Steelers Predicted to Land Former SEC QB in Fox Sports Mock Draft

Steelers draft

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers projected to draft Bo Nix in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

When the Pittsburgh Steelers head into the 2024 offseason, football fans around will the league will be watching to see how the team addresses their quarterback situation.

In his latest mock draft, Fox Sports’ Jason McIntyre had the Steelers addressing the situation with their first-round pick.

According to McIntyre in his January 10 mock draft, the Steelers will select Oregon QB Bo Nix with the 23rd pick.

Here’s what he had to say about his projection:

“He turns 24 in February, and yes, you could argue they just tried this with Kenny Pickett. who started 49 college games (but only had one good season). Nix has been better for longer, and after 61 starts, looks like a very polished prospect.”

Football fans will likely know well before the draft what the Steelers are planning at quarterback based on their other offseason moves, but if things are still unclear, then the team’s QB situation could make draft night very interesting.

The Steelers Quarterback Situation

Entering the 2023 NFL season, the Steelers’ starting quarterback job unquestionably belonged to Kenny Pickett.

That has changed over the last few weeks.

An ankle injury that required surgery took Pickett out of action for four weeks. The first two of those weeks saw Mitch Trubisky struggle badly and he was replaced by Mason Rudolph.

Rudolph played well enough in his first two games under center to earn a third start, even with Pickett available again.

He won that game to secure a playoff spot for the Steelers.

Now he’ll be starting in the first round of the playoffs.

The situation has led to some uncertainty about what the future holds for the Steelers at quarterback.

The team has given no indication that Pickett’s benching is permanent and coach Mike Tomlin has said he’s just taking a “hot hand” approach.

The team also might not have any of the other QB’s from this season’s team on the roster next season.

Trubisky is a prime candidate to be released during the offseason after he was relegated to emergency QB duties.

Mason Rudolph will be a free agent and the Steelers likely won’t be the only team that want him to be their backup.

Right now, figuring it all out isn’t the focus for the Steelers as they prepare for a playoff matchup against the Bills in Buffalo, but some time soon they’re going to need to figure out a plan for the quarterback position.

Is Bo Nix the Answer?

After a disappointing start to his college career with Auburn, Nix really turned things around when he transferred to Oregon.

In his first year with the Ducks, Nix threw for 1000 more yards than he ever threw for in a season at Auburn. His 71.9% completion percentage was over 10% better than in any of the three previous seasons.

He threw for 29 touchdowns that season, which was 13 more than in any other college season. He also set career highs with 510 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

His second year at Oregon was even more impressive.

While leading the Ducks to a 12-2 record, with the two losses coming against the national runner-up, Nix completed 77.4% of his pass attempts, which broke the NCAA single-season record.

He threw for 4,508 yards and 45 touchdowns while only throwing 3 interceptions. His 45 passing touchdowns broke Marcus Mariota’s program record. He added 228 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground.

His college career ended with a Fiesta Bowl victory where he tied the bowl game’s record for single-game passing touchdowns with five.

Those numbers were good enough for Nix to finish third in the Heisman voting, but there is an argument to be made that he was actually the best quarterback in college football.

Is that enough to make him an appealing option for the Steelers? Maybe not.

Somebody is probably going to take a chance on him in round one. There are a lot of teams that need QBs and suddenly a ton of teams that are going to have new coaches in 2024.

It just might not be the right time for Pittsburgh to make a move like this.

They’re only two years into Pickett’s career. That means they still have time to hope he develops into at least a starter-level player.

This is also a team that just won 10 games with its group of QBs in the NFL’s toughest division. That could convince the front office that that they can continue to win by being strong elsewhere.

This draft class has some strong options at corner. The Steelers happen to also need one of those.

Would it be shocking for the Steelers to draft Nix in round one? No.

It also wouldn’t be all that surprising if they addressed another position in the first round and gave Pickett one more chance to prove he’s the guy.

Either way, the 2024 offseason is going to be a pivotal one for the Steelers’ future.

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