With the NFL Draft fast approaching on April 28, teams are beginning to narrow their focus on who they may want to select in the upcoming draft. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s pretty clear that one of the players they’ll select will be a quarterback, and that a quarterback will likely be one of the team’s early picks.
NFL.com Draft Analyst Chad Reuter recently wrote an article on the ideal top two picks for every team. Reuter has the Steelers selecting a quarterback with the team’s first round pick at No. 20 overall, in former Cincinnati Bearcat Desmond Ridder.
“With the search for Ben Roethlisberger ‘s long-term replacement continuing, second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada should be enamored with Ridder ‘s maturity, arm talent, pocket poise and ability to create yardage with his feet.”
Ridder was impressive his final season at Cincinnati, throwing for 3,334 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the Bearcats to the College Football Playoff. Ridder’s mobility is certainly a plus, although doubts about his decision making have pushed him down towards the bottom of the first round and potentially into the middle rounds. The Steelers have demonstrated interest in Ridder, with head coach Mike Tomlin having been pictured at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse dining with the quarterback and his former Cincinnati teammates. Tomlin and other Steelers personnel also attended Ridder’s Pro Day, and the Steelers hosted him for a visit last Thursday.
Other quarterbacks Reuter had mocked in the first round were Liberty QB Malik Willis to the Detroit Lions at No. 2 overall, Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett to the Carolina Panthers at No. 6 overall, Ole Miss QB Matt Corral to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 9 overall, and North Carolina QB Sam Howell to the Tennessee Titans at No. 26 overall.
With the Steelers second ideal selection, Reuter had the team selecting Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore with the 52nd overall pick. Reuter writes that “finding another receiver is another priority for Pittsburgh. Moore’s strong hands and explosiveness give him a shot to contribute early.”
With wide receivers JuJu Smith Schuster, Ray-Ray McCloud, and James Washington all leaving Pittsburgh this offseason, it’s no surprise to see a receiver mocked to the Steelers here. Moore came to Western Michigan as a cornerback, but switched to wide receiver upon arriving on campus. He was a two-time first team All-MAC member at Western Michigan, and in his final season in Kalamazoo he hauled in 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns. Moore doesn’t feature elite speed, but he’s a steady receiver who could likely feature in the slot immediately for a Steelers team lacking depth at the position.
Check out our player profiles on each prospect below.