Baker Mayfield replacement No. 1: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Kenny Pickett has the best chance of replacing Baker Mayfield in Cleveland. Although this is not a slam dunk. The Senior Bowl raised questions about his hand size (don’t laugh) and his arm strength. Draft season is silly season and teams look for reasons to “help” players fall to them.
Pickett is good quarterback. Pickett is a good pocket quarterback. He looks comfortable in the pocket but will have occasional moments of happy feet. He has a strong arm that can make all the throws but this came into question at the Senior Bowl.
Pickett played in a pro-style offense. He was asked to read defenses and make the correct throw. He succeeded in doing this at Pittsburgh. He is comfortable under center. He is comfortable making pre-snap reads. He is the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft.
Pickett will need to improve his accuracy. He often fails to give receivers a chance to make plays after the catch. He needs to improve on his touch. He looks flustered against heavy blitz packages. His throwing motion is unconventional. So a team will need to decide to go with it or have him change his mechanics.
As a rookie, he could come in and replace Baker Mayfield next season. He has the basic tools necessary coming into the league. Most important he is intelligent knowing what is open and what is not. But there may be a better option yet. Here comes the bonus player!