Will Steelers take a quarterback in round one?

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With the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger finally working out a revised deal that will pay $14 million in what by all appearances will be the player’s last year in Pittsburgh, the question becomes what’s next at the position?

The Steelers went 20 years between franchise quarterbacks, from the retirement of Terry Bradshaw after 1983 to the arrival of Roethlisberger in 2004. With six potential first-round quarterbacks in 2021 and the Steelers drafting 24th, will they take Roethlisberger’s successor this year?

It depends on various factors, starting with what the Steelers think of the incoming signal-callers. Then there’s the fact that, for as good as Pittsburgh has been when it comes to evaluating receivers in the draft, the team hasn’t done well when it comes to drafting backup quarterbacks, from Omar Jacobs (2006) to Dennis Dixon (2008) to Landry Jones (2013) to Josh Dobbs (2017) to Mason Rudolph (2018).

If there’s a guy the Steelers decide they love, however, don’t rule out a trade up to get him. They did that with players like Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu in 2003, Super Bowl XLIII Santonio Holmes in 2006, and linebacker Devin Bush in 2019.

Whatever they do, the Steelers can’t wait 20 years between franchise quarterbacks. If, as it appears, 2021 will be Roethlisberger’s last year, the Steelers need to start looking for their next quarterback immediately — even if Ben bristles at the idea that the first-round pick used in his final NFL season did nothing to help him walk off into the sunset as a champion.

Indeed, the Steelers could have had Dan Marino in 1983, but they decided to defer to Bradshaw. And Bradshaw ultimately played only one more game for the Steelers.

42 responses to “Will Steelers take a quarterback in round one?

  1. They’re going to have to trade the farm to jump from 24 into the top 10 and even then it’s going to be difficult.

    Lawrence and Wilson likely gone before the dolphins pick at 3. ATL at 4 is rumored to to be looking at QB leaving everyone else trying to jump in front of CAR selecting at 8 to pick ALA Jones or OSU Fields depending on ATL’s decision

  2. Why bother when you can just overpay an old guy who was never more than a game manager even in his prime?

  3. Good luck finding anyone worth a damn with the 199th pick. Right, guys?

  4. No. If they wanted to rebuild, they wouldn’t have Ben back for 1 more year. They will draft a RB or O-lineman that can start immediately and help them win games in 2021.

  5. I don’t expect them to draft a guy in round one unless they love Kyle Trask or Mac Jones falls to them

  6. They should try to trade for Minshew from Jax … sitting and learning from Big Ben is better than ignoring Lawrence …

  7. Don’t forget about Tee Martin, 2000 5th round QB draftee, taken a round before Tom Brady, who is employed in the AFC North, though ironically his success has focused on the Wide Receiver position, including JuJu Smith Schuster who could inevitably end up joining his former coach in Baltimore.

  8. mlhigh77 says:
    March 5, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Good luck finding your next franchise qb with the 24th pick.


    It takes talent, scouting, coaching. Turn off the draft touts and lean on the scouts.

  9. Why would the Steelers draft a QB when they already have their next franchise QB, Dwayne Haskins, on the roster?

  10. Unless this qb guy can play on the offensive line or is tall enough to be a tight end. No.

    The QB position is covered.

    If the best available happens to be a QB sure. That is their draft model. But in terms of hunting for positions.. Center center center. Tight end. Guard. Tackle.

  11. Not in a million years. The OL is abysmal and that is the main issue. They could draft a RB in the first round but OL is the solid bet. They had no running game last year but still went 12-4, due to Ben.

  12. The Steelers did a great thing by taking a chance on getting Dwayne Haskins last year. He has a lot of upside ad ultimately will be the next franchise QB for them. He also has a great arm!

  13. The Steelers can finish 3rd in the division with or without Big Ben. I don’t understand why they are bringing him back. They are wasting a year of his successor’s development just to satisfy him.

    I doubt if guys like Watt, Heyward, Tuitt and Fitzpatrick are on board with this.

  14. Why? They have high-1st-rounder Dwayne Haskins on their roster. The Steelers hand-held Ben thru his tumultuous growing-up, why not invest some time/mentoring in Haskins, too?

  15. Talking about “another championship” for the Steelers is absurd for a team that has won 3 playoffs games in the last decade.

  16. I hope not. The rebuild is still a season or two away. And we’ll be better off not wasting a 1st round QB’s 1st year as a backup. That’s an important developmental year when you only have the guy for cheap for 4 seasons plus a fifth year option that isn’t really that cheap. Further QB’s in the first round are a bigger crapshoot than any other position. It just doesn’t make sense to do when you still have an elite QB, and Ben is still an elite QB despite all the noise and nonsense.

    That said, I understand why Ravens fans and Browns fans are so eager for the Steelers to move on from Ben and begin their rebuild. Their QB’s are a year away from big contracts. And really, how good is the rest of Baltimore’s team going to be when they’re paying Lamar north of $40 million, and Cleveland has to pay not only Baker at least $35 million, but they also have to pay Chubb and Ward. Those windows are closing fast, and they want Ben out of the way, while those windows are still open.

    What I don’t get is why Pats fans are so eager to see the Steelers move on from Ben. It’s not 2018 anymore fellas. Neither one of us had a deep playoff run last year. I always respected you guys with Brady even though you always clobbered us. I’m not bitter about it like some other Steelers fans. I just don’t get what you’re so worried about now. You’re team is no longer relevant. And maybe soon we won’t be either. But next year we’ll be competing for a Super Bowl, and all the crying coming out of Baltimore, Cleveland and New England won’t change that.

  17. No one worth it will free fall to No. 24.
    Too many holes to burn needed picks to trade up.
    Good year for OTs and that’s where they’ll go.
    Anthony McFarland, who new OC Canada coached at Maryland, will be breakout Steeler in ’21.
    Saying it here, if Ben has a good year he will be back in the double duce.

  18. If the Steelers are being honest with themselves they need to trade up to get a QB. The current team cannot succeed in the playoffs.

  19. Something tells me the Steelers next QB wins a Super bowl before Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson ever does.

    That said, Big Joe is about to take over that division.

  20. If someone they falls to them at 24, sure. But if they reach for a later round QB in the first, it’s wasting a pick that could be better served elsewhere like the offensive line or linebacker.

  21. Their current “Franchise” quarterback has won the franchise all of three playoff games in the past 10 years.

  22. Does it matter. With Tomlin as coach they’ll be bottom dwellers for awhile. HOF Qbs are rare.

  23. Really they should have found a replacement this year! Putting too much fake confidence into a washed up QB, who hasn’t won anything since Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward retired.

  24. Not a chance this year. Probably next year if Ben retires after 2021. Try to strengthen the D and draft oline to build for future. RB also.

  25. So, in 1983 with an aging Bradshaw, the Steelers not only didn’t take Marino, who starred in college nearby, but took a nose tackle who would play 6 career games. Seems like taking a player from a local college, at a position that would be needed in the next year or two, at worst, would have been an easy call.

  26. Nice comparison to the Marino-Bradshaw situation. The Steelers aren’t gonna find a franchise QB at their current spot and they’d have to give up too much to move into the top 10. They really should give Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins an opportunity to be the guy.

  27. mlhigh77 says:
    March 5, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Good luck finding your next franchise qb with the 24th pick.


    Very smart insight. We agree…it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find a franchise QB with the 24th pick or later.


    Tom Brady (no. 199)
    Aaron Rogers (no. 24)
    Russell Wilson (no. 75)

    P.S. In the past 10 years at least 3 other QBs not drafted in the first round were starting QBs in the Super Bowl(Foles, Kaepernick, Garoppolo).

  28. I would keep Ben and not worry so much about drafting a QB in the first round. The contracts for QB are going sky high. You almost now have to win a Super Bowl with a QB under a rookie contract to keep a team sustainable to pay for other talent needed to play at a high level and compete for a Super Bowl. A lot of QB have been found in later rounds. A lot of QB in the first rounds have not lived up to the hype either.

    It depends on which team they go and whats around them, their offense philosphoy. I love Zach Wilson but how will he pan out if he goes to the Jets for example, the team he is on how in college is completely different and he works well in their system? Can the QB put up enough points if the team he is on has a lousy defense?

  29. Unless one of the top 3-4 QBs falls to 24 (not happening), they better take a center, tackle, or RB at 1/24. Top three picks should be OL and RB in whatever order.

    It’d be stupid to not fill out the OL early in the draft. OL was bad last year and will only get worse with turnover and no cap space to acquire FAs. If they don’t fix it, expect no run game and a whole year of Ben getting the ball out in 2 sec for 4-yard passes so he doesn’t get slaughtered — 2020 again but worse. I’m sure that’d make for a great last year of Ben’s career.

  30. Mason Rudolph went 3-1. What makes anyone think the Steelers aren’t gonna just give him a shot? What do people want? No, he’s not Ben, but geez, give the dude a chance.

  31. The Steelers have stated that they’re happy with Rudolph so there’s your answer, no.

  32. Game manager? Most teams would give a first rounder for this type of game manager. Been to 3 Super Bowls.Won 2.Owns record for most 500+ yard games.Never been on a losing team in 18 years. Super Bowl XLIII winning dime TD he dropped to Holmes at the end of game for the win. Only minus I can see is he played in the same era as Brady,Manning and Brees.

  33. The Steelers have a lot of other needs. I find it hard to believe they’d bring Big Ben back and not make another run at the playoffs. That tells me they won’t do something stupid like Green Bay did and draft a guy who will contribute nothing. However, they’ve been dumb in being content with the coach who consistently gets little out of his team in November and December so you never know.

  34. Honestly cant believe they are bringing back Big Bum. He looked awful down the stretch last season. Mostly attributed to being extremely out of shape. The dude is billed at 241lbs at 6’5 but hes easily 270lbs. If he drops 50lbs and gets down to around 220 he may be able to make it a full season and playoff stretch performing at a high level. BUT this is a dude that never liked working out – so good luck Pitts fans!

  35. Brady’s late career heroics seemed to have jarred the league. You have Brees and Big Ben trying to extend their careers, trying for a SB victory to retire on, like Elway did. Other QBs like Watson and Wilson think they can call the shots and choose whichever team the want to play for and how they want that team to be run.

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