No matter what way you try and look at the situation under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, there’s no denying that the overall depth of the room and the upside in second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system has improved, thanks to the black and gold adding the likes of Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett and Chris Oladokun into the fold this offseason through free agency and the NFL Draft.
On paper, it looks like an improved group overall, with all due respect to Ben Roethlisberger. Still it might not be good enough, at least in 2022, according to Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport.
Davenport took a crack at ranking the quarterback situations across the league from No. 1 to No. 32. For Pittsburgh, the situation ranks No. 24 overall, meaning the Steelers are in the bottom half of the league despite making significant additions to the position overall.
“This might be the most uncertain quarterback situation on this list,” Davenport writes upon slotting the Steelers in at No. 24. “The Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran Mitchell Trubisky in free agency to serve as a bridge starter, but his future became a lot shakier when the team used its first pick in the 2022 draft on the University of Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.
“Trubisky wasn’t as bad in Chicago as he was made out to be, winning 29 of his 50 starts. He’s the likely front-runner to start in Week 1 against the Bengals. But whoever does start should be on a short leash. It’s likely we’ll see at least two players start games in the Steel City in 2022.”
Though Davenport sees it as an uncertain group, I don’t think that’s the case overall. Sure, there’s a three-way quarterback competition between Trubisky, Pickett and Mason Rudolph, but there’s more certainty that it will be Trubisky as the starter on the road Week 1 against Cincinnati with Pickett as the backup than any other scenario available to the Steelers at the position.
Of course, Trubisky will get a chance to start for the Steelers, which is pretty clear based on the deal he signed in free agency. That said, it’s really only a one-year deal as there’s an easy out in the contract after one season with no guarantees after 2021, which lines up with the Steelers drafting Pickett in the first round.
Pickett is the future at the position, that much is certain. How long that future is will depend on his play overall, but that’s the certainty the Steelers have at the position, at least in the immediate future.
It was a bit puzzling to see Davenport rank the Steelers’ QB room behind the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Trevor Lawrence, C.J. Beathard, Jake Luton), and the Washington Commanders (Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Sam Howell), but to each their own.
Pittsburgh feels really good about its quarterback situation, and it should be. There’s depth, experience and upside, which is what you’re looking forward at the position after transitioning away from a future Hall of Famer.