Justin Fields is slowly falling down NFL mock boards. Could this be what the Steelers are dreaming of this offseason?
What’s going on with Justin Fields?
When the Ohio State quarterback announced he would forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft, many speculated he would be the second quarterback taken behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawerence.
That’s not to say that he still won’t be, but the race is getting tougher by the second.
More scouts are starting to fall in love with BYU’s Zach Wilson at QB2 — with some believing he could be QB1. Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance also are picking up steam, leaving Fields in the dirt.
Quarterbacks are a necessity in the NFL today. Without an established player under center, there is no telling what could transpire for teams, even those with the best rosters. And now more than ever, teams need to have a backup waiting in the wings that can lead them to victory.
Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill ring a bell?
All NFL Draft rumors are speculative as of now. Fields could be taken by the New York Jets with the No. 2 overall selection. He could fall out of the top 10 altogether.
If it’s the latter, it’s an ideal draft day dream scenario for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers would have to risk it all for Fields
The Steelers are in contract limbo with Ben Roethlisberger entering the offseason. His $41.25 million contract is vastly overpriced for a 39-year-old gunslinger coming off a rough finish to the season.
Pittsburgh started the season 11-0, yet lost four of their last five games and fell to the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card Round.
Jumping into the top 10 will be difficult for a team like the Steelers, who are set to pick No.24 in April’s draft. That would likely cost them first-round picks over the next two or three seasons to go along with several mid-round selections.
Pittsburgh can’t wait to land a quarterback at 24, either. They will have to move up into the top 15 at some point. However, moving up 10 spots instead of 15 likely costs a future first or several mid-round picks over the next few draft cycles.
Teams such as the Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings have established starters under center for the upcoming season. The New England Patriots would be salivating should the San Francisco 49ers pass on the former Buckeye with the No.12 pick.
Unfortunately, this would be blocked with the Steelers moving either one or two spots in front of them to land Fields.
Roethlisberger likely would be the starter Week 1, allowing Fields a year to adjust to NFL speed. From there, Pittsburgh would have to focus on rebuilding their offensive line, giving their new franchise quarterback the chance to be protected in the AFC North.
It’s a bold move for Kevin Colbert, but it has to be on his mind. If Fields fall continues on draft night, the Steelers can end it with one phone call.