It’s hard to imagine the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. But it’s not totally out of the question that we could see them pick one any time after that. Especially around the fourth round. During the Steelers’ Monday pre-draft press conference for general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin, the former was asked at what point would the team consider drafting a quarterback this year. And if indeed one is selected, what would be the reason for doing so.
“Again, wide open to all of it,” Colbert said of the possibility of the team drafting a quarterback this year. “If you look at our current depth, obviously we have four NFL veteran quarterbacks on our roster, which I feel great about. We also have really three of those four that are in the last year of their so-called deals when you look at it realistically. So, it’s an unusual group in that we do have four. Can you add a young one? Absolutely.
“We always have to be on the look for that next guy and try to predict the value of taking that player at that position because most likely a young quarterback won’t play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. Again, we’ve got four veteran guys that we’re going to try to sort through. Could you add someone that could be more guaranteed to be here for the future? Absolutely and that’s our job to try to value that.”
Colbert didn’t stop there with his answer. He went on to say that in 2004 when the Steelers drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the first round that the team could have very easily went with another position instead.
“And it goes all the way back to Ben [Roethlisberger],” Colbert said. “I mean, Ben wasn’t a sure pick when we were sitting there at 11 [overall], because we had more pressing issues than a quarterback because Tommy Maddox had done some good things for us. And, you know, it wasn’t like we couldn’t have started a season with Tommy. When Ben was there for us it would have been a huge mistake not to take him.”
The Steelers will enter the 2021 NFL Draft with four quarterbacks under contract in Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Joshua Dobbs, and Dwayne Haskins. Technically, Roethlisberger is the only one of the four quarterbacks under contract past the 2021 season ahead of the draft. But those four extra years void five days after the Super Bowl takes place.
The Steelers just recently re-signed Dobbs to a one-year deal. As things stand right now, he and Haskins appear destined to fight for the third-string spot later this summer during training camp. If the Steelers draft a quarterback this year, camp could get underway with Dobbs gone. It is hard to imagine the team carrying five quarterbacks on their roster past the middle of July.
All the above noted, Colbert is leaving his 2021 draft options open when it comes to the quarterback position.
“So, we’ll always be open to adding what we believe is the most critical position, but again, we feel good about having four vets to work with at this point,” Colbert said on Monday.