Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges struggled to lead the Steelers offense in 2019. Should Pittsburgh consider taking a quarterback with their second-round pick?
Things didn’t go according to plan for the Steelers in 2019. After Ben Roethlisberger went down for the season, Pittsburgh put their trust in young backups Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges to lead them to victory. Unfortunately, neither quarterback proved themselves worthy of a ‘franchise quarterback’ designation in their first NFL game action last year.
Because of the obvious lack of depth at what is clearly the most important position in football, should the Steelers consider drafting a quarterback with the 49th overall pick this April?
Regardless of how you feel Big Ben will bounce back from the severe elbow injury that cost him his 2019 season, there’s no getting around the fact that he is aging quickly. Roethlisberger turns 38 years old in March and he led the league in interceptions in 2018.
Even if Roethlisberger gives the Steelers two more good seasons, it’s imperative that Pittsburgh starts looking for his eventual replacement. Rudolph was benched in the second half of the season for a reason – he wasn’t getting the job done. The front office needs to search for some outside help.
Fortunately, the 2020 draft class is deep at the quarterback position. As of now, players established college football players like Jalen Hurts, Jacob Eason, and Jake Fromm are projected to land close to where the Steelers are selecting in the second round.
The Steelers clearly have plenty of other needs to consider early in the draft. Their offensive line is aging quickly and they could use some added depth. Pittsburgh could lose Javon Hargrave this offseason and may need to throw an early pick back into the defensive line.
Mike Tomlin said that it’s a “priority” to re-sign Bud Dupree, but Pittsburgh could still use depth at edge defender next season. In addition, running back, wide receiver, and tight end could all stand to be upgraded on offense.
What makes it tricky for the Steelers to land a signal-caller that they love is there sever lack of draft capital. Pittsburgh traded away their 2020 first-round pick to acquire Minkah Fitzpatrick. Also, their 2020 third-round pick was delt in the trade that allowed them to move up for Devin Bush in the draft last April.
Whether Pittsburgh has the firepower or not, there is no doubt in my mind that quarterback is a need for this team. The Steelers shouldn’t take a quarterback just for the sake of taking one. However, if they feel there is a franchise quarterback in play when it comes time to make their second-round pick, they shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
Even with one of the best defenses in the league last season, the Steelers showed us just how hard it is to win without a quarterback. Ben’s time is winding down. Pittsburgh needs to keep their eye open for their next franchise quarterback.