One of the biggest questions going into the 2021 offseason has been will the Pittsburgh Steelers draft a quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft? That has been one of the hottest topics around the National Media as of late. The Steelers did decide to bring back Ben Roethlisberger for one more year, but it is still unclear what the Steelers plan on doing in regards to the quarterback position going into the 2022 season.
I think if Ben Roethlisberger stays upright and does not get injured in 2021 that the Steelers will bring him back in 2022, but the uncertainty of the quarterback position makes it intriguing for the Steelers to look for their future quarterback in the upcoming NFL drafts. Going into the 2021 NFL draft the Steelers will need to offset a lot of key positions they lost during the 2021 NFL season which means they need as much draft capital as possible going into the draft.
If the Steelers were to trade up they would have to give top picks away just to get into the top 10 position, but PFF still feels the Steelers are one of three teams who could trade up for a quarterback.
Here is what Pro Football Focus says about the Steelers trading into the top 10 for a quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft:
"The Steelers have the longest odds on this list to move into the top 10 for a quarterback, given that the highest pick they have to offer in return in this year’s draft is 24th overall. There is a recent precedent for them making a big first-round jump, though. Pittsburgh moved up from 20th to 10th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft to select Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, giving up an additional second-and third-round pick in the process. The Steelers could, and should, make a similar leap if a quarterback they believe in falls within their range.
Fields could be that quarterback. CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo recently reported that Fields had the attention of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin at Ohio State’s pro day. The piece linked to a clip of Tomlin saying to Fields, “You know who we came to see!” Fields responded with, “Yes, sir.”
"Najee Harris has become the first-round darling of many Steelers fans. It’s not hard to see why. Pittsburgh’s rushing attack was non-existent last season, producing a league-low 3.6 yards per run play. The Steelers also lost their lead back James Conner to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency."
"While it’s easy to dispute the value of taking a running back like Harris in the first round, Pittsburgh’s offensive tackle group stands out as an area they should address early in the 2021 NFL Draft. Trading up for a quarterback would mean pushing those needs further down the priority list in a year the Steelers look to be making one last run at a Super Bowl behind Ben Roethlisberger, but it’s worth wondering how realistic an opportunity the team has to make that run."
"The defense still projects to be good, but it could easily see some regression following the loss of four starters. Pittsburgh’s offense ranked 27th in yards per play last season (5.0) and only got worse down the stretch. They’ll also have to replace three of five starting offensive linemen with no guarantees that Roethlisberger will be able to right the ship at 39 years old, not nearly as mobile as he once was. His 57.3 overall grade across his final five games of last season ranked 30th among 32 qualifying quarterbacks."
"There is also no guarantee Pittsburgh will have another opportunity at a quarterback of Fields’ caliber outside of the top five in upcoming years, should he be the one to slide. The Steelers will have to shell out big-time money to free agents such as T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick next offseason. Neither Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph nor Dwayne Haskins is under contract, and none of those three figure to be a strong starting option for 2022 and beyond."
"Pittsburgh could go the Day 2 route again — as they did with Rudolph in 2018 — on a quarterback such as Kyle Trask or Kellen Mond. It’s just a lower percentage bet at the game’s most important position."