NFL Draft 2022 Rumors: Steelers Doing 'Extensive' Scouting On Entire QB Class

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 09: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stands on the sideline in the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 9, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly doing an "extensive amount of work" to scout all of the top quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL draft class.

ESPN's Jordan Reid reported Friday the Steelers, who own the No. 20 pick, could "get aggressive and trade up" for a QB despite signing veteran Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year, $14.3 million contract in free agency.

Trubisky is far from a sure thing. He endured an up-and-down four-year stint with the Chicago Bears after being selected with the second pick in the 2017 draft. He finished that tenure with 64 touchdown passes and 37 interceptions across 51 games.

The 27-year-old UNC product spent last season serving as the backup to Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills, an experience he explained put him in a better position to succeed.

"Going to Buffalo really opened my eyes," Trubisky told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler in February. "After being in Chicago for four years, there was only one way I knew how to do things. [Being] in Buffalo and [having] a different way of doing things, you learn what's possible. It helped me get back to instinctual football and using my talents rather than overthinking."

Whether that translates into his becoming a franchise quarterback is hard to predict, however, so it's no surprise Pittsburgh is doing its due diligence on the draft's top signal-callers.

It's a group led by Liberty's Malik Willis, Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett and Ole Miss' Matt Corral. Other options include UNC's Sam Howell and Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder.

The Steelers can't guarantee any of those first three options will still be on the board at No. 20, so if their evaluation yields significant interest in any of them, a trade up may be necessary.

Pickett is the name that stands out most since he played college football at Pitt, so there's probably no pro team with access to more information about the 2021 ACC Player of the Year.

He's coming off a senior season with the Panthers in which he completed 67.2 percent of his throws for 4,319 yards with 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games. He also scored 20 rushing touchdowns across five seasons at Pitt.

The latest mock draft from the B/R Scouting Department has Pickett sliding to the second round, with the Steelers taking Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning at No. 20, but where the QBs will land is the toughest part to predict about this year's class.

Regardless, Pittsburgh is likely to come out of the draft with a quarterback prospect to begin developing behind Trubisky following the retirement of longtime starter Ben Roethlisberger.