We started this series with a little over two weeks remaining to the draft, knowing that nearly all of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pertinent personnel decisions will have already been made. Over the course of the series, we will be reviewing the team’s roster turnover position by position in an effort to help us project what their plans will be for the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Steelers had 15 primary players scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this offseason and have re-signed a number of them, those being Ramon Foster, Tyson Alualu, Anthony Chickillo, Daniel McCullers, and Jordan Berry. Significant unrestricted free agents who signed elsewhere were Le’Veon Bell, Jesse James, and L.J. Fort. They re-signed seven exclusive rights or restricted free agents, chiefly B.J. Finney, Matt Feiler, and Xavier Grimble, as they await Mike Hilton’s signing.
Also of note were the release of Morgan Burnett, the trades of Antonio Brown and Marcus Gilbert, and three significant signings in free agency, adding starters at cornerback, inside linebacker, and potentially wide receiver in Steven Nelson, Mark Barron, and Donte Moncrief, respectively. Maurkice Pouncey also received a two-year contract extension.
Total Positional Figure: 4
Offseason Additions: 1
Offseason Deletions: 0
Ben Roethlisberger: Depending on whom you ask, Roethlisberger is coming off both his best and worst season. He led the league in passing with over 5000 yards, but he also led in interceptions with 16. Yet he more than doubled his interception total with a franchise-record 34 touchdowns. With Brown gone, even more of the offense will rely upon him and his leadership.
Joshua Dobbs: Dobbs managed to unseat Landry Jones during the preseason last year, and the latter has greatly struggled to remain employed in the meantime. Dobbs put up good numbers in the preseason, but when called upon during regular-season work, particularly in extended play in a loss against the Oakland Raiders, he didn’t appear to be up to the task.
Mason Rudolph: The Steelers are still hoping that Rudolph can be the long-term future of the quarterback position in Pittsburgh. Drafted in the third round a year ago, he was graded as a first-rounder by the organization, which is the reason that they could not pass up on his value at that point in the draft. Rudolph spent his rookie season on the bench behind Dobbs, but his task this season will be to assume the backup role.
Brogan Roback: The Steelers picked up Roback as a Reserve/Future signing at the end of the 2018 season. The undrafted rookie out of Eastern Michigan completed nine of 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown with the Browns in the preseason last year.
Players Deleted: N/A
Notes And Draft Outlook: As I wrote regarding this position heading into free agency, there is really no sane reason for them to do anything here. Pretty much the only thing I would have been even willing to entertain was the idea of taking a look at Garrett Gilbert, the quarterback of the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football, simply because he was the best at his position. Gilbert signed with the Cleveland Browns.