5 quarterback options for the Steelers ahead of NFL free agency

Hunter Haas
Five quarterbacks the Steelers should target ahead of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made no bones about it — the front office isn’t happy with Kenny Pickett’s performance at quarterback.

The former first-round NFL Draft pick started 24 games for the Steelers over the past two years. However, after a late-season injury, Pickett was benched and never returned to the lineup.

Veterans Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph steered the ship in Pickett’s absence, but that only further highlighted how desperate the offense is for better quarterback play.

Pittsburgh released Trubisky last week, and rumors around the team state that head coach Mike Tomlin is entertaining options for a replacement behind center.

5 quarterbacks the Steelers should target this off-season

The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine is underway, but Tomlin will not limit his search solely to incoming rookies. Multiple intriguing veterans could be available, as well.

Justin Fields (Bears)

Perhaps the most buzz-worthy rumor centers around Justin Fields, and Tomlin’s reported affinity with the young signal-caller.

The Bears haven’t decided whether to stick with Fields, but if the front office opts for a fresh start, expect Pittsburgh to reach out.

Fields would inherit a playoff roster with the Steelers that only lacks a difference-maker at quarterback.

Russell Wilson (Broncos)

Another veteran, albeit one with a long track record of NFL success. Russell Wilson fell out with the Broncos after coming over via trade in the 2022 off-season.

Denver will reportedly cut the future Hall of Famer, allowing Wilson to sign elsewhere as he aims to seize a starting gig in 2024.

Although he had a down year by his standards, the 35-year-old still outplayed Pickett and could be enough to make Pittsburgh a tough out in the postseason.

J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

The Steelers will also have an eye on the incoming 2024 NFL Draft quarterback class. J.J. McCarthy stands out above the rest.

Pittsburgh sits at the 20th selection, which opens the door to trading up the board. If the front office gets aggressive, expect McCarthy to be the target.

The Michigan star only lost one career game as a starter, and his blend of athleticism and arm talent has grabbed the attention of scouts.

Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

The following two names should be available for the Steelers at the 20th pick. First, Michael Penix Jr.

The left-hander from Washington is older than most of his peers in the class, but Penix Jr. can sling the football around with the best of them.

He enters the NFL with an extensive injury history, but with two straight injury-free campaigns, Pittsburgh might feel comfortable betting on Penix Jr.’s physical traits.

Bo Nix (Oregon)

Bo Nix is another “ancient” prospect in NFL Draft terms. He just turned 24 years old, but that advanced age also brings invaluable experience as a starter in college.

In fact, Nix has the most starts for any quarterback in NCAA history. He’s improved exponentially with decision-making, progressions, and accuracy with Oregon.

Some Steelers fans may see another version of Pickett in Nix, but the latter has a better arm, is more athletic, and hasn’t reached his peak yet.

About The Author

Hunter Haas is the Senior Sports Writer at Dexerto. Over the last two years he has worked as a writer and editor for FanSided at NFLMocks. He also served as an editor at The Raider Ramble and The Blue Stable. Hunter is an expert in all things MMA, WWE, and NFL. You can email him here: hunter.haas@dexerto.com