QB From Kenny Pickett’s Draft Class Named Potential Trade Target for Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers logo

Getty The Pittsburgh Steelers could make Desmond Ridder a trade target

The Pittsburgh Steelers are just one of the many teams around the NFL who entered the 2024 offseason needing to figure out their quarterback situation.

The first round of the upcoming draft is expected to be loaded with picks at the position, but it still won’t be enough to address all of the needs around the league at QB.

One team that might not find their solution at QB through the draft is the Atlanta Falcons.

They own the draft’s eighth pick, which puts them out of range of the top few prospects, but could also be too early to grab the next best option.

Faced with that situation, the team could be looking for a veteran either through free agency or a trade. If they get one, it seems that could mean they’ll move on from the last QB they drafted.

According to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, Ian Rapoport, and Mike Garafolo, the Falcons could trade Desmond Ridder once they land their next QB.

“Once they acquire a new QB, potentially trading Ridder would be an option, as well. It might be a situation where a fresh start works for all parties.”

Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh believes that could make Ridder a trade target for the Steelers to back up Kenny Pickett.

Farabaugh said, “Smith will be bringing in a new scheme and playbook. Getting Pickett up to speed in the new offense will be the new coaching staff’s first and most important job. There isn’t going to be a lot of time for them to be spreading his efforts around. 

So it makes a lot of sense if the second quarterback is someone that is already familiar with Smith’s offensive scheme and playbook.”

Ridder’s Time With Arthur Smith

With Matt Ryan in decline, the Falcons entered the 2022 offseason knowing they needed to address their future at quarterback.

They did so by trading Ryan to the Colts for a third-round pick, signing Marcus Mariota, and then spending a different third rounder to draft Ridder.

The team spent most of that season with Mariota as their starter, but benched him with four weeks left in the year.

Ridder went 2-2 as the starter, earning himself a shot at the starting job for the 2023 season. He beat out Taylor Heinicke for the job, but struggled in his second year.

Ridder was benched at one point during a season where he had a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio and lost seven fumbles.

Still, his familiarity with Smith’s offense could make him a solid backup option that won’t cost the Steelers much.

Plenty of Options for the Steelers

Ridder is just the latest addition to the list of options for the Steelers.

Fellow former Smith QB’s Ryan Tannehill and Mariota both could be options in Pittsburgh.

Gardner Minshew will be a free agent after leading the Colts this past season. Jameis Winston’s time with the Saints could come to an end with his deal expiring.

Sam Darnold should get interest on the backup market after the way he finished his 2022 season.

Jacoby Brissett has been a dependable backup option for years.

Even Mac Jones’ name has come up as an option for the Steelers.

On top of all of those options, the Steelers can still go after upgrades like Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson.

The NFL.com article on QB situations around the league also reported that Mason Rudolph wants a fresh start elsewhere, which would mean one of these options will probably end up in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers just need to figure out which of the many choices is the right fit.

Read More