What I would do at QB for Steelers
Looking over all of the options, the Steelers are in quite a bind. I personally don’t see Pickett as the future of his franchise, as his early struggles have put him behind where you would normally want to see a young quarterback be. Unfortunately, having a higher first-round pick doesn’t help matters for this team.
I’m personally against grabbing a free-agent quarterback. While Cousins is a good player, he will cost a lot and seems destined to return to the Vikings. Ryan Tannehill is a good fit but won’t come cheap. Baker Mayfield could be a reclamation project, but risking all this cap space for a player that likely doesn’t move the needle much doesn’t make sense.
A journeyman is fine on paper, but I think I would rather stick with Rudolph assuming the money is similar. Either option pushes Pickett, and assuming Pickett loses, they set us up to draft our quarterback of the future within the next year or two.
Draft-wise, with so many needs, it is hard to root for a major trade-up to land one of the top two quarterbacks. Yes, you need a great quarterback to compete, but a great quarterback prospect will fail if the rest of the team around him is bad. There are too many needs to justify such a move.
What I will have my eye on is either Daniels or Penix (I prefer Daniels) slipping out towards the end of the first ten picks. A move up, while still costly, won’t break the bank, and you still get a top prospect to work with. Outside of that, perhaps a day three pick to see if you can get something to stick and look to the undrafted ranks to help fill out the roster.
I’ll be honest, until this quarterback issue is fixed, the Steelers are in trouble. You aren’t going to constantly compete without good quarterback play, but the team isn’t in a great spot to get that kind of talent this offseason. There are a lot of options, but not a lot of routes that make sense on paper.