Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: QB Dwayne Haskins
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The simple reasoning on this one is that the Steelers have not addressed the quarterback position at all since re-signing Joshua Dobbs, leaving the two to compete against one another for the number three quarterback job this year, bypassing the opportunity to add in the draft.
Even though most outlets seemed to have the quarterback position high on the Steelers’ draft needs list, they came and went without one over the course of nine picks. They even traded into a round to get an extra pick and still walked away without an extra arm. The only quarterback they had a rookie minicamp was a tryout player who was not signed to the 90-man roster.
That sets up, well, basically what I would imagine the majority of us assumed would be the case: A preseason showdown between fifth-year veteran Joshua Dobbs and third-year Dwayne Haskins, now in his first season in Pittsburgh, to push Mason Rudolph for the number two quarterback role.
Haskins was a first round pick by Washington in 2019. The fact that he was available to be signed to a futures deal in January says a lot about how the past two years have gone. This was very much a kick-the-tires move, but it’s a tire worth kicking for the low-to-no-risk price.
If Haskins wins the third quarterback job, then you at least have the evident possibility of his having some kind of future ‘upside’. You could move forward telling yourself that maybe he can develop. But if we’re being honest about Dobbs, he already got his chance. The Jaguars traded for him in 2019 for a fifth-round pick and they cut him a year later. He was available for anybody to sign in March. Nobody was interested. Teams have a read on who he is now after four years.
That doesn’t mean who that is won’t be better for the Steelers than Haskins. There’s undoubtedly some contingent in the building hoping that Haskins wins the job. It would mean that he’s showing something, some promise of potentially being more than a number three quarterback, maybe even a future starter.
Do I think that’s going to happen? Absolutely not. I’m not even sure if he’s going to make the team. But that’s the thinking when you bring in a guy of his pedigree. Low-risk, high-reward situations don’t come by that often at the quarterback position.