4 Prospects the Steelers must avoid in the NFL Draft
By Scott Long
3. Kenny Pickett, Quarterback
The second quarterback on this list that the Steelers must avoid is Kenny Pickett. While, Pickett has a higher floor than Sam Howell, and I believe he will be a better pro than Howell, there are several reasons that the Steelers should avoid selecting him this year.
Despite the feel-good story of being a product of the University of Pittsburgh who stay in Pittsburgh to go to the Steelers, there are issues with the Steelers picking him. First, it is very unlikely that he makes it to the Steelers at pick 20, and they will have to trade up to get him potentially into the top 10, ahead of teams like the Falcons and Seahawks. However, even then they aren’t guaranteed to get him, as the Carolina Panthers have been heavily linked to selecting him at sixth overall.
Second, Pickett has the highest floor of any quarterback in this class but also doesn’t have the upside of some of the other quarterbacks. I believe Pickett will be a fine starter in the NFL, and you can win with him as your starting quarterback, however, I don’t believe that Pickett will ever be the reason a team wins. His arm strength is good enough to work at the NFL level, but it isn’t elite. With all the talent in the AFC at the quarterback position, the Steelers need a difference-maker at the position, not an average quarterback.
Finally, the Steelers have a fine bridge option at quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky. That should not rule them out of drafting a quarterback, however, that should signal that the quarterback they are looking for has upside to grow and develop while learning the offense. Pickett is more of a pro-ready quarterback who is likely already close to his ceiling. For the Steelers, it makes more sense to select a player with higher upside like Malik Willis or Matt Corral, given their current situation.