PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers must consider all avenues to address the quarterback position this offseason. While the early plan points to some status quo there, Mike Tomlin gave Kenny Pickett his QB1 status back and expressed a desire to see Mason Rudolph return, even if that is no guarantee.
But the NFL Draft is ripe with opportunity as well. That does not necessarily mean the team will shoot for the moon, but Tomlin did note that due to his personnel buff side, they will look into the quarterback class and see what it offers.
“I always do. You know, I am a personnel buff. I don’t think you can be in this profession and not be into personnel, not have knowledge of people that play for you, play against you, particularly at the quarterback position. I enjoy it,” Tomlin said.
That is not an answer that tells you they will draft a quarterback. But they will pay attention to it and perhaps even pluck someone from the class. While players like Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, and Caleb Williams feel out of reach, others like J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix, Michael Pratt, and others fit the bill for this team in 2024. That mid-round option they can develop is an important piece to have in the organization, especially if things go sideways.
Out of all of those players, they could land Pratt in the fourth round, and he brings plenty of fascinating traits to the table. Pratt carries a calmness in the pocket and can act as a distributor. He is a high-floor type of player who will likely be a solid backup in the NFL, and this should be a guy who could end up in the middle rounds. Keep an eye on Pratt as a guy Pittsburgh likes in the class.
The ultimate upside play of those mid-round or second-tier options is McCarthy, who has the physical tools to make scouts’ eyes pop. He is anything but a sure thing, but he is a player who is a ball of clay that a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator could mold as they sat behind a starter.