The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the 20th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and that can put them in a spot to either get a top player of great value that falls, or they could end up trying to land a high-upside quarterback. In a new mock draft done by CBS Sports, that’s exactly what they do as the team lands Washington quarterback Michael Penix.
“The Steelers hired a new OC in Arthur Smith, which is good news for this offense. Still, if they don’t think Kenny Pickett is the long-term solution, Penix Jr. could (should?) be a consideration here,” analyst Ryan Wilson wrote.
Penix’s Sugar Bowl game is one that everyone should point to if they want the Steelers to land him.
He completed 28 of 36 attempts for 430 yards and two touchdowns against them, showing off his best traits. Penix has an identity as a guy who can run a little hot and cold at times, but there is no doubt he was on in this game.
His vertical passing ability stuck out as he made tight window throws downfield all game. The most impressive part of his game? His pocket movement. Penix’s calm movements allowed him to distribute the ball to his excellent playmakers efficiently. It could easily boost his draft stock sharply, though some questionable medicals will arise. But his vertical passing with George Pickens could become a real weapon if that’s the route Pittsburgh wants to go.
But he has little ability to create off-script, and as stated above, his injury history is checkered at best. Recent rumblings have his stock less in the first-round range and more in the second to third-round range, meaning this could be over-drafting by an entire round. And the more time that goes by, the less likely it seems the Steelers will spend a first-round pick on a quarterback.