The Pittsburgh Steelers select Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (No. 20) and Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III (No. 52) in Mel Kiper’s latest two-round mock draft on ESPN.
It’s becoming more and more apparent that the Steelers are, at the very least, strongly considering a quarterback in the first round let alone likely taking one. The most notable mentioned for the Steelers include Pickett as well as Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral and Liberty’s Malik Willis though it is unlikely that Willis falls to No. 20.
In this mock draft Willis (No 6 – Carolina Panthers) is the only quarterback not on the board when it’s it the Steelers turn to pick and he is also the only other quarterback selected in the first round. Ridder (No. 40 – Seattle Seahawks) and Corral (No. 49 – New Orleans Saints) are taken in the second round.
“I’d feel much more comfortable taking Pickett here than I would in the top 10,” wrote Kiper. “Best-case scenario is that he becomes a Derek Carr, and his floor is an Andy Dalton, which isn’t a bad quarterback by any means. Pittsburgh can win with that. Still, those two were taken in Round 2 and didn’t have Round 1 expectations surrounding them. If Pickett falls into the Steelers’ laps here, he’d be tough to pass up. And he has a little more upside than Mitch Trubisky.”
Pickett is coming off a third-place Heisman voting finish after a breakout season that saw him lead Pitt to their first-ever outright conference title, not to mention first-ever ACC title. He finished the season having set school records in passing yards (4,319) and touchdowns (42) with only seven interceptions thrown. All while completing 67.2% of his passes.