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Steelers Land At 14 In End-Of-Season NFL Power Rankings Despite QB Uncertainty


This time of year, with the 2023 season in the rearview mirror, it is easy for fans to begin talking themselves into bigger and better things for the next season. Many of the big issues that plagued teams in 2023 are minimized and the hope that the NFL draft and free agency bring stands front and center.’s Eric Edholm released his final power rankings of the season and has the Pittsburgh Steelers right where they finished the year: ranked 14th in the NFL.

Narrowly sneaking into the playoffs with some outside help, the Steelers were the final playoff spot decided. They faced the Buffalo Bills on the road and lost 31-17, in a similar fashion to their last few one-and-done playoff appearances. Their ranking at 14th on this list feels a bit generous, given that Edholm focuses most of the blurb on the uncertainty at the quarterback position.

“Kenny Pickett will be back, and I suspect he’ll have every chance to win back his job,” Edholm writes. “But could a rookie be in play to compete with Pickett? Will free-agent-to-be Mason Rudolph be dueling him for that spot? Or could the Steelers hedge a bit and go the veteran route with a different option…There feels like no clean, easy path to take here.”

Our Dave Bryan wrote about why it is unrealistic to expect a trade for someone like Justin Fields. The NFL Network insiders reported that Rudolph is expected to seek a “fresh start” as a free agent, and, of course Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers mutually parted ways on Monday afternoon.

Omar Khan and the Steelers have their work cut out for them to fill out the roster with enough quarterbacks to carry into training camp. They typically like to have four.

One obvious option is QB Ryan Tannehill. He is turning 36 before next season and played the best two seasons of his career under new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Tennessee. He won’t break the bank at his age and given his recent production as a starter. He would make a great addition to the room as he knows what it takes to be successful in Smith’s offensive system and could help Pickett with that transition.

Beyond that, the Steelers may look to the draft for another quarterback. Even if it’s in the later rounds like when they drafted Chris Oladokun in the seventh round of the 2022 draft. They could sign QB Trace McSorley, who spent time on their practice squad late last season, to a futures contract to help round out the group. Of course they could go another route and make a much bigger splash, but all the words of Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney II following the season made it seem like Pickett will get the first shot at starting once again in 2024.

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