While no quarterback in this class is good enough to be picked in the top five, it’s maybe more important to have projections contextualized for the teams that might use their coveted first-rounder on a signal-caller.
Let's look at Pittsburgh‘s Kenny Pickett, who earned the third-most Wins Above Average (WAA) among college football players in 2021. The four-year starter was a relatively average player in 2020 but improved immensely in 2021, potentially enough to warrant a first-round pick this April.
Click here for more PFF tools:
Compared to other players with PFF college data, Pickett’s 2021 metrics in the most predictive of data subsets measured up really well:
Our college-to-pro system weighs recent play more heavily than older play but also adjusts for the opponent and situation. So, much like Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder, Pickett will benefit from being a much better player at the end of his career than at the beginning, but the weak competition he faced in the ACC won't do him any favors.
In league-average circumstances, here are Pickett’s projections for yards per attempt and completion percentage as a rookie:
And as a fifth-year player:
Notice these projections are about the same as they were for Ridder, who many have at the top of their QB board.
We have Pickett’s median projection at about 1.5 WAR for a 700-dropback season, which is slightly less than that of Ridder: