The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Knowing only what we know now, would you rather the Steelers draft Mason Rudolph or Derrius Guice?
We can’t predict the future; we can only project it. Of course that’s largely what the NFL Draft is all about: projection. Who is likely to do well in a certain environment? Who will have the opportunity to flourish? These are crucial questions facing every draft selection.
The Steelers have Pro Bowlers at both the quarterback and running back positions, so why are they being discussed as potential targets for their first-round draft pick? Well, because we can’t predict the future, we can only project it.
Will Le’Veon Bell be with the team beyond this season? Most are projecting that he won’t be. If that is how the Steelers also feel, they may draft Guice if he is available. Doing so would create a self-fulfilling prophecy that results in Bell definitely leaving in 2019.
That wouldn’t be the way things unfold for Ben Roethlisberger if Rudolph is drafted, of course. Roethlisberger likely will play for as long as he wants to assuming he is still playing at his current level. Rudolph will sit back and wait, as Jimmy Garoppolo did.
We don’t know right now where Bell will be in 2019. We don’t know how much longer Roethlisberger will play. We don’t know how long either of them might still perform as Pro Bowlers. We have to make these decisions with this ambiguity in mind.
So if it came down to one or the other, which would you prefer, the running back or the quarterback? This could be about both the position and the specific players, but it seems likely that these are the two that would be in play at the Steelers’ first-round selection.
It’s entirely possible, probably more likely than not, that the team ends up drafting neither of these players. Perhaps neither of them will even be available by that time. But that is the nature of thought experiments. They should help isolate our values a bit more.