With the Pittsburgh Steelers in the market for a franchise signal caller for the first time in 18 seasons, much of the focus Monday during General Manager Kevin Colbert’s media session was spent largely on the quarterback position, and rightfully so.
As Ben Roethlisberger rides off into retirement, the Steelers need to find the next guy, especially with Mason Rudolph as the lone quarterback currently on the roster (though Dwayne Haskins is expected to be tendered).
Knowing that it was Roethlisberger’s final season, throwing the quarterback position into disarray moving forward, Colbert told the media Monday that he spent as much time as he ever has on the road scouting last fall, according to the official transcript provided by the team.
“No in fact I probably did as much if not more road scouting this past fall,” Colbert said to reporters when asked if his draft prep and scouting will be different this year. “Obviously, the quarterback, we kind of knew that this would be Ben’s [Roethlisberger] last season and not that we never scouted that position before, but we spent a lot of time evaluating that position, myself included. Of all the top guys we’ve seen them play live several times. So, we’re trying to do everything that we have done, and we really haven’t done anything different. I’m going into this as if we’re not worried about what’s next, we’re worried about what’s current.”
Sam Howell out here playing human Frogger pic.twitter.com/eRffPelhwS
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) November 6, 2021
That lines up with the reports that came out throughout the 2021 college football season, which included Colbert being in attendance a handful of times to see North Carolina’s Sam Howell, as well as Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, though he wasn’t truly on the road for Pitt’s games.
Though the 2022 draft class at quarterback is considered average and doesn’t provide the amount of upside and blue chip prospects that the 2021 NFL Draft class did, or the 2023 class could provide, Colbert and the Steelers are seemingly unfazed by that prevailing belief as Colbert stated Monday to reporters that he and the team seem good quality available at the position ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
If it makes yinz feel any better, Kenny Pickett checks all seven boxes on the Bill Parcells' “rules for drafting a QB” checklist. #Steelers
Senior in college
Started 30+ games
Win 23+ games
Post a 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio
Compete at least 60% passes thrown
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) January 19, 2022
“As far as this class is concerned, the draft class of quarterbacks, there’s good quality available,” Colbert said, according to the official transcript provided by the team. “Probably not as many as there have been in recent years, but it is what it is, and we had a great look at a lot of the top quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl. It was a great experience to see them back-to-back. In a given day, we saw them all, and it was it was very good work. So, we’re excited about that whole part of this process.”
The Steelers have clearly shown they’re excited about the process, considering the amount of team personnel that made the trek to Mobile to see all the top QBs in the class at the Senior Bowl.
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) February 1, 2022
These are unchartered waters for the Steelers, which — I’m sure — makes it all the more exciting, yet stressful, for all parties involved. It’s telling though that Colbert mentioned that the QB class has quality available, while also adding that though he believes in Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, the Steelers will add to the QB room one way or another.
Some new faces are coming to the Steelers’ depth chart under center. Could they find the next guy in the NFL Draft? It’s starting to feel more and more likely Pittsburgh goes all-in on a QB in this draft class.
#Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder —
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 21, 2022