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NFL Mock Draft: The Steelers won’t take a QB at pick 20 again, will they?

The 2024 NFL Draft isn’t until the end of April, but with the Super Bowl now over people are almost in non-stop draft mode. The rankings, big boards and mock drafts are flying off the proverbial shelves, now electronic shelves, as fans can’t consume enough of the content which can give them a glimpse into how their favorite team could improve in 2024.

When it comes to mock drafts, some put stock into them, while others simply wait till closer to the draft. There is merit in both approaches. If you’re like me, you use mock drafts to help get yourself familiar with the players who could be options for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, when these experts try to nail down prospects based on team needs, those needs will be changing after free agency begins on March 13th.

Nonetheless, Field Yates of ESPN recently put out a 1 Round mock draft, and here is how he saw things shaking out. As for the Steelers pick at No. 20, well, let’s just say if this happened it would get a lot of people talking…

Round 1

1. Chicago Bears (via CAR) – Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2. Washington Commanders – Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
3. New England Patriots – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
4. Arizona Cardinals – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
5. Los Angeles Chargers – Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
6. New York Giants – Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
7. Tennessee Titans – Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
8. Atlanta Falcons – Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
9. Chicago Bears – Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
10. New York Jets – Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State
11. Minnesota Vikings – Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
12. Denver Broncos – J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
13. Las Vegas Raiders – Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas
14. New Orleans Saints – Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
15. Indianapolis Colts – Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
16. Seattle Seahawks – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
18. Cincinnati Bengals – Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
19. Los Angeles Rams – Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

This one might be a surprise, as the Steelers have backed Kenny Pickett — whom they took at No. 20 two years ago — this offseason. But they also said they plan to add competition for him in the quarterback room. Quarterback picks in this range are often polarizing, but my fundamental mindset is the Steelers’ ceiling with Pickett under center is too low for a franchise with a standard that is not simply making the playoffs but making deep runs. Pittsburgh has lost five straight playoff games.

Nix blends sharp accuracy with some razzle-dazzle (something he has refined during his college career after transferring from Auburn) and an ability to quickly scan the field to deliver the right read. He set the FBS single-season record for completion percentage in 2023 at 77.4% while throwing 45 touchdown passes to three interceptions.

If you don’t know much about Nix as a prospect, here is a breakdown on his game, courtesy of Pro Football Network:

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 217
Position: Quarterback
School: Oregon
Current Year: Redshirt Senior


  • Fleet-footed, high-energy athlete with superb change of direction, burst, and fluidity.
  • Demands respect as a runner and knows how to use his athleticism to open windows.
  • Generates easy velocity with a snappy, fluid release, and can do so from all platforms.
  • Hyper-elite arm elasticity lends universal angle freedom and rare off-platform comfort.
  • Composite arm talent allows him to layer pace and touch on seam and hash throws.
  • Has high-level creation capacity and can instinctively slither out of congested pockets.
  • Flexibility and high-energy corrective mechanical failsafe amounts to effortless torque.
  • Mechanical failsafe yields impressive overall accuracy and flashes of elite precision.
  • Able to keep his eyes up working off-script and quickly trigger on open receivers.
  • Actively diagnoses mismatches pre-snap and uses that information to operate post-snap.
  • Has shown he can anticipate second-window throws over the middle of the field.
  • Can anticipate throwing windows outside the numbers and place passes to WR leverage.
  • Able to quickly identify and trigger on speed mismatches when WRs track vertically.
  • Able to use controlled shoulder tilt to loft fade and boundary passes over defenders.
  • Savvy ball handler and distributor who excels working with misdirection and rollouts.


  • Arm strength, while great, falls short of the quantifiably elite mark.
  • Doesn’t always have elite drive velocity when pushing passes into the deep third.
  • Sometimes relies on his creation capacity to a fault, bailing clean pockets prematurely.
  • Sometimes hesitates and clutches the ball after correctly anticipating breaks.
  • Is prone to hesitation working with tight windows and has more comfort with open WRs.
  • Drifts too much with his footwork and can be uncontrolled at the top of his drop.
  • Lack of rhythm with footwork can delay early reads, forcing the need to improvise.
  • Frenetic lower-body mechanics can cause fluctuations in situational precision at times.
  • Can improve at staying on schedule from progression to progression after first reads.
  • Doesn’t force throws but sometimes holds the ball too long and works into a corner.

What would you think if the board fell this way? Would you be okay with the pick? Hate it? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2024 offseason.


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