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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Land Oregon QB Bo Nix in New Mock Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers could make a splash by landing Oregon quarterback Bo Nix in a new mock draft by ESPN.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Bo Nix
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix throws the ball at the 2024 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. -- Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be mocked a quarterback more often at 20th overall than maybe is likely, and that trend is continuing on Wednesday. One day after CBS Sports had the team picking Michael Penix with the 20th overall selection, Field Yates of ESPN followed that up and had them taking Oregon’s Bo Nix, both quarterbacks they saw at the Senior Bowl.

“This one might be a surprise, as the Steelers have backed Kenny Pickett — who 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 whose standard is not simply making the playoffs but making deep runs. Pittsburgh has lost five straight playoff games now. 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,” Yates wrote.

The 23-year-old threw for over 15,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in a five-year college career that saw him set an NCAA record by playing in and starting 61 games.

Nix was a freshman starter at Auburn in 2019, leading the Tigers to an Iron Bowl win over Alabama, a 9-4 record and was voted the SEC Freshman of the Year. But things didn’t take the usual path from there. Offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham left after Nix’s first season.

A COVID-19 shortened sophomore year under new OC Chad Morris was something of a statistical stagnation for Nix and Auburn went 6-5 and Gus Malzahn was fired.

A third season with a third coordinator in 2021 started with promise, but when Nix was injured and the Tigers lost five straight games to close the year, it was time to hit the transfer portal.

He landed 2,600 miles away in Eugene, Oregon with the Ducks. For someone born in Arkansas and raised in Alabama, it was a huge transition. But there was familiarity in the return to a Dillingham-led offense. Nix thrived with the Ducks, setting career highs with 3,593 yards and 29 touchdowns.

In 2023, it was the same old story, as Dillingham left to be the head coach at Arizona State and Oregon brought in Will Stein as OC. But this time, Nix took the change in stride, and went out and had his best season. He finished 2023 with 4,508 yards, an NCAA-record 77.4 completion percentage, and 45 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions.