We are not far removed from the 2021 NFL Draft, so that means there is no better time to look ahead at 2022 prospects than right now. When it comes to those prospects and future needs of the Pittsburgh Steelers, one position stands up above the rest, Quarterback. Whether Ben Roethlisberger hangs ‘em up or comes back for another year, the Steelers should look for their future gunslinger in 2022.
To determine the Steelers’ pick I decided to be tough on this team. Factoring in one of the league’s toughest schedules, but an improved roster, we will just say they will repeat this season with a wild card loss, but as a road team. For arguments sake, let’s say they will pick 20th. With that determined, let’s look at some of the quarterbacks they should have on their radar.
1. Sam Howell - North Carolina
2. Kedon Slovis - Southern California
3. Spencer Rattler - Oklahoma
4. Desmond Ridder - Cincinnati
5. Tyler Shough - Texas Tech
A rough outlook on this group is simple. They are nowhere near as good as the 2021 quarterback class, and, for the most part, vastly undersized. That will not stop the top three names on the list from being long gone when it is the Steelers’ turn to pick. The good thing for the Steelers is that, in my opinion, Ridder and Shough are the best fits for this team.
The pick between the two comes down to mobile senior from a small conference, or a pocket passer junior who will have played in both the Pac-12 & Big-12. Despite Cincinnati being closer, I think the Steelers land on the Shough after a year in a Texas Tech offense that will unleash his arm talent.
Shough is 6’5” and will likely weigh in around 225-230 pounds by the time the combine rolls around. He has all the physical attributes of surviving as an AFC North quarterback, and could be sought after by Steelers offensive coordinator, Matt Canada. Convincing Ben Roethlisberger to be his mentor for a year would be ideal, but worry not as Mason Rudolph’s one year extension could make him the perfect transitionary piece between Ben and Tyler Shough.
Here’s what a few draft sites view Tyler Shough:
YardBarker/Seth Trachtman “Following in the footsteps of Justin Herbert at Oregon, Shough had an up-and-down sophomore season with 1,559 yards passing and 13 touchdowns in seven games in 2020. A more pass-friendly offense after transferring to Texas Tech has a chance to push Shough up draft boards with a better year.”
WalterFootball “Tyler Shough (6-5, 215) took over for Justin Herbert in 2020. He has great potential and is a feisty competitor. He has a great mix of arm strength, size and athleticism. He has since moved to Texas Tech as a graduate transfer.”
College Football New “With his size, arm, and mobility, he’s one great season away from possibly being No. 1 on this list. The 6-5, 220-pounder was a huge recruit for Oregon as the next great Duck QB after Justin Herbert moved on. He got his shot last year, but was just okay hitting 64% of his throws with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions with 271 rushing yards and two scores in seven games. He led the team to the Pac-12 title, though. Now he gets to operate the Matt Wells offense at Texas Tech.”
But what do you think? Who will be the Steelers number 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.