickett in Heinz Field on Saturdays, he kept it cool and wasn’t rattled by the comparisons. He was actually welcoming them, mentioning that he needs Nagy to lead him around the entire pre-draft process to introduce him.
While the personalities were the thing Nagy chose to pick out for the comparison, there are similarities on the field as well. Pickett pointed out himself that the way Burrow can move around and extend plays is something he sees in his own game.
“That’s a hell of a comparison,” Pickett said of Burrow. “I’m gonna have to have Jim [Nagy] intro me like that everywhere I go. But he’s a heck of a player, obviously at the college level now doing what he is doing at the NFL. Had a chance to be roommates with him at the Manning Camp…definitely a great role model to have going into the NFL.”
They both also enjoyed meteoric rises in their final college seasons, turning themselves from likely Day 3 draft picks after modest junior seasons to arguably the one of, if not, the best quarterbacks in the class.
With his college career now a thing of the past, the three-month-long interview that is the NFL pre-draft process has begun. We’ll see just how Pickett handles the pressure and if he can begin to separate himself from the rest of this quarterback class while in Mobile.