Steelers Find New Franchise QB In New NFL Mock Draft

Steelers, NFL Draft
NFL Analysis Network

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a surprising run to the postseason following the 2021 season despite underwhelming play from the quarterback position. Ben Roethlisberger will go down as arguably the best quarterback in franchise history, but his best days were certainly behind him.

Behind a shaky offensive line, the 39-year old Roethlisberger was in a tough spot. With his athleticism sapped and arm strength waning from injuries, the Steelers’ offense was stuck in the mud for a majority of the season as a dink and dunk unit.

Given the struggles of the offensive line, a quick-hitting offense was necessary at times. But, the team still struggled to push the ball downfield despite having a great assortment of weapons to get the ball to.

With Roethlisberger likely retiring, it will be the end of an era in Pittsburgh. They will have to find a long-term answer at the quarterback position and it will likely be someone not currently on the roster. Mason Rudolph has been okay in spot duty and Dwayne Haskins is the only other quarterback on the roster.

Given the strength of their roster and coaching staff, they are not far off from being contenders. Could the Steelers look to fill the void in the 2022 NFL Draft? In Pro Football Focus’s 2022 Mock Draft, Pittsburgh does just that.

With the 20th overall pick, the Steelers selected Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett in the mock draft. The Steelers have gotten as good of a look at Pickett as anyone, as he starred for the local Panthers.

Some people will point to Pickett being a fifth-year senior as a knock, but for the Steelers, that could be seen as a positive. He should be ready to step into a starting role sooner than most prospects and hit the ground running.

Pickett was a Heisman finalist this season, completing 334-of-499 passes for 4,308 yards and only seven interceptions. He came a long way during his collegiate career, improving his stock every season at Pitt.

In 2021, Pickett was one of the highest-graded quarterbacks in the nation at 92.3. His grade from a clean pocket was even more impressive at 94.3. Clean pockets were rare for the Steelers, but it is good to know when afforded the opportunity, Pickett will capitalize.

Even if the Steelers find a veteran to add under center, bringing in a younger player that could the long-term answer such as Pickett would make some sense.