The Pittsburgh Steelers have a talented roster. They do not have a complete roster. While they have some blue-chip talents in certain areas, particularly on defense, and those with that sort of potential in the near future, the reality is that they have some holes to fill, arguably more than usual with the complications of this offseason.
The good news is that the draft is just around the corner, the primary avenue through which to address those concerns. But the most significant long-term question, that being their next quarterback, is not one they are in a position to answer this offseason. Adam Schein is not surprised, nor sympathetic.
“A shot Ben Roethlisberger. A disappointing Mason Rudolph. A bust in Dwayne Haskins. And Josh Dobbs is still there. That’s the total antithesis of something great,” the NFL Network commentator said. “It’s a mess. It’s one of the worst quarterback situations in the entire league. The 2022 starter isn’t here.”
“Last year, he looked like a 38-year-old coming off of major elbow surgery, because he was a 38-year-old coming off of major elbow surgery,” Schein said of Roethlisberger. “And this needed to be addressed by Kevin Colbert last offseason. Now, picking at 24, Pittsburgh simply cannot and will not address the quarterback position. The top five QBs are gonna be long gone, and you cannot waste a day two pick on a quarterback where there’s no guarantee.”
— Steelers Depot 🧐 (@Steelersdepot) April 27, 2021
Of course, the Steelers did not have a first-round draft pick last year, sending what would turn out to be the 18th overall selection to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for two-time first-team All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is one of those blue-chip players I alluded to earlier. The Dolphins ended up using that pick on USC tackle Austin Jackson.
But what Schein is right about is that the QB position is a long-term concern for the Steelers, and that they don’t have the resources to address it meaningfully this offseason. The top three quarterbacks are expected to go off the board with the first three selections. We may see five taken within the first dozen or so picks. The odds of the Steelers even being in position to put together a package to take a stab at a first-round talent at quarterback are… not great, let’s say.
But that’s okay, because that was never the plan for this year. This is Roethlisberger’s all-or-nothing season. Next offseason is the year that they worry about trying to find their next long-term starter. No, it’s almost surely not going to be Rudolph, or Haskins, or Dobbs.
As most organizations should be able to tell you, though, it’s actually not easy to find franchise quarterbacks. Not many have one, and even fewer have one that has won them a Super Bowl. Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger. That’s the complete list of active, starting quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl before. Nick Foles and Joe Flacco also remain in the league, but are not presumed to be starters — and certainly wouldn’t be regarded as franchise players, but rather bridge starters.