Ben Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his storied career. Can the Steelers afford to ignore the quarterback position in the 2020 NFL Draft?
In football, it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘here and now’ state of mind. The Steelers are no doubt seeking help and exploring options that could help Ben Roethlisberger win football games this season. However, at some point, Pittsburgh needs to start prepping for the future.
Big Ben turns 38 years old in March, and we saw this past season what this Steelers football teams looks like without a competent quarterback. If given the chance to draft a potential franchise quarterback this year, can Pittsburgh afford to pass on the opportunity?
Though head coach Mike Tomlin declared Mason Rudolph as their backup to Roethlisberger, this is a position that undoubtedly needs upgraded. Neither Rudolph or Hodges possess enough NFL tools to be the long-term answer, and Pittsburgh will be forced to look elsewhere for help at quarterback.
Looking ahead to the 2021 draft, Trever Lawrence and Justin Fields are two legitimate prospects, but the quarterback class, in general, is supposed to be very weak. Pittsburgh won’t be picking high enough to select Lawrence or Fields next season, and they likely won’t give up a king’s ransom to go get one.
The 2020 NFL Draft will be top-heavy at quarterback with Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert. While Pittsburgh clearly doesn’t have the ammunition to get one of those passers this year, there are a few other names who could end up being franchise passers.
Jordan Love is a player that is a total projection at the next level. He possesses the size, tools, and touch to be a long-time NFL starter, but his decision making and spotty accuracy make him a developmental prospect.
Jacob Eason is a player that has drawn a lot of intrigue from NFL teams. He is mobile enough to avoid the rush with a cannon arm down the field. He stats were nothing that catches the eye, but he may have the best pure arm talent in the draft.
Jalen Hurts is another player who draft analysts are split on. He has a less than ideal NFL arm, and there are questions about his processing speed and general accuracy. However, he’s a natural-born leader with excellent mobility. Hurts earned 53 total touchdowns and threw just 8 interceptions in 2019.
Many of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft need to come into a situation where they can sit for a year or two. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the Steelers can offer.
I know Pittsburgh is in a Super Bowl window and nothing is as important to them as winning here and now. However, even the best teams can’t win without a competent signal-caller. The Steelers may not be able to afford to pass on a potential franchise quarterback this April.