The Pittsburgh Steelers surprised a lot of people during the 2022 NFL Draft by selecting quarterbacks with their first and last selections. Those selections of Kenny Pickett and Chris Oladokun now gives the Steelers four quarterbacks on their offseason roster as they join Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. The drafting of Pickett and Oladokun certainly did not please Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as he was on record several times these last few weeks saying that the Steelers did not need to draft even one quarterback this year. With the draft now completed, Dulac delivered a spicy take in the summary of his Sunday Steelers’ draft grade post.
In short, Dulac wrote that he thinks that the Steelers will now likely trade away Rudolph before the regular season starts.
Now, I must admit, right after the Steelers selected Pickett at 20th overall Thursday night, my initial thought was that maybe they would and should deal away Rudolph for another draft pick in 2022. That obviously did not happen. Even so, now that the team has also drafted Oladokun, I think we could indeed see Rudolph traded away by the start of the regular season and especially if Pickett and Oladokun both stay healthy and have great summers at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.
Obviously, Oladokun is not a lock to make the Steelers 53-man roster right now. The team however, liked him enough to draft him in the final round instead of having to fight to sign him as an undrafted free agent, if he remained unselected after bypassing him.
Look, teams probably aren’t beating the Steelers’ door down right now to trade for Rudolph and that’s certainly understandable if that’s the case. Things, however, happen during long NFL summers when training camps and preseason games take place. By the way, don’t expect Rudolph to play much in the preseason unless there are injuries to either Trubisky or Pickett. The team knows what Rudolph is and isn’t at this point. The same doesn’t go for their other three quarterbacks, however.
Rudolph is set to earn just $3 million in 2022 and while not a lot in the big picture, the Steelers won’t likely want to pay him that much to be the third string quarterback to start the regular season should Pickett show enough this summer to at least be the backup. So, in short, Rudolph might indeed wind up being dealt to a team needing a backup quarterback with experience closer to the start of the regular season. It’s very plausible and especially if the Steelers two drafted quarterbacks stay healthy and show progress throughout the rest of the offseason.