Former Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey was the sixth and final Panther selected during the 2021 NFL draft on Saturday afternoon, as the Las Vegas Raiders chose him with the 230th overall pick in the seventh round. The move will reunite him with former Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman, who was a starter when Morrissey walked on at Pitt back in 2016.
The 6’3”, 305-pound center saw Panthers defensive lineman Patrick Jones II, Jaylen Twyman and Rashad Weaver and Panthers defensive backs Damar Hamlin and Jason Pinnock selected ahead of him. Jones was the first off the board, as he went to the Minnesota Vikings with the 90th pick in the third round, and Hamlin was chosen by the Buffalo Bills 18 picks ahead of Morrissey in the sixth.
Morrissey earned the starting role at Pitt during training camp in 2017 and clung to it for the remainder of his college career. He would start in 47 of the 50 games Pitt played between 2017 and 2020, with the three missed contests coming due to an injury at the end of the 2018 season. The center would earn All-ACC honors in each of his last three seasons with the Panthers and allowed just two sacks in his last two seasons. He then concluded his Pitt career by winning the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top former walk-on.
Given the late selection, Morrissey will likely have a fight ahead of him to earn a roster spot for the long term. But with a familiar face or two around him, he should have some support. And if there is anything Morrissey proved on his path from walk-on to first-team All-ACC center, it is that he is willing to put in work and fight to climb up in a team's pecking order.