After Ben Roethlisberger went down early during the 2019 season, it became clear that the Pittsburgh Steelers needed to find a long-term answer at quarterback. Now with the 2020 NFL Draft approaching, many around the NFL reportedly expect the Steelers to draft a quarterback in the second round.
According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, scouts and NFL sources around the league expect the Steelers to select a quarterback for the future in the second round. Even with Roethlisberger making progress from elbow surgery and expected to be healthy for the 2020 season, Pittsburgh is reportedly making plans for its future.
The Steelers don’t have a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after trading it during the season for All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. As Pittsburgh’s offense struggled with Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph filling in for Roethlisberger, its defense kept the team in the playoff race for much of the year.
While the Steelers would benefit next season by drafting a running back or wide receiver, the front office could view it is better off preparing for the years ahead by taking a quarterback now.
Sitting at the No. 49 spot, the Steelers might have a shot at former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts. Considered to be a sleeper in the 2020 draft class, Hurts impressed teams at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine with his arm strength and growth as a passer. While the 21-year-old needs time to develop, he could be the perfect heir to replace Roethlisberger.
If Hurts is gone or Pittsburgh waits until the third round, Jacob Eason or Jake Fromm could be options. Eason offers more physical traits, but is considered a major project at the position. Fromm is more pro-ready, but doesn’t offer the upside of other quarterbacks in this class.