The Steelers have to start thinking about the future at quarterback once Ben Roethlisberger is gone.
It looks like ESPN’s Mel Kiper believes the Steelers are ready to start doing that.
In his latest mock draft, which dropped on Tuesday, the Steelers will take Oklahoma’s quarterback Jalen Hurts at No. 49. The second-round draft choice is the Steelers first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
THe move would be bold, given that Hurts was once viewed as a sixth-round pick. However, it appears that his stock has been rising rapidly. He could be taken in the third or fourth round. If he was taken by the Steelers in the second round, it would definitely speed up the timing on Big Ben’s hourglass.
“Mel Kiper Jr. has the Steelers drafting QB Jalen Hurts 49th,” via ESPN’s Stats and Information. “He would be the Steelers’ highest-drafted QB since taking Big Ben 11th in 2004. In fact, 5 of 6 teams taking QB in Kiper’s mock are looking at their highest-drafted QB since a very successful pick (exception: Raiders).”
According to the graphic, these other teams would be drafting their highest quarterback in years.
- 1: Joe Burrow-Bengals; highest pick since Carson Palmer in 2003
- 5: Justin Herbert-Dolphins; highest pick since Bob Griese in 1967
- 6: Tua Tagovailo-Chargers; highest pick since Eli Manning in 2004 (traded for Phillip Rivers)
- 19: Jordan Love-Raiders; highest pick since J’Marcus Russell in 2007
- 44: Jacob Eason-Colts; highest pick since Andrew Luck in 2012
- 49: Jalen Hurts-Steelers; highest pick since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004
When talking to ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday, Kiper made it clear that the Steelers “need an heir-apparent to Ben Roethlisberger.”
Big Ben is under contract for at least two more seasons.