The Steelers should go light at quarterback
I have been one of the bigger critics of Kenny Pickett since he was drafted. I didn’t see the elite talent you want in a franchise quarterback, and given his age and lack of dynamic traits, he seemed like an underwhelming option. Unfortunately, he has been even worse than I thought he was as a prospect so far.
The quarterback speculation is running rampant this offseason. From moving forward with Mason Rudolph as the guy to landing a big name via trade or free agency or investing your first-round pick in another passer, fans seem desperate for something better at the position.
My issue is that none of these proposed solutions are really long-term answers. Rudolph, despite his good play, isn’t a real franchise quarterback and is best served as a transitional guy or top backup. The draft is your best route to land a guy, but unless you are trading the farm (and thus sacrificing the talent around the rookie quarterback), you are getting a similar type of prospect that Pickett was.
As for trading for a guy, I know the Rooney’s hinted at the possibility, but that seems like a bad choice. The most logical name is Justin Fields, and while he has shown some elite traits, he has also been an inconsistent player. Add in his contract situation and unless you are getting him for a low draft pick, it is hard to justify making that trade. Even if you did, Fields is no lock to be a dynamic player.
Instead, what this team needs to do is provide Pickett with some competition and see what happens. Don’t go crazy and use your resources to improve the line and fill holes on the defense. That will better prepare this team to develop a successful franchise quarterback in the next year or two.
That name could be Rudolph given his feel-good story from this season. It could also be a lower-end veteran like Ryan Tannehill given his connections with new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Pickett and said veteran would compete in camp and the winner gets to start.
No, this won’t lead to a lot of success more than likely. Instead, it gives Pickett one last shot to prove his worth, and if he doesn’t, you should be in a better spot to land a quarterback in 2025. Going all in on a quarterback this year really hampers the needs elsewhere, and I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense right now.