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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Could Be a Potential Trade Partner for Teams Who Covet Michael Penix Jr.

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Steelers draft QB Michael Penix Jr.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are unlikely to select a quarterback in this year’s draft after revamping the QB room with Russell Wilson, Justin Fields and Kyle Allen this offseason, but they could be part of a draft day trade that involves the quarterback position.

Peter Schrager of NFL Network disclosed on the Dan Patrick Show that he’s got a lot of blowback from teams for not including Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in his latest mock draft. The organizations were characterized as quarterback-needy or late 20s teams.

“Teams that are in the late 20s or teams that have potential quarterback needs who said they would expect there to be a trade up into the first round if he falls out of the Top 20,” Schrager said when Patrick asked who gave him blowback. “He’s not going to fall out of Day 2.”

Schrager said he continues to hear that the Las Vegas Raiders and Seattle Seahawks are interested in Penix. With the Steelers having so many needs in this year’s draft, Pittsburgh could be a potential trade partner for a team like Las Vegas or Seattle. The Steelers haven’t traded down in the first round since selecting Casey Hampton in 2001, but this is a new era with general manager Omar Khan. Anything is on the table.

Wide receiver, center, offensive tackle and slot cornerback are considered the Steelers’ top needs in the draft. But beyond that, another receiver, outside cornerback depth, inside linebacker depth, and defensive line depth are also wants. Pittsburgh still has targets at all of their top needs out there in free agency, really outside of center, but another day two pick would help sprinkle in more ammunition to fill all of those voids and allow for another luxury pick.

Pittsburgh can trade down and get a player at a premium position to fill a void. Just going through each position, Tyler Guyton, Adonai Mitchell, and Kool-Aid McKinstry would likely be there on a trade-down. That could allow the team to pick a center if they wanted to while maximizing value. It all makes sense from multiple angles. If the right offer comes, a trade-down has to be in play.

One positive aspect with four picks in the Top 100 and five in the Top 120 is that the Steelers can expect to fill a good deal of their voids, but not all of them. There will be one clear need that likely ends up underwhelming. The post-free agency period could be huge for that. After last year’s draft, they signed Chandon Sullivan, Markus Golden, and Kwon Alexander to bolster their team. But if they want to try and maximize filling as many voids in the 2024 NFL Draft as possible, trading back and acquiring another day two pick looks appetizing.