Steelers could use their first-round pick to land a top prospect
This is a broader solution, but if the Steelers have identified that Pickett isn’t their guy moving forward, they should consider using their top pick on a replacement. That is easier said than done, as despite this being a deeper quarterback class, the best of the group will likely go earlier than the Steelers pick.
This is one of my main issues with settling for a middling quarterback. They do enough to keep you in the playoff hunt, but not enough to win in January. This gives you a later draft pick, which means you miss out on the top quarterback prospects. You rinse and repeat until you finally move on from said middling quarterback.
The Steelers will likely have their first-round pick in the early 20s this year. That will make landing a top prospect hard. Caleb Williams is out, as no matter who has the top pick, if earned or traded for, Williams will almost certainly go there.
I would love the opportunity to land Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. Both have great arms and have flashed the ability to be franchise guys. They will require big trades to get them though. At least they have the traits to be elite though.
You could also settle for lesser prospects like Michael Penix or Bo Nix. It wouldn’t require as steep of a move up, but you also get what you pay for. Both are older prospects and lack some traits that could make them elite.
Either way, in this circumstance, you are hitching your wagon to a new horse. I would roll with one of these rookies and trade Pickett away to the highest bidder. This will help recoup some of the resources that will be required to move up and put your confidence in the new face of the team.
The Steelers aren’t in a great spot when it comes to quarterback in 2024. Pickett doesn’t seem like the answer, but they also aren’t in a position to draft his replacement. Unless they are making a big move up to land a dynamic prospect, the best option for the Steelers will likely be in-house for next season.