The title pretty much speaks for itself, so let's go. I'll just add that I'm going to focus on per pass stats and averages because
Justin Herbert - 15gs - 66.6% Comp - 7.3 yds/att - 10.9 y/comp - 1.7% INT - 98.3 rating - 289 yds/g- 234 rush yds
Joe Burrow - 10gs - 65.3% comp - 6.7 yds/attempt - 10.2 y/comp - 1.2% INT - 89.8 rating - 269yds/g- 142 rush yds
Mac Jones - 17gs - 67.6% comp - 7.3 yds/attempt - 10.8 y/comp - 2.5% INT - 92.5 rating - 224 yds/g- 129 rush yds
T. Tagovailoa - 9gs - 64.1% comp - 6.3 yds/attempt - 9.8 y/comp - 1.7% INT - 87.1 rating - 181 yds/g - 109 rush yds
Zach Wilson - 13gs - 55.6% comp - 6.1 yds/attempt - 11.0 y/comp - 2.9% INT - 69.7 rating - 180 yds/g - 185 rush yds
Justin Fields - 10gs - 58.9% comp - 6.9 yds/attempt - 11.8 y/comp - 3.7% INT - 73.2 rating - 156 yds/g - 420 rush yds
T. Lawrence - 17 gs - 59.6% comp - 6.0 yds/att - 10.1 y/comp - 2.8% INT - 71.9 rating - 214 yds/g - 334 rush yds
Kyler Murray - 16 gs - 64.4% comp - 6.9 yds/att - 10.7 y/comp - 2.2 INT% - 87.4 rating - 233 yds/g - 544 rush yds
Daniel Jones - 12 gs - 61.9% comp - 6.6 yds/att - 10.7 y/comp - 2.6 INT% - 87.7 rating - 233 yds/g - 279 rush yds
D. Haskins - 9 gs - 58.6% comp - 6.7 yds/attempt - 11.5 y/comp - 3.4% INT - 76.1 rating - 151 yds/g - 101 rush yds
Baker Mayfield - 13 gs - 63.8% comp - 7.7 yds/att - 12.0 y/comp - 2.9% INT - 93.7 rating - 266 yds/g - 131 rush yds
Sam Darnold - 13 gs - 57.7% comp - 6.9 yds/att - 12.0 y/comp - 3.6% INT - 77.6 rating - 220 yds/g - 138 rush yds
Josh Allen - 11 gs - 52.8% comp - 6.5 yds/att - 12.3 y/comp - 3.8% INT - 67.9 rating - 173 yds/g - 631 rush yds
Lamar Jackson - 7 gs - 58.2% comp - 7.1 yds/att - 12.1 y/comp - 1.8% INT - 84.5 rating - 75.1 yds/g - 695 rush yds
Mitch Trubisky - 12 gs - 59.4% comp - 6.6 yds/att - 11.2 y/comp - 2.1% INT - 77.5 rating - 183 yds/game - 248 rush yds
D. Watson - 6 gs - 61.8% comp - 8.3 yds/att - 13.5 y/comp - 3.9% INT - 103 rating - 243 yds/game - 269 rush yds
Kenny Pickett - 12 gs - 63.0% comp - 6.2 yds/att - 9.8 y/comp - 2.3% INT - 76.7 rating - 185 yds/game - 237 rush yds
That's a total of 16 QB's drafted 2017-2021 for comparison. Not all of them are really relevant since several, like Jackson and Allen are guys everybody knew wouldn't be defined by their rookie season, whereas Pickett is more of a what you see is what you get kind of guy. There's not a limitless athletic potential to take his game to new heights if he can figure out how to unlock it. I'd also throw out Watson due to small sample size, which is obviously doing weird things with his numbers. Overall, though, where does Pickett stand? How does he compare?
To start simple, his running ability is legit. He's no Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen, but as a runner he's in the same class as Herbert, Daniel Jones, or maybe Trevor Lawrence who have shown the ability to be a weapon with their feet. It's a tool in his bag.
The biggest thing that jumps out in comparison is Pickett has a much, much lower yards per attempt than average, second only to Lawrence, whose stats are skewed by playing in an unbelievably bad system as a rookie. Yards per attempt is an immensely important stat. I believe I read somewhere that it's the QB that corresponds to win % closer than any other! So it looks like bad news that Pickett is so low here. If we dig deeper, though, I think this is a great example of the importance of contextualizing stats.
Nothing kills your yards per attempt like passes that gain zero yards because they were incomplete, but Pickett was 7th out of 17 in that category. What drove Pickett's yards/attempt down was not throwing deep. He tied for dead last in yards per completion. Obviously, the ability to threaten deep is better than being a check down Charlie; Ben's inability to get the deep pass in 2021 was a major Achilles heel of the offense, and fans were hoping for more than a 0.2 yard improvement in that area. But INTERESTINGLY, for rookies, at least in this list, it seems like a low yards per completion actually correlates with success.
Pickett's low mark of 9.8 ties Tua Tagovailoa, which isn't bad, and his next door neighbors are Trevor Lawrence (10.1), who has looked good in an actually functional system this year and took his team to the playoffs, and Joe Burrow (10.2) who you also may have heard of. Daniel Jones and Kyler Murray come in next at 10.7, followed by Mac Jones and Justin Herbert at 10.8 and 10.9. Meanwhile, he list of guys in the 11-12 range is pretty much a list of guys you don't want as your QB. My theory is that short throws require discipline, and they require quick reads. Short routes come open quick, and close down just as quickly, and a guy who takes a second or two to see the field and figure out who's open isn't going to hit a lot of those quick slants and curls.
So it may actually be a positive thing that Pickett's yards per completion is so low, and his yards per attempt correspondingly so. Still, though, as I said, it's important to be able to push the ball downfield. Here we can turn to advanced stats, where (according to playerprofiler.com) Pickett's deep ball catchable rate of 75.6% is actually first in the league. Fans would agree, I think, based on the eye test is that Pickett's low number of deep completions, despite his high accuracy on deep passes, was due to poor pass protection and few deep passing plays being called.
Another stat to highlight is INT%. Not a lot of guys throw a ton of INT's as rookies and go on to succeed. Only 5 QB's on the list took care of the football better than Pickett, including Lamar Jackson (who just ran if nobody was wide open), Trubisky (ironically), Murray, Tagovailoa, Burrow, and Herbert. That's pretty good company, and I would argue that Pickett was actually much better in this area than his numbers indicate. Against the Jets he threw 3 INT's, two of which hit his receivers in the hands, and one was a Hail Mary. Against the Dolphins, he picked up an INT simply because Claypool tripped on the turf and fell on his face while the ball was in the air. That's almost half of Pickett's INT's that were simply bad luck, and that's not a bad stat.
Finally, his 185 yards per game is very low, especially compared to QB's who went on to become successful. Pickett was fairly efficient, but his overall production was very unimpressive. Perhaps that's just due to the coaches not wanting to put too much on his plate, but that still means that he was put in position to succeed and should be measured accordingly compared to someone who just thrown into the fire. Either way, for Pickett to be called a success in year two, he's going to have to show he can be counted on to carry the offense rather than just supplementing the run game.