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Former NFL GM, Current ESPN Analyst Compares Kenny Pickett To Longtime NFL Veteran QB Matt Schaub

Coming out of the University of Pittsburgh within the 2022 NFL Draft as the highest quarterback within the class after a historic season with the Panthers, present Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie first-round draft decide Kenny Pickett drew a lot of comparisons to the likes of Tony Romo, Teddy Bridgewater and Andy Dalton.

Former NFL General Manager and present ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum dropped an interesting comparison for the Steelers’ future franchise quarterback Friday on NFL Live, evaluating Pickett to longtime NFL veteran quarterback Matt Schaub.

Not precisely flattering general, however a good comparability none the much less.

Schaub, a former third-round decide of the Atlanta Falcons within the 2004 NFL Draft out of Virginia, performed in 155 profession video games within the NFL, beginning 93 of them. His finest run as a starter got here with the Houston Texans underneath head coach Gary Kubiak from 2007 by means of 2013, incomes two journeys to the Pro Bowl whereas going 46-42 as a starter with the Texans, making the playoffs only one yr in 2012, reaching the AFC Divisional Round.

Pickett has an identical play fashion to Schaub as a sound mover within the pocket, an sufficient arm with straightforward accuracy, but additionally critical ball safety points inside the pocket. According to Tannenbaum, that was the most important knock on Pickett – his No. 1 quarterback within the class — popping out of Pittsburgh.

Tannenbaum believes Pickett can right the ball safety points, but it surely’s one thing that can take time and growth, one thing the Steelers can actually afford to do with Pickett with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph forward of him within the depth chart.

“When you’re go describing a player, you’re looking at height, weight speed, and all the other measurables. He has very small hands by any standard in the NFL and he fumbles. And when you drill down and you’ve had 27 fumbles, they lost the 11 of them. That was the concern coming out,” Tannenbaum mentioned on NFL Live relating to Pickett Friday, according to video via ESPN’s YouTube page. “And it’s very justified. With that said, I actually like him a lot. He was my first quarterback. He reminds me a lot of Matt Schaub. I think he’ll be a good player. You can drill ball security, but make no mistake about it: it’s not the small hands that’s the concern. It’s the number of fumbles he had in college.”

Some can correlate the small arms to the fumble points Pickett had in school at Pittsburgh over 4 seasons, but it surely doesn’t matter how massive or small your arms are when you’re free with the soccer. That’s what Pickett was in school, particularly within the pocket, tending to drop the ball down round his hip whereas making an attempt to increase performs, resulting in defenders knocking the soccer out.

Ball safety might be drilled, as Tannenbaum mentioned, but it surely’s not one thing that’s going to be magically mounted in a single day. I’m certain Pickett was doing ball safety drills in school at Pittsburgh, however these fundamentals can get tossed apart as soon as underneath fireplace within the pocket, reverting again to his free fashion of play within the pocket.

For comparability’s sake, Schaub fumbled the soccer 46 instances in his profession, together with 38 in Houston, which noticed him have seasons of seven fumbles in 2007, 10 in 2008, and 9 in 2010 earlier than getting this challenge underneath management.

There’s nonetheless loads of hope for Pickett on the subject of fumbling the soccer within the pocket. As Tannenbaum identified, it may be drilled out of him, however it’s going to take time and endurance.

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