MOBILE, Alabama — Kenny Pickett knew what was coming.
Pickett, one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL draft, acknowledged questions about his hand size one day after electing to not have his throwing hand measured as part of the Senior Bowl weigh-in.
The former University of Pittsburgh quarterback said he will improve his hand mobility through stretches ahead of this month’s NFL scouting combine, where he will get an official measurement. He also cited his experience of playing in the “tough weather” of Pittsburgh as proof that his hand size won’t be an issue at the next level.
“I think that’s like the No. 1 thing for quarterbacks in the draft process every year is hand size,” Pickett said Tuesday. “The good news is that I play in Pittsburgh. Anyone that’s been to Pittsburgh knows it’s not the nicest place to play in October, November.
“So I’ve had experience playing in tough weather and I didn’t measure in this week. I just want to give the most measurement I can. I’m working on mobility things.”
Pickett, a Heisman Trophy finalist and the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award this past season, is playing on the National team at this week’s Senior Bowl. He went through four hours of interviews Monday with NFL teams, then spent another hour with teams Tuesday morning before practice.
Pickett’s draft stock improved dramatically in 2021 after going back to school based off advice from Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who told Pickett that he would’ve been a “Day 3 player” had he entered the draft last year.
Pickett currently is the No. 16 player overall on ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest Big Board and the top quarterback, while he is rated as the No. 20 player overall by ESPN’s Todd McShay, just one spot head of Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.
“Kenny’s got himself in great position in this draft process right now,” Nagy said. :I know that just the way he’s wired and spending time around him, and the kind of guy he is and talking with the guys at the Manning Camp and have been around him, the guys at Pitt — he’s gonna crush this process.
“I think he’s already starting to in the interviews right now. He’s got a really cool way about him, kind of reminds me a little bit of (Joe) Burrow when I got to know Joe through this process with the way guys gravitate to him. He’s a leader, it comes easy to him.”
Pickett passed for 13,112 yards and 81 touchdowns in his career with the Panthers. He finished his college career with the most 300-yard passing games (16) and most 400-yard passing games (five) in school history.
Pittsburgh went 32-17 in the games Pickett started and won this past season’s ACC championship game over Wake Forest, as Pickett passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns to go with a 58-yard touchdown run.
“I think everyone knows the kind of year I just had and it was a lot different from the previous three years,” Pickett said. “So I just want to show that playing at a high level for 13 games isn’t kind of a luck thing. I can be the same guy every week and I want to be the same guy now, down here in Mobile and just show consistency.”
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.