As the Pittsburgh Steelers enter into uncharted territory at the quarterback position for the first time since the 2004 season when Ben Roethlisberger made his NFL debut, speculation regarding a number of names continues to ramp up for the black and gold when it comes to the next signal caller.
Losing a Hall of Famer would make the Steelers’ need at QB the highest priority in the NFL, right?
Well, not according to Pro Football Focus’s Sam Monson.
Monson, who took the time to rank the teams with the biggest need at QB this offseason, ranked the Steelers second in the NFL from a needs perspective at the position, shockingly behind the Denver Broncos on Thursday.
“The Ben Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh was wildly successful for the team. Both he and head coach Mike Tomlin never endured a losing season, even as his play became tough to watch down the stretch this year,” Monson writes. “The Steelers couldn’t compete with true contenders because they didn’t have the passing firepower. Over Roethlisberger’s last five games this season, he averaged 4.6 yards per attempt and made 12 turnover-worthy plays. Pittsburgh’s receiving weapons are capable, and it remains to be seen what the offensive line would look like if it was tasked with blocking longer than the league’s fastest average time to throw of 2.2 seconds. With Roethlisberger presumably retiring, the Steelers now need a new signal-caller for the first time since 2004.”
Sure, the Broncos have struggled to find the next guy after Peyton Manning retired six seasons ago and have struck out in recent seasons with the likes of Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock and Trevor Siemian, but it’s truly hard to argue that a team has more of a need at quarterback this offseason than the Steelers.
The Broncos have had their chance to address quarterback after a Hall of Famer retired time and time again. The Steelers will get to do it for the first time in 18 seasons. That feels like a team with a bigger need, at least at the moment.
While Pittsburgh surely won’t chase a big fish with draft capital or a lucrative free agent contract this offseason, the Steelers still need to find a guy who can help them win games until the next franchise QB is found.
Names like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor and Jacoby Brissett have been bandied about as the potential starting quarterback in the Steel City in 2022, but none of them truly seem either realistic (Rodgers, Wilson, Carr) or ideal (Bridgewater, Taylor, Brissett).
There’s no denying though that the quarterback position is a massive need for the Steelers, even if it might not be the biggest need, at least in the 2022 NFL Draft.