May 29, 2022

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Stats With Context: Kenny Pickett Career Adjusted…

4 min read
Stats With Context: Kenny Pickett Career Adjusted...


The Pittsburgh Steelers selected quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and since then, general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin have both talked quite a bit about the new player. Specifically, Colbert and Tomlin have praised Pickett’s accuracy in college as being one of the several traits that made the former University of Pittsburgh quarterback attractive to them. With Pickett’s accuracy being highlighted by both Colbert and Tomlin since Pickett was selected in the first round, I thought this week would be a great time to dive into some of his career passing stats.

For today’s deep stat dive, I decided to look at Pickett’s career college accuracy on passes 10-19 and passes 20 or more yards. Additionally, and because Pittsburgh had a high number of drops while Pickett was the starter there, looking at the quarterbacks adjusted completion percentage seems very necessary.

What is an adjusted completion percentage? According to Pro Football Focus, an adjusted completion percentage metric is a better way of looking at a quarterback’s overall accuracy at its baseline. Adjusted completion percentage takes into account factors outside of the quarterback’s control in terms of completing passes. It accounts for dropped passes, passes thrown away, spiked balls, passes batted at the line of scrimmage and those passes in which a quarterback was hit as he threw. Ultimately, this gives a real indication of completion percentage on passes that can actually be caught, as opposed to a quarterback’s completion percentage for a given game being tarnished by a load of receiver drops or other factors.

With that definition out of the way and with our pass depths defined, below are the career adjusted completion percentages for several college quarterbacks. This list of quarterbacks includes former first and second round draft picks in addition to the five top quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class. The other two Steelers quarterbacks currently under contract, Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph, are also included in this list.

The purpose of adding so many different quarterbacks is obviously meant to provide some overall context for these stats.

As you can see below, Pickett registered an adjusted completion percentage of 64.2% on throws of 10-19 yards past the line of scrimmage during his college career. Coincidently, he is ranked right between Trubisky and Rudolph in that stat. All three of the Steelers quarterbacks rank right ahead Trevor Lawrence and Josh Allen. That should provide more than enough context.

As for throws of 20 yards or longer, Pickett’s adjusted completion percentage of 45.5% is more than respectable and especially considering that it ranks him ahead of past first round quarterbacks, Justin Herbert, and Allen. While Pickett’s aDOT (average depth of target) of 29.3 is third lowest on this list, it’s just 1.3 yards from being in the middle of the pack. His 17 drops also stick out just like his 34 drops in the 10–19-yard table.

Now, these are just raw stats from two sets of passing distances with the main focus of them being adjusted completion percentage. While the attempt is to provide some context with these stats, they still lack more context such as down and distance, area of field, difficulty of opponent and score of game. These stats are just a 30,000-foot look, if you will, so read into them what you will. I consider it a starting point.

All stats courtesy of PFF:

College Career Throws 10-19 Yards
PLAYER COLLEGE ATT COMP YARDS TD INT DROPS YPA COMP% ADJCOMP% RATING ADOT
Justin Fields OSU 149 108 1659 23 4 8 11.1 72.5% 77.9% 137.3 13.7
Mac Jones ALA 134 95 1898 17 2 8 14.2 70.9% 76.9% 146.6 13.7
Baker Mayfield OKLA 299 197 3291 38 9 28 11.0 65.9% 75.3% 129.9 13.2
Kyler Murray OKLA 135 87 1558 19 1 11 11.5 64.4% 72.6% 140.4 13.3
Matt Corral OLE 215 130 2452 16 6 19 11.4 60.5% 69.3% 113.2 13.5
Jalen Hurts OKLA 232 145 2627 24 8 15 11.3 62.5% 69.0% 121.5 13.9
Zach Wilson BYU 236 145 2421 14 5 17 10.3 61.4% 68.6% 107.0 13.7
Sam Howell UNC 272 163 2957 23 4 22 10.9 59.9% 68.0% 119.4 13.1
Josh Rosen UCLA 263 159 2914 20 7 17 11.1 60.5% 66.9% 112.9 14.0
Joe Burrow LSU 210 126 2330 20 5 14 11.1 60.0% 66.7% 120.1 13.6
Lamar Jackson LOU 233 135 2315 20 6 19 9.9 57.9% 66.1% 109.6 13.6
Kyle Trask FLA 217 130 2215 15 9 13 10.2 59.9% 65.9% 100.3 13.7
Justin Herbert ORE 286 156 2750 27 12 32 9.6 54.6% 65.7% 101.6 13.9
Dwayne Haskins OSU 112 68 1185 15 4 5 10.6 60.7% 65.2% 121.5 13.8
Tua Tagovailoa ALA 175 107 2129 29 5 7 12.2 61.1% 65.1% 131.4 14.1
Mitchell Trubisky UNC 147 91 1587 13 5 4 10.8 61.9% 64.6% 114.0 13.3
Kenny Pickett PITT 352 192 3218 18 7 34 9.1 54.6% 64.2% 94.4 13.8
Mason Rudolph OKST 431 252 4318 24 10 24 10.0 58.5% 64.0% 101.4 13.3
Trevor Lawrence CLEM 286 164 3016 31 5 18 10.6 57.3% 63.6% 122.7 14.0
Josh Allen WYOM 158 90 1506 13 10 8 9.5 57.0% 62.0% 90.3 13.9
Sam Darnold USC 187 108 1798 17 10 7 9.6 57.8% 61.5% 98.3 13.7
Jordan Love UTST 229 125 2011 18 8 15 8.8 54.6% 61.1% 95.8 13.4
Desmond Ridder CIN 245 134 2244 22 12 14 9.2 54.7% 60.4% 95.3 14.0
Drew Lock MIZZ 328 164 2989 38 10 32 9.1 50.0% 59.8% 107.6 13.8
Daniel Jones DUKE 236 124 2257 13 8 16 9.6 52.5% 59.3% 90.0 13.4
Trey Lance NDSU 86 49 865 10 0 2 10.1 57.0% 59.3% 130.2 13.7
Malik Willis LIB 135 71 1184 11 8 6 8.8 52.6% 57.0% 84.9 13.4
College Career Throws 20+ Yards
PLAYER COLLEGE ATT COMP YARDS TD INT DROPS YPA COMP% ADJCOMP% RATING ADOT
Mac Jones ALA 77 43 1732 22 2 5 22.5 55.8% 62.3% 129.5 32.4
Baker Mayfield OKLA 200 102 4103 43 4 14 20.5 51.0% 58.0% 127.9 31.3
Tua Tagovailoa ALA 109 57 2125 29 4 6 19.5 52.3% 57.8% 122.0 29.8
Zach Wilson BYU 129 65 2273 19 6 5 17.6 50.4% 54.3% 116.4 30.0
Kyle Trask FLA 115 57 1813 23 3 5 15.8 49.6% 53.9% 124.2 28.6
Mason Rudolph OKST 288 138 5249 48 8 16 18.2 47.9% 53.5% 122.1 31.0
Joe Burrow LSU 149 73 2592 37 4 6 17.4 49.0% 53.0% 123.4 29.8
Justin Fields OSU 117 57 1856 30 4 4 15.9 48.7% 52.1% 120.1 31.9
Dwayne Haskins OSU 78 36 1209 19 2 4 15.5 46.2% 51.3% 121.5 29.8
Matt Corral OLE 146 66 2448 16 11 6 16.8 45.2% 49.3% 97.0 32.8
Malik Willis LIB 123 49 1757 22 6 11 14.3 39.8% 48.8% 106.6 30.8
Trevor Lawrence CLEM 183 77 2875 33 8 11 15.7 42.1% 48.1% 110.6 30.6
Jalen Hurts OKLA 175 74 2802 20 6 9 16.0 42.3% 47.4% 113.2 30.4
Sam Howell UNC 221 89 3302 42 9 15 14.9 40.3% 47.1% 110.3 32.7
Kyler Murray OKLA 103 44 1703 19 10 3 16.5 42.7% 45.6% 89.8 31.6
Kenny Pickett PITT 253 98 3537 34 15 17 14.0 38.7% 45.5% 101.3 29.3
Justin Herbert ORE 239 88 2934 40 6 20 12.3 36.8% 45.2% 113.0 30.0
Josh Allen WYOM 147 58 1802 27 8 7 12.3 39.5% 44.2% 102.9 30.2
Sam Darnold USC 151 61 1871 18 7 4 12.4 40.4% 43.1% 107.6 28.8
Desmond Ridder CIN 250 90 3120 39 8 15 12.5 36.0% 42.0% 110.3 29.6
Drew Lock MIZZ 299 102 4055 42 18 20 13.6 34.1% 40.8% 97.1 31.7
Jordan Love UTST 204 71 2462 31 8 12 12.1 34.8% 40.7% 104.6 29.4
Josh Rosen UCLA 158 54 1989 21 9 10 12.6 34.2% 40.5% 98.5 30.5
Lamar Jackson LOU 219 72 2597 30 15 15 11.9 32.9% 39.7% 89.9 31.7
Mitchell Trubisky UNC 95 34 1258 14 2 3 13.2 35.8% 39.0% 114.8 32.0
Trey Lance NDSU 59 20 807 12 1 3 13.7 33.9% 39.0% 114.9 34.2
Daniel Jones DUKE 157 44 1513 15 11 13 9.6 28.0% 36.3% 69.9 30.5

Stats With Context: Kenny Pickett Career Adjusted Completion Percentages Beyond 9 Yards