The Pittsburgh Steelers need a franchise quarterback—as does every team that doesn’t have one. You don’t make it very far very often if you don’t. But a lot of people don’t seem to think that this draft is the one to find that franchise guy, no matter how many quarterbacks are drafted in the first round, and where they wind up.
You can definitely include the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac in that group, who has spent his chat sessions railing against this draft class of quarterbacks for some time now (and frankly, I don’t entirely disagree with him by any means). But he seems to be taking things a step further than his opinion.
In his latest chat, for example, he basically said that the Steelers are not looking for nor expecting to find their next franchise quarterback—rather, they are just looking to fill out their depth chart. He doesn’t think they will draft a quarterback until Day 3.
“They’re not trying to find the next Tom Brady”, in response to one member in his latest chat yesterday. “They’re trying to find a third- or fourth-string QB. They don’t have either one of those right now so you can pretty much take it to the bank”.
The Steelers only have two quarterbacks on their offseason roster following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the free agency departure of Joshua Dobbs, and the tragic passing of Dwayne Haskins. Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph will likely be joined by two more arms, and one of them will probably come next week in the draft. But listening to Dulac, that’s probably not going to be any of the names we’ve been talking about for months.
When another commenter directly asked him in what round the Steelers would draft a quarterback—even asking if they would trade up in the first round—he offered instead that they would take one not in the first round, but somewhere in the range of Rounds 4-7. In other words, the last day of the draft.
But how much of that is really coming from any true sense of where the team’s group thinking is and how much of that is just what he thinks the Steelers should do? That’s really the question that needs to be answered before his comments can be properly contextualized.
Elsewhere in the chat, he acknowledges that it’s more than just a strong correlation but rather “a proven fact” that the Steelers draft players in the first round whom Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert saw in-person at their Pro Days.
What we absolutely know is that the Steelers have paid extensive attention to this year’s top quarterbacks. If they were not seriously entertaining drafting any of them, why did they pay so much attention? They’re continuing to bring them in for pre-draft visits, so they’re still showing interest in them. Yet we’re supposed to believe that they’re going to wait until day three to start thinking about what quarterback they’re going to draft? That’s a tough sell—and perhaps just wishful thinking from somebody who is completely dissatisfied with this draft class.