Well…the Big Ben era in Pittsburgh is over. Big Ben (though not confirmed) is set to retire at the end of the season. This means we are set to have a new quarterback for the Steelers for the first time in 18 long years. There are a lot of names that have been thrown out there, but I have confidence that I have ten names that could be fit for the job.
First, I’d like to give two honorable mentions;
Mason was drafted to be the replacement for Big Ben in 2018. It looked like to be a promising move as he looked like a mirror image of Ben. Sadly, it’s been a rough couple of years for Mason. He’s been okay, but he’s not Ben’s replacement. However, just because I think that doesn’t mean Tomlin or the Steelers think that. They probably believe he could easily replace Ben.
I want Haskins to be good in the NFL. When the Steelers signed him after he was cut by the WFT, I was ecstatic because we got him for less than nothing, and he was a first-round pick in the 2019 Draft. There is a lot of potential for him to succeed in this Matt Canada offense, but I have to see a lot more out of him if he is going to lead the Steelers out of the frying pan and into the fire. He has a better shot than Rudolph honestly, but he still gives me the shivers when talking about the Steelers’ future.
Now for the actual top ten. Are you ready people? Let’s do this thing!!!
It’s not a sexy pick I know, but it is something we can’t just ignore. Pittsburgh could theoretically trade for Matt Ryan as it seems that he is the last piece of a Falcons team that wants to move on. Now the organization claims that they and Arthur Smith want to keep Matt Ryan for the 2022 season. However, my argument is this; Jacksonville came out and said they wanted to keep Urban Meyer. Cleveland came out and said they wanted to keep OBJ. All things that are said cannot be trusted. Ryan is a veteran and has a little bit more mobility than Big Ben, but not by much. It’s probably the worst of all these options which makes sense of why it’s dead last.
Now here is the thing. Steeler fans are split between this decision to draft Sam Howell in the upcoming draft. Some argue he might be the best quarterback in the class, but there are other names out there that fans like more in this situation. His stats are not bad by any means though. He has thrown a total of 92 passing touchdowns coupled with 23 interceptions. The North Carolina prospect is only 6’1 though so height might come into factor here. He is an option though as he doesn’t seem to be riding the 1st day yet with other quarterback prospects being mentioned instead.
Corral was probably going to be the first quarterback off the board next to somebody else, but he got injured in his Bowl Game. Now his draft stock has gone down a peg or two which gives the Steelers an opportunity to maybe take him in the draft. His stats aren’t as pretty as Howell’s stats, but his rushing touchdowns are special. His rushing ability could thrive in a Matt Canada system. The injury might scare some people off, but honestly, I wouldn’t hate this pick here depending on where he falls. It also depends on the situation.
This would be the easy choice if we are able to draft a rookie. The Pittsburgh product stays in Pittsburgh plays quarterback for the Steelers. Here is the problem… Pickett is probably going to be taken high in the draft depending on how the draft falls. It wouldn’t be impossible for Pickett to land in Pittsburgh’s lap though. The question is would Pittsburgh take him though? Or would they want to roll with someone higher on the list?
Mariota is an interesting option. The former first-round pick really didn’t get a shot to succeed in Tennessee, and his tenure for the Raiders has been decent when he has been on the field. Now maybe I am being too much of a biased fan here, but I do believe Mariota could still cut it as a starter. He has had a hard time being a starter considering the Raiders have Derek Carr as their starter. Now with Mariota being a free agent, he should be able to take his talents elsewhere. Pittsburgh should scoop him up for dirt cheap money and he would be a great fit for Matt Canada’s offense.
The legal issues make him a lot lower than I’d like him on this list, but you have to figure that if he is able to return to the NFL, then he is at least facing a suspension that could be half or a whole season depending on what happens. If you are looking to Watson, then you have to accept the risks that come with it. Now some might think if he truly could fit as the Steelers’ franchise quarterback then being out for a half or a full season would be worth the risk if he is there long term. Overall, the kid has a lot of talent, but stuff is going to have to be figured out soon for this move to work or not.
Jimmy is technically still the starter for the 49ers, but they drafted Trey Lance for a reason. Garoppolo should finish out the season as the starter and then be traded to the Steelers. The contract might be an issue, but with the cap space increasing, we should be able to handle the loadout. Garoppolo is a veteran and can get the job done as you can tell with how well the 49ers are doing this season. The mobility comes into play, but honestly, I think he can get the job done for Pittsburgh if we trade for him.
Out of all of these, I personally believe this would be the best option for us as Jameis Winston makes his way onto my ranking. Winston signed a one-year deal with the Saints, and honestly, he did pretty well. He cut down his interceptions a lot, made fewer mistakes, and fit perfectly within Sean Payton’s system. Here is the thing people; Somehow I believe Sean Payton puts the big boy pants on and trades for a big-time quarterback. If that is the case, Winston wouldn’t be needed as Taysom Hill would still be there. The Steelers would be able to sign him for dirt cheap and have him be successful in their offense.
This is the dream scenario we all want to happen. The reality of it is though that if the Packers win the Super Bowl, then Rodgers could likely be done. However, if they are knocked out of the playoffs, Rodgers could call it quits and head out to somewhere else in the league. Sources say Denver would be a great option, but don’t count out the Steelers just yet in this sweepstakes. It would take a large portion of cap space, some names, and some picks, but Rodgers loves Tomlin and the city of Pittsburgh. Is his love strong enough to make this happen though?
If we get Winston it will be because Sean Payton has made a big-boy trade with the Seahawks to acquire Russell Wilson. However, there is a possibility that the Steelers could find their way into this deal with teams like the Saints, Broncos, and Giants starting to come out as favorites to land him. We would be willing to give up picks, players, and others to get Russell Wilson. He’s mobile, a great guy in the locker room, and has a massive deep ball arm which this team has been needing for a while now. He’s my favorite to land in Pittsburgh as unrealistic as it sounds, but I gotta have faith here.