Steelers land top-flight quarterback in latest 2022 NFL mock draft
By Tommy Jaggi
The Steelers could very well be looking for their next franchise quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, and CBS has them landing one in their latest mock.
Like it or not, the Steelers are about to reach the end of an era that began all the way back in 2004. After not knowing exactly what Pittsburgh’s plan for Ben Roethlisberger was following the 2020 NFL season, the long-time veteran quarterback reworked his deal in an effort to stick around as the starting quarterback in 2021.
In order to do this, Roethlisberger not only took a pay cut, but the Steelers restructured his contract in a way that includes four voidable years all the way through the 2025 season. Essentially what this means is that Pittsburgh will take a $10.3 million cap hit next season despite Big Ben not being under a playable contract.
In all likelihood, 2021 will be Ben Roethlisberger’s last season as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers and he is likely to retire after this year. Since Ben was drafted back in 2004, the Steelers have not spent more than a 3rd round draft choice on the quarterback position (Mason Rudolph in 2018). However, that could very well change in 2021.
Recently, CBS Sports writer Josh Edwards constructed a 2022 NFL mock draft. He had the Steelers taking Oklahoma quarterback, Spencer Rattler, with the 13th overall pick.
Steelers land a franchise QB with upside
While many draft analysts have mocked Rattler as high as the number one overall pick next year, it’s interesting to note that Edwards has him falling all the way to the 13th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
As a redshirt freshman in 2020, Rattler compiled 3,031 passing yards to go with 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 11 games – all the while throwing for an impressive 9.6 yards per attempt. Considering this was his first season as a starting quarterback, Rattler did everything that could have been expected of him.
Spencer Rattler has a good arm and the ability to escape the pocket that has caused some to label him with the lofty ‘Patrick Mahomes’ comparison. While this is probably unfair, Rattler is just 20 years old and has a very bright future ahead of him.
In addition, Oklahoma has a brilliant track record of producing quality quarterbacks under head coach Lincoln Riley. In the three years prior to the 2021 draft, Oklahoma has offered the number one overall pick twice in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, as well as a second-rounder in Jalen Hurts.
Rattler may not prove to be on the same level as a player like Mayfield or Murray, but the talent is all there. He needs to improve his consistency from play to play and avoid careless decisions, but his future looks promising. With a really good 2021 season, he has a chance to be the top quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft.
What’s perhaps most concerning is that Josh Edwards has the Steelers picking at 13 overall – and that seems to be without any sort of trade-up. Obviously, we are hoping for better results in the 2021 season, but as of now, it seems like it would be a treat for Pittsburgh to land a player like Spencer Rattler without having to move up in the draft.