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Can Phil Jurkovec Salvage His NFL Draft Stock With Pitt?

Phil Jurkovec
Can Phil Jurkovec salvage his NFL Draft stock with Pitt? This is Jurkovec’s last chance to prove he’s an NFL quarterback. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Can Phil Jurkovec Salvage His NFL Draft Stock With Pitt?

Can Phil Jurkovec channel his inner Kenny Pickett and become the next draftable quarterback from the University of Pittsburgh? That’s his hope anyway heading into the 2023-24 College Football season. Does Jurkovec have any chance to salvage his NFL Draft stock with the Pitt Panthers? It’s one of the great questions inside the ACC that need to be answered.

Jurkovec, 23, is about to head into his 6th year of college football after having previous stints with Notre Dame and Boston College. It wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows for Jurkovec in 2022 with BC sporting a TD to INT ratio of 11-8. The completion percentage sat at 59.5% on 247 passing attempts.

With Pitt, we’re going to find out just how much of Jurkovec’s struggles were on him. The offensive line was really bad at BC but he still had first round pick Zay Flowers to throw the ball to. The cupboard wasn’t totally barren.

The thing I worry about with Jurkovec is the lower half. It’s something we have been over in the past during the stock report notes. Let’s call it the Carson Strong disease. The arm is fine. The 6-foot-5, 214 frame is more than fine. He’s just dead in the lower half and looks permanently injured all the time. Of course, Jurkovec missed a lot of time last year with a knee injury. Is this something that’s going to follow him or does Jurkovec actually have more juice in the tank? I think it’s probably the former.

Never forget the mobility is what really put Kenny Pickett on the radar. Pickett is a really underrated athlete. I’d be very surprised if Jurkovec runs better than a 5.0 flat. I’m just not sure he’s good enough as a pocket passer to warrant a high pick on a stationary target.

You also have to wonder about the supporting cast Jurkovec will have with Pitt. No, there isn’t a Jordan Addison level talent on this team. However, the offensive line is much better than what BC had to offer. Pitt also has a sneaky under the radar tight end with Gavin Bartholomew that could open easy looks. Konata Mumpfield should also take another step forward after coming in as an Akron transfer a year ago. The weapons aren’t elite but there is something to work with.

We’ll see what happens with Phil Jurkovec in 2023 with Pitt. Any top three round selection probably feels off the table but there is a shot he works himself into a late round draftable range with a successful season. That, however, is no guarantee.

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