The gathering consensus certainly appears to be that the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to take a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, and quite possibly very early—many even seem to think there is a fair chance they would actually trade up in the first round to get one that they wanted, if that is what it took.
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is less convinced of that—and of the entire quarterback class altogether. He let his feelings be known in his latest chat, in which he made it very clear that he doesn’t think there is a franchise player in this class, and that it would be a big mistake for the Steelers to draft one thinking that, let alone to trade up for one.
“I don’t see them being aggressive and moving up for any QB, let alone [Malik] Willis”, he said, when asked if the Liberty quarterback was the only one that he could see the Steelers trading up to get. “Would go down as one of the worst draft-day moves in history”.
Willis is one of the most raw quarterback prospects to emerge as a first-round favorite in some time. Any team willing to draft him would be rolling the dice and taking a significant gamble on his future progress, which could be at least a year or two down the road even if everything goes according to plan.
Dulac went on to say, in asking if we could see a surprise selection, that “the surprise pick will be if they draft a QB on the first round”, so he certainly seems to be convinced of himself. Later, he said that he doesn’t think the Steelers are in love with any of the quarterbacks—and that if they are, “they need to re-evaluate their evaluations”.
So what do we make of all of this? Dulac is clearly letting his own personal views of this quarterback class be known, but how much of his comments are what he personally feels and how much of it is coming from what he might actually know or be able to reasonably and accurately surmise about the Steelers’ own thoughts?
Because what Dulac thinks on a personal level is, of course, irrelevant, as is what I think, or what anybody else thinks. The only thing that matters is what the people who make the decisions think. Not wanting the Steelers to draft a quarterback won’t have any effect on whether or not they draft one.
Of course, it wouldn’t be shocking if they weren’t actually in love with any quarterback this year. This is the most underwhelming quarterback class in a decade since E.J. Manuel was the only first-round quarterback in 2013, Geno Smith “sliding” to the second round.
But there has been quite a bit of smoke throughout the offseason. The Steelers have done more than their due diligence on this class. While they’ve put in a lot of work, however, that doesn’t mean that they’ve become enamored with what they’ve learned. We’ll know in a couple of weeks.