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Five Pitt players named to Senior Bowl watch list

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NCAA Football: Miami at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Five Pitt football players were placed on the 2021 Senior Bowl Top 250 Watch List on Thursday. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett and Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey were the Panthers offense’s two representatives, and Pitt defensive linemen Keyshon Camp, Patrick Jones II and Rashad Weaver were recognized on the opposite side of the ball.

The inclusion of three defensive linemen on the list is a positive sign for a Pitt team that lost All-American Jaylen Twyman to a preseason opt-out. In Weaver, the team has the star whose production Twyman replaced in 2019, and in Camp, they have the player who beat Twyman out for the interior lineman role last offseason before succumbing to injury in Week 1. Jones was Twyman’s right-hand man, and he tied his team-high 12 tackles for losses and came up with 8.5 sacks last season.

Morrissey’s exploits are well known at this point, as he has been singled out by outlets like Pro Football Focus for his outstanding play and was a first-team All-ACC selection last season after allowing zero sacks in 13 starts. For the fourth straight year, he will play a pivotal role on Pitt’s line, and this time around, he will hope to get some help from the team’s tackles.

However, the most intriguing selection in the quintet is the man Morrissey will be blocking for: Kenny Pickett. The Panthers quarterback was previously praised by Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who said Pickett was “one of the most mechanically sound guys we’ve seen over past few drafts.” Nagy went on to say he expects Pickett to play in the NFL, so his inclusion on the list was no surprise.

Last season, Pickett became the fifth Pitt quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a season and ended the program’s streak of bowl losses that began in 2014. Specifically, he threw for 3,069 yards and 13 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Given all that, he is viewed as a promising signal-caller, with PFF ranking him 33rd in the FBS. But there is room for improvement, and Pickett will need to make strides to end his Pitt career on a high note.