Would any of the QBs in the draft be ready to start for Steelers in 2022?
By Eric Hassel
The Steelers have a decision to make in the 2022 NFL draft. Will it be the right one?
Once Ben Roethlisberger decided to hang up the cleats, I think every fan and every draft pundit automatically came to the conclusion that the Steelers would be drafting a QB with pick number twenty in the 2022 NFL draft.
That may certainly come to pass; however, I think the question for me, for many fans, perhaps, and perhaps for the Steelers is this: Is there a QB in this draft class who is NFL ready? In other words, is there a QB in this class who could start from day one?
I think it’s a fair question and one whose answer may not be known immediately. Here’s why: Let’s assume we draft a QB in the first round. Having recently signed a veteran QB and already having two veteran QBs on the roster, that rookie QB would have to play at an exceptionally high level ‘right out of the gate’.
Could that happen? Sure because anything is possible, but what is the probability of a rookie QB beating out at least three veteran QBs to win the starting job? Moreover, which QB in this draft class has what it takes to accomplish that feat?
The Steelers may end up drafting a QB, but who would be the best choice?
Since I am no draft pundit, I will refrain from offering any ‘technical’ analysis of the QBs who are projected to go in the first round. I will; however, offer my opinion based on what I have seen from watching every one of the QBs who are projected to go in the first round.
Understand one thing: If the Steelers decide to stand pat and draft a QB this year and that QB does not pan out, the franchise may very well be set back for several years. Conversely, if we decide to trade up for a QB, that QB had better be the next Roethlisberger or Terry Bradshaw.
I think it’s a fair assessment to proffer that every QB has an upside and a downside. There are mobile QBs, for example, who may not have the best arm or may not be accurate throwing on the run. There are QBs who are not exactly mobile but have a ‘cannon’ for an arm, Carson Strong comes to mind.
Other QBs have a tremendous arm but did not play against top-flight competition, Malik Willis comes to mind. Additionally, there are QBs who may not be as tall as what teams would prefer, Sam Howell and Matt Corral come to mind.
If the Steelers are intending to draft a QB at pick number twenty, I think Kenny Pickett makes the most sense because I believe he is the most NFL-ready QB in this class. No disrespect intended toward any of the other QBs in this draft, but, for my money, and from what I have seen, Pickett is the one QB with whom the Steelers would be able to win if he started from day one.
Look, I could be completely off-base here. Pickett may not have a career worthy of retelling, but I have a sneaking suspicion that his Steelers career would be remembered fondly.