Where there’s smoke there’s fire; Eagles continue to show interest in Kenny Pickett

On Monday, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett worked out for numerous teams at his pro day. NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala was in attendance and reported that Pickett went through a 56-throw script that showed off his arm strength, off balance throws, and his overall mobility outside of the pocket.

His hands even got bigger, according to measurements conducted at his pro day. Pickett’s much maligned hand size (8.5 inches) was a topic of discussion during most of combine week. On Monday, those hands measured out to 8.625 inches. Not a huge increase, but an increase nonetheless.

Following his workout, it was also reported that Pickett met with several teams. The Eagles were among those teams and they even wined and dined the Pitt prospect following their meeting. Eagles quarterback coach Brian Johnson took Pickett out to dinner where they got to chat all things football.

Now, does this mean the Eagles are eyeing Pickett in the first-round of the upcoming draft? Not necessarily.

There are a few reasons for the Eagles covering Pickett’s tab at dinner. For one, he could very well end up on one of their divisional rivals. New York has two selections within the first ten picks (five and seven) and Washington holds the 11th overall selection, four picks before the Eagles are on the clock. Understanding how a quarterback operates from a mental perspective could pay dividends when/if the Eagles face him.

Secondly, the Eagles just love quarterbacks and wanted to do their due diligence with one of the highest rated quarterback prospects entering this year’s draft. Howie Roseman does run a quarterback factory after all.

The Eagles always find themselves in the middle of any quarterback conversation. Whether it’s a free agent or a draft prospect, the Eagles are always involved in one way or another.

In the case of Pickett, there’s reason to believe the Eagles have had him on their radar for quite some time now. During the 2021 season, when Pitt faced North Carolina, Howie was spotted up in the booth with a pair of binoculars glued to his eyes.

The Eagles brass was also down in Mobile, Alabama to watch Pickett (among many other prospects) practice during Senior Bowl week.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, folks.

There are a handful of quarterbacks that could conceivably go ahead of the Eagles first pick at 15, and Pickett is undoubtedly one of them. Malik Willis, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder, and Matt Corral could all be first-round picks when it’s all said and done. While Pickett doesn’t have the tremendous upside of someone like Willis, he’s been heralded as the most pro-ready quarterback in this year’s class. Similar to how Mac Jones was evaluated last season.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where Pickett will fall come draft night. Both Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Network have him listed as a second-round talent, while the Draft Wire lists Pickett as a top-20 pick. Nevertheless, given that he plays the most important position in football, Pickett will probably be gone after day one.

If the Eagles want him, Pickett may fall into their lap at 15. Since 2010, the Eagles have taken a quarterback every two years on average. Only one was taken in the first-round (Carson Wentz in 2016) and the last quarterback taken by the Eagles was Jalen Hurts in 2020. If Howie is going to stick with his quarterback formula here, we’re going to see the team select another signal caller this year.

Maybe that guy will end up being Kenny Pickett. Only time will tell.

Oh, and one final note on Pickett. He grew up in New Jersey and was a huge Eagles fan during his youth. His favorite quarterback was also Donovan McNabb. So, make of that what you will.

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