The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Is Kenny Pickett the top quarterback on the Steelers’ draft board?
The Steelers have had half a dozen different quarterbacks mocked to them in the first round over the course of the past couple of months. Whether it’s Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, Kenny Pickett, or Matt Corral, someone out there at some point said ‘the Steelers are going to draft this guy’. And some of them have said they’ll trade up to get that guy.
Of course, they will only get, at most, one of them, and potentially none. We don’t actually know with certainty that they are dead set on drafting a quarterback in the first round, let alone eager to trade up for one of them.
But Kenny Pickett is, by far, the one they know the best. After all, they’ve watched him play in their own stadium for years. If it might seem that they haven’t paid as close attention to him as they have to other quarterback prospects, it’s because they’ve been doing the work on him since he got to Pitt.
Yesterday, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic said that he believes Kenny Pickett will be the pick if he is there when the Steelers select at 20. He is probably the first beat writer I’ve seen who has really connected any one quarterback to the team up to this point.
Is he right? Obviously the only way we can find out for sure is if Pickett is actually available at 20 (and even then, it’s not a guarantee that they might not have taken a different quarterback that is already off the board). But given their history with him, it wouldn’t be a shock, even if Bouchette had said nothing.