With a wide variety of names being mocked to the Steelers, looking over the past drafts will give an idea of who will be available to them.
The NFL Draft is always a fun and crazy time in the offseason, as hopeful prospects earn their shot on pro rosters. Players rise, others fall, and rabid speculation leads to some of the most action-packed time not on an NFL field. For the Steelers, the draft represents a time to retool and rebuild the roster. For a team that builds through the draft, this is the most essential time in the offseason.
As more and more mock drafts come out, it becomes increasingly clear that no one knows much about who will go where, as comments become riddled with “he won’t fall that far” and “he’s a reach there”. However, some simple research can yield a lot of info about who falls to where. By taking a composite of the last three drafts, trends tend to arise by positions as to how many players can be expected to be selected before the Steelers select.
Starting things off with QB (the most overrated of team “needs” this year), this is a position that always tends to be over-drafted due to the immense value that having a franchise QB brings to the team. Looking over the past couple of years tends to back that up.
Last year, the 2019 draft had four QBs selected before the 49th overall pick. Of the quartet, Daniel Jones showed the most potential, although Kyler Murray wasn’t that far behind him. Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock road the bench longer than the other two, and both had their ups and downs during their rookie season. That said, rumors have swirled that Haskins may already be on his way out of Washington.
2018 saw five QBs selected, all of them in the first round. Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Josh Allen have all experienced their fair share of highs in lows early in their careers. Lamar Jackson exploded last year and looks like a true weapon for the Ravens. Josh Rosen has bounced around already and looks like a clear bust.
2017 was light, as only three QB’s were selected, all within the first 15 picks. Mitchell Trubisky may be on his way out of Chicago, but both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson have blossomed into stars.
An interesting side note, in all of these drafts only two QBs were selected in the second round at all: Lock last year and DeShone Kizer in 2017. The QB position is a fickle one; either your good enough or a team is desperate enough to take you in the first or you fall to the later tier of backup options. That is a topic for a different day though, but fans should note it as the Steelers will only be able to pick from 2nd round options.
If you’re keeping track of the number of players at those positions picked, the average is four before the Steelers would be on the board. Looking at the Draft Networks prospect rankings, this would lead to Jalen Hurts being the top QB available. In a best-case scenario, Jordan Love would be on the board. In the worst case, the top QB would be Jake Fromm.
These names shouldn’t be big surprises, as it has been long understood that at least the top four QBs will be off the board (likely in round 1). If I had to pick from the remaining group (again, I am squarely against getting a QB and don’t believe the Steelers will), I would grab Fromm. He has a higher floor and lower ceiling than Hurts, which means he would at least be a safe pick. The problem is, he gives me a real Andy Dalton vibe: a QB who can win if the team around him is great but won’t win games on his own.
So, when adding a QB in the second round of your mocks, be aware of who is likely to be there. While I’m in no way advocating for or against any of these options in this post, be realistic with your expectations if you want to target a QB for the Steelers. Just remember though, if these QBs were top options, they would be taken in the first round.