The quarterback position is arguably the most important one in all of sports, and finding that true franchise QB is a difficult task. Just ask a team like the Cleveland Browns, who prior to acquiring Deshaun Watson via trade, have been searching high and low for a competent starter for years. The Green Bay Packers have made it appear as if franchise QB’s grow on trees, seamlessly going from one Hall Of Famer in Brett Favre to a future HOF’er in Aaron Rodgers.
It’s no secret that the Steelers are heavily interested in the top QB’s in the upcoming draft, needing to replace their own future HOF’er in Ben Roethlisberger, who retired at season’s end. They’ve been fixated on the prospects ever since the Senior Bowl, meeting with them throughout the past several weeks, dining with several prior to their pro days and hosting several for pre-draft visits. Earlier today, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports composed a list of 13 teams in need of quarterbacks and ranked them by the likelihood of each addressing the position early. As you can probably guess, Pittsburgh was ranked near the very top.
“Few teams have been as open about their interest in top QB prospects, and they essentially committed backup/spot-starter money to Mitchell Trubisky, who could start in Week 1 but appears to be more of a hedge against Mason Rudolph failing to emerge as the placeholder/No. 2. In what’s considered to be a weaker QB class, they may well be able to sit tight and take the best passer still on the board.”
Who that passer may turn out to be remains to be seen, if that indeed is the route they go. Much has been made of the apparent love affair that team brass has for Liberty’s big-armed Malik Willis, with a highlight of their flirtation being their famous chicken wing dinner. The team has also dined with Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, who seems to be shooting up draft boards as of late. Mobility is something the team has been on record saying that they desire from their next QB, and several of the prospects offer that, including Willis and Ridder.
Depending on who’s selected, we may finally get a chance to fully see Matt Canada’s offense truly unlocked, as mobility was NOT a strong point of the aforementioned Roethlisberger.
As Benjamin stated, the contract given to Trubisky is very incentive-laden, showing that perhaps he is just a “bridge” guy for their next starter. If it turns out a change of scenery was needed for him to show his true potential, the team will be ecstatic. However, it’s likely that, at least for the early stages of next season, an early round draft choice will be holding a clipboard on the sidelines. Or is their infatuation with QB’s perhaps the biggest smokescreen we’ve ever seen, allowing a more favored prospect to slip to them?
Let me know your thoughts below.