Report: Numerous NFL GM's expected at UNC-Pitt game for Sam Howell-Kenny Pickett showdown
More than 30 NFL scouts and at least five general managers will be in Pittsburgh on Thursday night to watch the Panthers battle North Carolina.
That’s according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who indicates that scouts are looking for a chance to evaluate quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Sam Howell in person.
Pitt QB Kenny Pickett & UNC QB Sam Howell will draw plenty of in-person eyes tonight. Some 30+ scouts are credentialed for game, including at least five GMs: Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Mike Mayock, George Paton (Broncos), Howie Roseman (Eagles) and Rick Spielman (Vikings). #ESPN
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 11, 2021
In addition to this being a matchup of the nation’s two best quarterbacks this season, it’s also taking place at an advantageous time for NFL teams — on Thursday night while no other major games are on.
Howell entered the year as one of the top two quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class. His relative struggles have perhaps slid him down the board a bit, but he still has a great shot to be a first round pick next spring.
Meanwhile, Pickett has gone from off the NFL radar to being perhaps the first QB taken in next year’s draft. He’s already thrown for 29 touchdown passes this season — his previous career high was 13 — while increasing his efficiency and decreasing his turnover rate.
These two quarterbacks have met before on a Thursday night — Pitt defeated the Tar Heels in an overtime classic back in 2019. Pickett and Howell both accounted for 3 total touchdowns each.
Kenny Pickett vs. Sam Howell Round 2 is tonight.
Round 1 in 2019 was a classic…
Pickett: 359 yards, 3 total TD's
Howell: 322 yards, 3 TD's
Pickett got the W in OT pic.twitter.com/aUcxoSAYyZ
— Saturday Road (@SaturdayRoad) November 11, 2021
Kick off is at 7:30 p.m. ET.