Steelers Send QB Coach to Scout Late-Round Quarterback

pittsburgh steelers nfl draft

Getty The Pittsburgh Steelers sent their QB coachto scout South Alabama's Carter Bradley

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made some big changes at the quarterback position this offseason.

They let Mitch Trubisky go as part of their first round of cuts for the year. Mason Rudolph left to be the backup for the Tennessee Titans. They traded Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Steelers will have no QBs returning from last year’s roster, but they’ve done a pretty good job of replacing them.

They signed Russell Wilson to be their starter and then traded for Justin Fields as a solid insurance plan.

That still leaves them with one spot on the depth chart to fill at the position.

Last year the spot was occupied by a veteran, but with so much veteran talent on the depth chart it seems the Steelers could be looking to fill that last spot with a rookie.

They’re already taking a look at one prospect at the position who should be available late in this year’s NFL Draft.

According to Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy, the Steelers sent their QB coach to scout South Alabama quarterback Carter Bradley at his Pro Day.

Bradley’s Breakout at South Alabama

It took a while for Bradley’s college football career to really get started.

He began at Toledo, but didn’t ever take over as their starting QB. In four seasons with the Rockets, Bradley never threw for 1000 yards and the most pass attempts he registered in a single season was 130.

That led him to transfer to South Alabama for his fifth year. He made an immediate impact for the Jaguars.

In his first season at South Alabama he threw for 3335 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading the Jaguars to a 10-3 record and a spot in the New Orleans Bowl. They had only won five games the year before his arrival.

His second season at South Alabama was another solid one. He brought his completion percentage up to 67.8% and threw five less interceptions while leading the team to another appearance in a bowl game.

Bradley wasn’t one of the players invited to the NFL Combine, but he impressed at his Pro Day.

He showed off plenty of athleticism and arm strength. That along with his size should make him an interesting option for a team looking to grab a QB they can try to develop late in the draft.

A Late Round QB Makes Sense for the Steelers

The Steelers are one of those teams that should be looking at QB options late in the draft who they think could have some potential.

Right now they’re set for the 2024 season.

They have not one, but two players that could start for them at QB and be an improvement over what they got out of the position in 2023.

It’s after 2024 where things get a bit murky.

Wilson is on a one-year deal and there has already been a report that the team isn’t expected to pick up Fields’ fifth-year option, which means he is also only locked in for 2024.

The team will likely extend one of them, but definitely not both.

That means that at best they’ll still be looking for a backup next year.

If things don’t go well this year, they could be looking for a whole new set of QBs.

The odds of finding a viable QB late in the draft are slim, but it seems to be happening more recently.

There’s obviously the huge outlier in Brock Purdy. However, he’s not the only one.

The Commanders got Sam Howell in the fifth round two years ago and he just threw for almost 4000 yards in his second season.

Tyson Bagent was undrafted and won the backup job in Chicago as a rookie.

Mike White has carved out a nice career for himself as a backup after being taken in round five.

Gardner Minshew was a fifth rounder and just signed a nice contract to start for the Raiders.

However 2024 plays out for the Steelers, they’re going to need options for their future at QB.

They might not find their answer at the back end of the draft, but they should at least take a shot at it and give themselves a chance to avoid repeating the mess they’ve been in the last two seasons.

They don’t necessarily have to start with Bradley, but they should definitely start looking at options for their future late in this draft.

At worst, they waste a late round pick that is essentially a dart throw anyway. If it works out, maybe they find somebody that could compete for their starting job in the future or a dependable backup they keep around for a while.

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