The Steelers have quite the conundrum for the first time in nearly 20 years: who do they start at quarterback? Ben Roethlisberger manned the position and was penciled in as the starter each season for two decades. Now that he’s retired, the Steelers have a decision to make with three potential starters at the position. Will it be free agent acquisition Mitch Trubisky or first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett? Could Steelers veteran Mason Rudolph shock everyone and win the job? Steelers beat reporter, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, thinks the answers are quite clear barring something drastic.
I think the plan is, and I don’t think there is any question about this unless something would dictate otherwise including injury, I think Mitch Trubisky will go into the regular season as the starter. NFL teams don’t draft quarterbacks No. 1 to have them be the third quarterback and a gameday scratch. I expect Kenny Pickett to be the guy who dresses on gameday [as the primary backup].
Dulac’s inferences came on 105.7 The Fan out of Baltimore. Again, no one for sure knows yet, especially because we aren’t even to the month of July yet. As he mentioned as well, you never get a full grip on these sort of competitions until contact is allowed in practices. The contact-less OTAs makes it hard to evaluate a newcomer like Pickett and how he handles the pocket when getting pressured.
These tidbits coincide with what everyone seems to think heading into training camp. While Pickett was selected in the first round, the Steelers don’t need to rush him. Trubisky, signed on a two-year, $14 million deal at the beginning of free agency, provides the perfect “bridge” guy until Pickett is ready. Because of that, Trubisky seems to be the frontrunner for the job, as of now. Once the season starts, he may have a short leash before Pickett is given a chance. As for the other guy, Mason Rudolph, Dulac mentioned his prospects as well.
Because he’s a five year veteran, I think they will treat Mason Rudolph with a little bit more respect than to keep him around as the third quarterback and a gameday scratch. I think they will probably try to move him, trade him, get something for him.
Does Steelers vet Rudolph have a chance?
Not only does Rudolph seem likely to be third on the depth chart, but moving on from him remains a possibility as well. It’s just a matter of finding the right team and fit for him in a deal before the regular season begins. Not that it matters, but moving Rudolph seems to be the wish of Steelers fans as well. After being selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Oklahoma State product has had an underwhelming professional career.
It’s unclear as to just what kind of value he could bring, but it wouldn’t be anything more than a late-round draft pick. At this point, a change of scenery would be beneficial for both sides. While he’s not necessarily a starter, Rudolph is a decent backup in the NFL. Moving on from him would also allow rookie Chris Oladukon a chance at becoming the third-string for the near future, and beyond potentially. The seventh-round draft pick has immense size and could be a potentially impactful find by the Steelers organization.
Do you guys think Trubisky No. 1 and Pickett No. 2 ends up being the order heading into the regular season? If Rudolph gets traded, where would be a good fit for him? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below on the Steelers’ quarterback situation!