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The Steelers brass of Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert was at the Cincinnati pro day on Thursday to see quarterback Desmond Ridder. It was the fourth straight day that Tomlin and Colbert were at pro days where the quarterback was the main attraction. Tomlin also took Ridder out for a steak dinner on Wednesday night.
With it being clear that the Steelers are doing their due diligence on this year's quarterback class, many are starting to believe that the Steelers will go with a QB in Round 1, even if it's not Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis. In fact, Chad Reuter of NFL.com thinks the Steelers will trade up to No. 12 with the Vikings and select Ridder.
"The Steelers make a move to secure their quarterback of the future by making a deal with the Vikings that's similar to what the Bears gave to the Giants last year, sending away their 2023 first-round pick and swapping Day 3 selections," Reute wrote. "Ridder has a tall pocket presence but also possesses the athleticism to make plays outside the pocket."
Reuter has Willis going to the Lions at No. 2 and the Falcons trading up to No. 3 to select Pickett in his mock draft, so they wouldn't even be in consideration for the Steelers. Ridder is a big strong-armed quarterback, but he's considered to be a second-round pick by most draft gurus. Trading up for Ridder and giving up a first-round pick in 2023 would honestly make no sense whatsoever, especially when next year's quarterback class is projected to have a lot more talent.
Willis is the only quarterback in this year's class that's worth trading up for, as he has the most upside. If Willis is gone, the Steelers just need to ride it out with Mitch Trubisky for a year and wait until 2023 to get Ben Roethlisberger's true heir apparent. The Steelers must avoid drafting a quarterback just for the sake of doing so. They have a ton of needs elsewhere -- defensive line, offensive line, wide receiver, cornerback, inside linebacker and possibly strong safety if they don't re-sign Terrell Edmunds.