Steelers slot in just about Dolphins, Saints in NFL power rankings
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers improved their roster this offseason, but the QB changes around the league push them down on NFL power rankings.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t any good in 2022, at least we can say that it wasn’t for a lack of effort. After Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, general manager Kevin Colbert had more money to work with this offseason than he’s ever had.
Most fans would agree that he put this money to good use — signing quality free agents like James Daniels, Mitch Trubisky, Levi Wallace, and Myles Jack while retaining his top cornerback from 2021 in Ahkello Witherspoon.
More than a week after the free agency period began, Pittsburgh’s roster is looking strong and they still have quality cap space to work with. Despite their strong offseason, odds suggest that this team is going to be in the bottom half of the league in 2022.
Recently, Dan Hanzus of NFL.com comprised his NFL power rankings after the first wave of free agency. Pittsburgh ranked 20th in the NFL. The Steelers were slotted just ahead of teams like the Dolphins, Saints, and Panthers while being ranked lower than Vikings and Eagles.
This was a team who made a playoff berth just last season with a record of 9-7-1. With their roster seemingly improved on paper, what is the reasoning for dropping in the power rankings?
Steelers QB situation is among the worst in the NFL
Whether you are a fan of Mitch Trubisky or not, it’s hard to argue that he’s on par with the other quarterbacks around the league. In the AFC, specifically, the conference has never been stronger as Russell Wilson now joins a packed house in the American Football Conference.
While we have yet to see how Trubisky is going to look as a starter for the Steelers running Matt Canada’s offense, most assume that he will have the look and feel of the player we have seen since he entered the league in 2017.
How many projected starting quarterbacks can we definitively say are worse than Mitch Trubisky at this point in time. You might be able to count them on one hand. Though football is a team sport, the QB position has never been more important to the equation for success in the NFL.
Ranked 20th in the NFL does leave some wiggle room, however, as there are still a lot of unknowns. For starters, Pittsburgh had an elite defense in 2019 and 2020. Though they took a step back last season, many think they can return to form as one of the league’s best in 2021 with a healthy T.J. Watt leading the charge.
In addition, we don’t yet know what other free agent moves or draft choices could impact Pittsburgh’s team this year, and we know that Mike Tomlin is always going to do his best to make sure they are competitive.
I think 20th is fair for the Steelers in early offseason power rankings. If Mitch Trubisky can outperform expectations early on, they will have a chance to climb much higher.