Five QB Targets for the Pittsburgh Steelers: Who Could Be Big Ben’s Heir?

Which QB should the Steelers Draft this year?

By: Adam Martin

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a bit of trouble given that they are currently $14m over spent on the cap. One area of trouble for them is at the QB position. They have a potential hall of fame QB in Ben Roethlisberger taking up a huge chunk of money. Also, the Steelers have Dwayne Haskins who has had trouble over the last year both on and off the field. With that in mind here are some draftees that could be potential QB targets for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Trey Lance

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be picking at number 24 in the 2021 draft and have picks in all seven rounds. They might be able to trade up but they wont be able to make it high enough to take Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields or Zack Wilson. Therefore the first potential target is Trey Lance who played for North Dakota State.

Lance is difficult to grade as he only played one game in the 2020 season. However, you can see what he did in 2019 and can only be impressed with him. He had a 67% pass completion rate with 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns. Also, he did not throw a single interception that year. On top of that, he ran for an extra 1,100 yards and fourteen touchdowns. He has a great skill set with superb arm strength, a good size, and was calm in the pocket.

He does need development mainly due to missing the majority of 2020 but sitting behind an established QB is a good move. He is projected to go in the first round but he will probably fall to the back end of it. If the Steelers can restructure Big Ben’s contract and bring the cap space deficit down then this could work. Having that year sitting behind Roethlisberger would do wonders for Lance but it will cost a first round pick.

Mac Jones

Mac Jones spent his college years at Alabama and showed that he has the potential to be an NFL player. He didn’t get to play much in 2019 due to the team having Tua Tagovailoa at QB. However, he did show some good moments and he took his chance in 2020.

Jones beat some decent teams last year, including Florida, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and LSU. His passing stats were very impressive this year passing for 4,500 yards and 45 touchdowns. On top of that he had a 77.4% pass completion rate. Although this might not be on a level with Joe Burrow from last year it shows potential.

He has shown that he has good arm strength, is very accurate and has good decision making skills. The only downsides is that Alabama was stacked with talent so you would be concerned if he couldn’t be successful there. Also, he does not run much but that might be a reason why he would make an ideal replacement for Big Ben. He is projected to go in the second round of the draft and so would be cheaper than Trey Lance would be for the Steelers.

Kyle Trask

Kyle Trask has had a successful college career in Florida especially in 2020. Not only did he lead his team to big wins against Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Tennessee but they beat Georgia as well. In that win, he showed how talented he was passing for almost 500 yards.

He also did very well against Alabama in the SEC Championship game throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Also, he rushed for a further two touchdowns to get to the Cotton Bowl. Unfortunately, he struggled in that game but he was missing his top three receivers and tight end Kyle Pitts.

Trask has shown that he has great pocket passing ability and is accurate with a 68.9% pass completion rate in 2020. He also passed for 4,283 yards and 43 touchdowns showing he had good vision and decision making. However, he did thrown eight interceptions and his biggest weakness is his lack of mobility.

Trask is projected to go between rounds two and four so wouldn’t cost the Steelers an expensive pick. Also, the Steelers are used to a QB that has mobility issues and are set up to deal with that. Trask looks like a quality option who could sit behind Big Ben and then take over in 2022 for a cheap price.

Kallen Mond

Kallen Mond has been projected to be drafted between rounds three and five this year. He showed in 2019 that he had potential but couldn’t be consistent enough. He passed for 2,897 yards and 20 touchdowns but also threw nine interceptions. He only had a 62% pass completion rate but he did rush for 500 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2020 he showed that he had improved as his pass completion percentage increased and he had more touchdowns per games played.

The main reason Mond is going to be taken later in the draft is his inconsistency. He lead the Aggies to a massive win over Florida but then struggled against Alabama and Vanderbilt. He does have attributes that do make him appealing to NFL teams though. He has a strong arm and decent size but his main strength is his athleticism and has been compared to young Colin Kaepernick.

Kallen Mond has tons of potential and comes at a much cheaper price if you take him in the fourth or fifth round. However, he is not ready to be a starter in the NFL and will need time to sit behind an experienced QB. Pittsburgh could work purely because they can give him the time to sit behind Big Ben and learn his trade.

Jamie Newman

Jamie Newman is another QB who is projected to be drafted around rounds three to five. He decided to prepare for the draft and didn’t suit up in 2020 but he showed he had ability in 2019. He had a 61% pass completion rate and passed for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2019. Also, he rushed for 464 yards and six touchdowns. He did throw eleven interceptions but he showed a ton of upside that year.

Obviously it is tough to work out exactly where Newman will go in the draft but he will be a cheaper price after missing last year. He does have all the ingredients to make it in the NFL but he needs to sit behind a QB for at least a year to develop. Pittsburgh have the time to let this happen and so he might be worth a punt at a smaller price.

Verdict : All of these guys have potential and could make it into the NFL as a starter at some point. Much depends on when the Steelers are going to move on from Roethlisberger. If Big Ben doesn’t sign up for this year then Trey Lance or Mac Jones are the way forward. If he decides to give it one more year then they have the ability to sit someone behind him for a year a go for a cheaper option like Trask or Newman.

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