Steelers Expected to Acquire ‘Special’ QB in Blockbuster Trade

In a recent mock draft from CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, it was suggested that the Pittsburgh Steelers, led by head coach Mike Tomlin, could be in line for a major move.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a trend of trading their first-round pick in recent years, doing so three times out of the last five. According to CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, this trend might continue in 2024 as well.

In his most recent 2024 NFL mock draft, Wilson predicts that the Steelers will trade up from their current draft position at No. 16 to secure the 10th spot and choose Michael Penix Jr., the quarterback from Washington and a Heisman Trophy finalist.

During a recent TV appearance on CBS Sports Network, Wilson expressed his thoughts on the Steelers offense, stating that it feels outdated, reminiscent of the 1850s rather than the 1950s. He highlighted Michael Penix Jr.’s ability to throw deep balls, which perfectly complements the playstyle of receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens, who excel at running deep routes.

According to the speaker, the offensive roster may undergo changes in the coming year. However, amidst all the uncertainties, one thing is certain – Michael Penix Jr. possesses exceptional talent. In fact, he is regarded as one of the finest deep-ball throwers in college football.


Wilson continued to make his argument in the caption of his post, where he shared his TV appearance on X (formerly Twitter).

“The Pittsburgh Steelers made a bold move back in 2019 when they traded up to acquire linebacker Devin Bush at the 10th overall pick,” Wilson expressed. “Considering their current situation, they should seriously contemplate making a similar move in the upcoming NFL draft, this time to secure a talented quarterback. It’s time for the Steelers to acknowledge their past errors and take a proactive approach to address their quarterback needs.”

“Then, make sure you have a legitimate OC (as it turns out, that’s quite important!).”

Penix showcased his exceptional skills as a quarterback during his time at Washington, delivering impressive performances in consecutive seasons. In both 2022 and 2023, he surpassed the 4,000-yard passing mark, demonstrating his ability to excel in high-pressure situations. With a completion rate of 65.9% and an average of 9.1 yards per attempt, Penix proved to be a formidable force on the field as a senior. His remarkable performance included throwing 33 touchdowns while limiting interceptions to just 9, further solidifying his status as a top-tier quarterback.

Could the Steelers Draft a First-Round Quarterback?

During two appearances on “The Cook & Joe Show” on 93.7 The Fan in December, NFL insider Peter King suggested that the Steelers might consider selecting a quarterback early in the draft. Wilson is not the only NFL pundit who has made this argument, as there have been others who believe the Steelers will be in the market for a quarterback come draft time.

In a statement on December 12, King expressed his opinion on the matter, stating, “If Kenny Pickett is unable to handle the Steelers drafting a quarterback, then he may not be the right fit for the team. It’s as simple as that. I believe the team should not hesitate to consider drafting a quarterback.”

King, however, did not make the argument that the Steelers must move up in the draft to secure a talented quarterback prospect.

Peter King believes that no matter where the Steelers pick in the draft, there will be a talented quarterback available. He emphasizes the depth of talent at the quarterback position and expresses confidence that the Steelers will have the opportunity to select a quality player.

Wilson did not provide specific details regarding what the Steelers would need to offer in order to move up to the tenth spot. However, the Steelers have made significant progress in improving their position in the draft.

The Steelers’ recent string of three consecutive losses has caused them to move up in the draft board. If Pittsburgh continues to lose, they may not need to trade up in order to secure a top 10 pick.

As we head into Week 16, the Steelers currently hold the 16th overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Their position at the end of the non-playoff teams is due to their challenging strength of schedule, which places them last among the 7-7 teams.

The Steelers are only a couple of losses away from being in the same position as the teams currently holding picks No. 5-9.

Steelers’ Mason Rudolph Auditioning for 2024 Role?

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Kenny Pickett is not a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in 2024, regardless of what they decide to do at the quarterback position in the upcoming draft. However, the situation is quite different for Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.

The Steelers made the decision to bench Trubisky after he struggled in his second consecutive start in Week 15. Despite having two years left on his contract, the team could release him and incur a relatively small $4.6 million dead cap hit in 2024, as per Spotrac.

If the Steelers were to draft a quarterback, that would likely be their best course of action.

Rudolph’s fate hinges on his performance in Week 16, where he is slated to make his first start in over two years on December 23.

Rudolph’s contract with the Steelers is set to expire in March, making him an unrestricted free agent. However, if he puts on a strong performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, there’s a possibility that the Steelers may consider bringing him back. In this scenario, Rudolph could serve as a valuable veteran presence for both Pickett and any other rookie quarterbacks the team may have, offering guidance and support. If a reunion happens, it’s likely that Rudolph would sign another one-year deal, allowing him to continue contributing to the team’s success.

If Rudolph doesn’t improve his performance, the chances of that happening are likely to decrease significantly compared to Trubisky’s performance this season.

The Steelers will head into the offseason with several uncertainties at the quarterback position. However, there are various possibilities available to the team, such as Wilson’s suggestion of trading up in the 2024 draft to secure one of the highly touted quarterback prospects.

Penix is highly regarded in the 2024 draft rankings by both ESPN and Pro Football Focus, where he is ranked as the fifth best quarterback in the upcoming draft class. Additionally, Bleacher Report’s big board places Penix as the seventh-best signal caller in the class.

Dave Holcomb, a talented sports reporter, is currently providing coverage for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions on Hailing from Pittsburgh himself, Holcomb has garnered extensive experience in reporting on college and professional sports. His work has been featured on various esteemed platforms such as Fansided, Rotowire, and Yardbarker. To learn more about Dave Holcomb and his impressive body of work, please feel free to explore his portfolio.

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