2022 NFL Draft offers Steelers ‘long-term fix’ at QB, Bleacher report says
If there’s one thing that’s certain ahead of an uncertain offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s the quarterback position that will be talked about until nausea all offseason leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft.
Less than a week after the Steelers pulled out of the AFC playoffs in a blistering loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, ending the illustrious career of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers find themselves in a position tough to get ahead: lots of holes on a disappointing roster, and now the need to research and find the “next” guy at quarterback.
The good news is, at least in the opinion of one analyst, that the 2022 NFL Draft offers a long-term solution to this position, according to Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton. This solution ? Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati.
Desmond Ridder this season:
▪️ZERO rotation worthy of games
▪️On 73 attempts over 20 meters
The most in college football 👀 pic.twitter.com/1OrIkRtwlC
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 21, 2022
“The Steelers should explore all quarterback options this offseason, including Desmond Ridder,” Moton wrote. “Ridder has all the tools necessary to excel in the NFL. In Cincinnati, he threw for 10,239 yards, 87 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. The 6’4”, 215-pound flagger also rushed for 2,180 yards and 28 touchdowns. Although Ridder has a slender frame, he avoided serious injuries in college despite his willingness to pick up yards with his legs. In the pocket, he showed balance under pressure with the confidence to push the ball down.
“Ridder led Cincinnati to the college football playoffs with impressive performances throughout his senior season. The four-year-old starter will head to the pros with a ton of experience and a breakout campaign on his resume. As a rookie, the former Bearcat could push for the Steelers’ lead role under center.
Ridder is a guy who continues to generate buzz in draft circles as a potential franchise quarterback for the Steelers. He has all the tools that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talked about, including mobility, a really strong arm and the ability to throw off the platform and create something with his legs. when there is no play in the air with his arm.
Desmond Ridder has physical traits, but it’s his treatment that got me so high on his potential. Before and after the snap.
Watch this game from the EZ view. Ridder slips OL’s protection in the CB blitz. Tells the RB where their eyes should be. Then calmly hits the shot from the hole. pic.twitter.com/7GtBJKkeJd
—Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) January 5, 2022
That said, the quarterback class of the 2022 NFL Draft doesn’t appear to offer — at least for now — a true franchise cornerstone, though there are some intriguing prospects at the position in the class. repechage. That’s why it might be best not to overreact to the position from the Steelers’ perspective, but rather do it with Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and a cheap signing of a veteran free agency.
That would allow the Steelers to focus on other major holes on the roster, biding their time until the right quarterback shows up — whether through the NFL Draft, free agency, or a trade at the good time.
As we sit right now, even believing that one of the Class of 2022 QBs is the cornerstone of the franchise and offers long-term solutions is a mistake waiting to happen for any sufficiently gullible franchise. Ridder is definitely the best of the bunch, at least for me personally, but there are still some major showings there with the non-Power 5 QB.