After making the Playoffs, the Steelers will no longer be able to secure certain blue-chip prospects in the draft this year.
While many Steelers fans were happy about their late-season surge, due to their ability to make it into the playoffs, some aren’t as pleased. Those who are disappointed with the late-season surge didn’t believe the Steelers had what it takes to make an extended postseason run, and were looking forward to a high draft selection. Now that the team made the playoffs, they will be selecting 20th overall, leaving them out of the range to be able to select the following players.
Quarterback, Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Kenny Pickett is widely regarded as the top quarterback in this season’s draft class. While the Steelers were still unlikely to be able to nab him at their pick had they lost at least one of the final two games, they at least would have been in a spot where it was more feasible to trade up to acquire him if they deem him as their long term answer.
The Senior out of the University of Pittsburgh is a sure-fire top ten pick due to his standing as the top quarterback in this year’s class. The 23-year old is 6’3″, 220 pounds, and would’ve been the ideal build for the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And him playing at the University of Pittsburgh means he would’ve already been familiar with the Steel City and would’ve already played most of his games at Heinz Field as it was.
With Ben Roethlisberger essentially announcing this was his final season, the Steelers would love to get their next franchise quarterback in the draft this season and begin building around him as soon as possible. However, Pickett no longer seems to be a feasible option, because the Steelers don’t have a lot of draft capital as it is and with their pick sitting at 20, the price to move up to get Pickett would be immense. And for a team that rarely trades up, this is extremely unlikely.
While the team may like Pickett, with him likely being the first quarterback drafted, the team will have to shift their focus to other first-round quarterbacks, consider waiting until a later round to draft one, or look to acquire one in either Free Agency or a trade.