Buy Or Sell: Steelers’ No. 3 QB For 2023 Will Come Through Draft

With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to begin reloading, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade.

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense. Both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: The Steelers’ number three quarterback for 2023 will come through the draft.

Explanation: With only two quarterbacks currently on the roster and only one under contract beyond 2023, the Steelers must find another quarterback. By head coach Mike Tomlin’s own admission, he doesn’t yet know how that will happen.


While the Steelers are obviously not in the market for a top quarterback, they haven’t been ignoring the position altogether. Indeed, they are reportedly bringing in Clayton Tune out of Houston for either a workout or a pre-draft visit.

Pittsburgh used a seventh-round draft pick on Chris Oladokun last year when it already had three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster whom it was likely to carry. There’s every reason in the world to think that they would again use one of their late-round picks (once again, two in the seventh-round) on a quarterback, this time on one who actually has a chance of making the roster.

The thing is, while Mitch Trubisky might be happy to play out the 2023 season as a backup for $8 million, he’ll want another shot if he can find one in 2024. Pittsburgh isn’t going to keep paying him $8 million knowing he’s going to be a backup. They may be drafting for a third-stringer now, but ideally he’ll be somebody who develops into the next backup.


The Steelers certainly like to draft themselves some quarterbacks when the mood strikes, and it would not be unreasonable for them to do so this offseason, but there is plenty of reason to think that they won’t this time around. For starters, while they do have two seventh-round picks again as they did last year, the big difference is they don’t have a sixth. Or a fifth. So those seventh-round picks can’t be tossed away.

Pittsburgh has enough needs elsewhere to the point where it would make it an unwise use of resources to use a seventh-round pick on a quarterback, a stage at which you’re not likely to develop an eventual backup—Brock Purdys are rare. It would make much more sense to draft a slot cornerback or wide receiver in that spot, positions that are likely to have special teams value.

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