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Longtime draft analyst for ESPN Mel Kiper released his two-round mock draft on Wednesday morning, and he has the Steelers selecting Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett at 20th overall and Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III in the second round.
"I'd feel much more comfortable taking Pickett here than I would in the top 10," Kiper said. "Best-case scenario is that he becomes a Derek Carr, and his floor is an Andy Dalton, which isn't a bad quarterback by any means. Pittsburgh can win with that. Still, those two were taken in Round 2 and didn't have Round 1 expectations surrounding them. If Pickett falls into the Steelers' laps here, he'd be tough to pass up. And he has a little more upside than Mitch Trubisky."
If Kiper thinks Pickett has a "little more" upside than Mitch Trubisky, would it really be worth it to select Pickett at 20th overall? The Steelers need a franchise quarterback for the next 10-plus years.
With the Steelers losing JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud in free agency, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are the only returning starting wide receivers from last year. So, Metchie in the second round makes sense. The second and third round is usually where the Steelers target receivers. And this year's class is deep.
"Metchie tore his ACL in December, but he was having a fantastic season, with 96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight scores," Kiper said. "He can play in the slot and make a difference in the middle of the field for the Steelers, which let JuJu Smith-Schuster walk in free agency. Metchie should be able to recover to play in Week 1 -- and potentially help Kenny Pickett."