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Pittsburgh Steelers Will Not Draft Quarterback in 2018

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You are going to hear it at some point between now and the NFL draft. Somebody is going to compare Josh Allen to Ben Roethlisberger. “They are both 6’5” they will say, completely ignoring the fact that Roethlisberger was a 65% career passer averaging 8.3 yards per attempt with 84 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.  For Josh Allen? A career 56% passer averaging 7.8 yards per attempt with 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions but sure they are both 6’5”.

Below is what their last seasons in school looked like. Keep in mind, Ben Roethlisberger was at Miami of Ohio, the players around him excuse cannot be used here for Josh Allen.

So, since these two players are both 6’5”, and that being one of the few similarities between the two, many are going to predict that the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to go all-in on Allen in the draft. Should the Steelers trade up for Josh Allen? Is he going to be there for their first round pick? He can learn from the man himself, they will say.

That is radio noise to kill time because some pundits do not watch enough prospects to have true draft discussions. Let’s address this one time, the Pittsburgh Steelers will not draft a quarterback in the 2018 NFL draft. It does not make any sense, would be a terrible decision and would go against everything the team has done in the past couple of seasons.

Go All-In on Ben Roethlisberger, not the next Ben Roethlisberger

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a rare time. They have a quarterback who automatically puts them in the top five to six teams when it comes to winning a Super Bowl. No one can deny that if Ben Roethlisberger gets hot for the right three weeks, that is all they need. They also just so happen to have a pretty decent roster. Some may tend to overrate the roster, though, it does have holes. The team has gone all-in and invested heavily in the roster recently, especially last season after adding Vance McDonald and Joe Haden.

Investing a draft pick in a quarterback takes away from adding to a team that has holes but is ready to compete. Doing it in the first round is devastating. Do you not think T.J. Watt had an impact this season? He was the 30th pick, the Steelers can find a player to help them in 2018 from the first round.

“The Kansas City Chiefs did it just last year”

They will say. The Kansas City Chiefs won less regular season games and as many playoff games as the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Buffalo Bills, a team that also went 0-1 in the playoffs traded back from the Patrick Mahomes pick and wound up with Tre’Davious White and a future first-round pick. The Kansas City Chiefs resorted to signing a fully retired Darrelle Revis because of their lack of cornerback depth. Tre’Davious White got votes for Defensive Rookie of the Year at cornerback. Had the Chiefs been all-in like the Steelers are he could have helped a team ready to compete take the next step. Instead, he helped a team everyone doubted exceed expectations.

The Steelers are not trying to trade Ben Roethlisberger in a way the Chiefs were to Alex Smith. Ben Roethlisberger is signed for the next two seasons. The Steelers would be much better off saving first round picks over the next two seasons and adding impact players who will help the team attempt to win a Super Bowl.

But they drafted a quarterback last year

Ben Roethlisberger said he was contemplating retirement last season. Todd Haley did not have his contract renewed this season and Roethlisberger now wants to sign an extension. These things are as correlated as they look.

Timetable

Still, taking a quarterback last season was a smart idea. First, Mike Tomlin called it a process from the very start saying he learned traits to study and differentiate quarterbacks. On top of that, Landry Jones is signed on for one more season.

Joshua Dobbs was a fourth round pick. Dobbs has potential, but his best bet is to end up in the NFL as a long-term backup. With two full seasons as a third-string quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones, he can be ready to slide into the backup role.

When Jones leaves after 2018, the Steelers will again have a chance to look at the quarterback situation. With such an ample opportunity to look long and hard at the 2019 class, while letting the natural contracts and progression of Dobbs and Jones play out, why not go that route? That is the route that appears to be what the team has been shooting for all along anyways.

2019 can feature Roethlisberger, Dobbs, and a rookie. Let’s remember, Roethlisberger said he wants to sign an extension. Either way, If Roethlisberger does retire after the 2019 season, the year his contract expires, Dobbs will be entering the fourth year of his rookie-scale deal. The 2019 draft pick will have finished his rookie season. The Steelers will have cap space and they will have a good grasp of what the room looks like as a whole. What are they pushing the panic button and selling the farm for a quarterback for again? Is there a single good reason behind this idea? Anyone? Buehler?

The Steelers need a quarterback at some point over the next five seasons. This is true. Josh Allen will not start next season. Also true. Roethlisberger and Allen are both tall. That is not enough to put the two together into this bizarre fit of Allen learning behind Roethlisberger. Drafting Josh Allen, or any quarterback in 2018 would be a bad idea and would go against a plan that the Steelers likely have been laying out for a while. It does not make sense and should not be a discussion during draft season.

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