The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: What are Chris Oladokun’s chances of making the 53-man roster?
The Steelers made it clear all offseason that they were going to go into training camp, as they always do, with four quarterbacks on their 90-man roster. Even with the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins, they endeavored to hold true to their intentions, drafting two quarterbacks last week.
Not only did they take Kenny Pickett in the first round, they also finished off their draft class with another arm selection, taking South Dakota’s Chris Oladokun in the seventh round, with their second of two picks in the round.
But with Pickett joining Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph, both of whom have NFL starting experience, how much of a chance does Oladokun really have of making the 53-man roster? What is the possibility that, for example, his level of play encourages them to seek to trade Rudolph?
Obviously, Pickett isn’t going anywhere. It’s rather unlikely, unless they get a very generous trade offer, that Trubisky is a piece they would be willing to move. I wouldn’t bet on them outright releasing Rudolph, though it’s not impossible—during Rudolph’s rookie year, Joshua Dobbs won the backup job and the team released Landry Jones.
Oladokun has some interesting traits that no doubt the Steelers would like to keep around. Certainly, he has some mobility in his game, and perhaps they believe they can develop him. But development is for the practice squad.
I think a lot of things would have to go right for Oladokun to make the team outright, including him, of course, proving worthy of a roster spot. Pickett would, at the very least, have to show that he can be the backup this year, if not the starter. If Rudolph doesn’t get released, then they would have to get the right value in a trade as well, which may take an injury elsewhere in the league to occur. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility.