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Should the Steelers draft a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Should Pittsburgh be looking for their next QB2 or QB3 in this year’s draft?

2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

With each Big Board article this spring, the BTSC crew will be publishing a second article complementary to that respective portion of the board. This week, we are going over the quarterback position and whether or not the Steelers will want to draft one in April.

If you have thoughts as to whether or not the Steelers should draft a quarterback this year, let us know in the comment section below. Let’s see what our resident draft analysts have to say.

Ryland B.: While it’s fair to say that Kenny Pickett hasn’t definitively proven himself to be a franchise QB yet, there’s no reason at all for Pittsburgh to be looking at another first round quarterback in this year’s draft. The narrative of Pittsburgh pulling a Cardinals-esque Rosen-to-Murray this offseason thankfully died as Pickett ended the year strong and the Steelers’ draft position fell.

That being said, don’t rule out the Steelers looking into the quarterback position this offseason. Behind Pickett the depth is uncertain as it looks like Mason Rudolph will be looking for greener pastures as a free agent and Mitch Trubisky’s future is up in the air. The Steelers could possibly cut him this offseason for cap savings or the veteran passer could request a release in search of a starting gig elsewhere. As a result, the Steelers could be looking to fill both reserve quarterback positions this offseason.

I hope Pittsburgh has at least one veteran mentor on the team to back up Kenny Pickett in 2023, whether that be through Trubisky sticking around another year or the team looking in the free agent market (a reunion with Josh Dobbs?) if both Trubisky and Rudolph leave town. Either way, that leaves the Steelers in need of a QB3, and a rookie late-rounder or UDFA prospect could certainly be an option.

I’ve always thought that there’s late-round value in quarterbacks who are proven winners but have low draft stock due to apparent athletic shortcomings (I was a big fan of Bailey Zappe last year), and I think both Max Duggan and Stetson Bennett would be intriguing in the seventh round or even undrafted free agency. Malik Cunningham, if he falls into the seventh, would be a great pick as well. He has excellent athletic upside and at the very least would be a great scout team quarterback.

Adam C.: After drafting Pickett in the first round last year, he has shown enough promise that I wouldn’t expect the Steelers to overly invest much into the position this off season. Mason Rudolph is likely not to return after hitting free agency, as he will probably go somewhere where he is at least number 2, or competing for the starting role. The Steelers can save $8 million by cutting Mitch Trubisky, so he may not return.

The Steelers like entering camp with at least 3 quarterbacks, and I’d expect one to come from the draft process, either a day 3 pick or a UDFA. With the success of late round quarterbacks last year, with Brock Purdy and Bailey Zappe, it seems like a smart investment to pick up a guy you like in the later rounds. You get a serviceable backup, on a cheap rookie deal, with the potential to develop further.

What results around the league have highlighted this year is you need a backup plan at QB. Who would’ve predicted at the beginning of the season that Jarred Stidham, Josh Dobbs, Skylar Thompson, Tyler Huntley, Trace McSorley, Nathan Peterman, Sam Howell, Sam Ehlinger, Brock Purdy and Joe Flacco would be starting quarterbacks in week 18. Either through injury or bad play from the starter, this demonstrates to me the clear need for a competent back up, and without Rudolph or Trubisky, a late round draft pick would be a sensible investment into the position.

John O.: The present circumstance at QB has Kenny as the starter, Mitch being a highly paid backup, and Mason in free agency. The Steelers typically prefer having three QBs on the roster. Hence, unless something unusual occurs, they should draft a QB in the later rounds. Fans have noted they should pick up Josh Dobbs. It’s unclear if he will even be available, and one would imagine Dobbs has higher priorities than holding a clipboard in Pittsburgh. Any third stringer should also be paid cheaply. There cannot be another $5 million third stringer like Mason last year. A late round draft pick will get only minimal compensation. That’s attractive.

The draft offers some intriguing talents or possible legit backup candidates like Haener, Bennett, or others. Assuming the personality traits of each check out, several could provide good late round value. The absence of round five and six picks for the Steelers is annoying, but perhaps a trade down in earlier rounds or a sell off of a 2024 selection could cure that. They’ll need someone at QB3 if they handle their roster traditionally. A cheap draftee could warrant a late round selection.

Do you think the Steelers should acquire a quarterback this offseason? If so, when and how should they do it? Let us know your thoughts by voting on the poll and commenting down below.


How should the Steelers acquire a new quarterback this season?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Round 1
    (17 votes)
  • 1%
    Rounds 2-3
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    Rounds 4-5
    (79 votes)
  • 47%
    Rounds 6-7
    (394 votes)
  • 14%
    UDFA contract
    (124 votes)
  • 19%
    Free agency
    (159 votes)
  • 5%
    Don’t draft/sign a quarterback
    (42 votes)
829 votes total Vote Now