Pittsburgh traded up to draft Mason Rudolph, the QB of Oklahoma State. The Steelers didn’t have a first round pick due to their own trade-down with Philadelphia in last year’s Draft but still managed to find an eventual replacement for Ben Roethlisberger and extend his playing career.

The “2022 nfl mock draft” is a prediction of what teams will be in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers took a big risk by taking a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger at No. 20 in this mock draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers Take Shocking Big Ben Replacement at No. 20 in CBS Sports Mock Draft

“Big” Ben Roethlisberger has started virtually every game for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the last 18 seasons. That will no longer be the case in Week 1 of the 2022 season. The Steelers will now have to find a new quarterback to lead the team into the future. Could this new quarterback be Desmond Ridder of the Cincinnati Bearcats? Josh Edwards, a CBS Sports NFL draft analyst, believes so.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to draft a quarterback.

#Steelers GM Kevin Colbert’s words are official: @TomPelissero says PIT has placed the original round tender (of $2.54M) on Dwayne Haskins. The Steelers QB room, so far, is two former 1st rounders, Haskins and Mitch Trubisky, and a guy they gave a 1st round grade, Mason Rudolph.

— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) March 15, 2022

When a pro football club selects a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft, the expectation is that the player will develop into a Super Bowl-caliber superstar capable of playing for the next two decades.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Miami (OH) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, they got just that.

Roethlisberger’s career has been marred by scandal and gaffes, but he’ll retire after the 2021 season as a sure Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s a six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl champion. In his career, he passed for 64,088 yards, 418 touchdowns, and 211 interceptions. The first two are good for fifth and eighth place in NFL history, respectively.

At quarterback, the Steelers will start veteran backup Mason Rudolph and first-round pick failures Mitchell Trubisky and Dwayne Haskins next season.

When it comes to first-round quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, there aren’t many to choose from. However, clubs who choose signal-callers early in the draft will be set for the next two decades if one of them hits big.

The Steelers have a shocking choice at No. 20 in a CBS Sports mock draft.

QB Desmond Ridder of the Cincinnati Bearcats could be a target of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2022 NFL Draft.

QB Desmond Ridder of the Cincinnati Bearcats could be a target of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Desmond Ridder | Getty Images/Dylan Buell

According to CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards’ newest mock NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers will choose the third quarterback in the first round at No. 20. That isn’t surprising in and of itself, but the player they choose is certainly out of the ordinary.

Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett are the consensus top two quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Matt Corral of Ole Miss, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, and North Carolina’s Sam Howell are all considered first-round quarterbacks, but only Corral (at No. 32) appears on Day 1 in most mock selections.

When the Steelers go on the clock, Edwards’ mock draft has Pickett (No. 6 to the Carolina Panthers) and Willis (No. 18 to the New Orleans Saints) off the board. The draft expert believes it won’t deter the Steelers from selecting Ridder with that choice.

The Steelers have shown interest in Ridder, as seen by head coach Mike Tomlin’s meal with him. Few mock drafters, though, have the confidence to place a divisive player like Ridder with any club in the first round.

So, if Edwards is correct and the Steelers do take a chance on the Bearcats quarterback in the first round, who do they get?

Desmond Ridder is the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bearcats.

According to GoBearcats.com, Desmond Ridder is a 6-foot-3, 211-pound quarterback who signed with the Cincinnati Bearcats as a three-star prospect out of Kentucky. He redshirted his first year on university before beginning his four-year career.

Ridder has an impressive collegiate résumé heading into the NFL draft. He is third all-time in collegiate football history with 44 victories as a starter. He’s also the quarterback that guided a non-Power Five school to the College Football Playoffs for the first time. Ridder passed for 10,239 yards, 87 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions. He also rushed for 2,180 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground.

Ridder has the production and stature (though he may be a little undersized right now) of a pro quarterback. Ridder’s game, though, has certain weaknesses that have NFL skill evaluators doubting if he’s worth a Day 1 choice.

While Ridder has shown to be effective when the chips are down, evaluators doubt the QB’s arm will hold up in the pros. NFL quarterbacks must be able to zip the ball over the field, particularly in cold-weather locales like Pittsburgh. The fact that Ben Roethlisberger won’t be allowed to do so in 2022 is one of the main reasons he’ll be watching the Steelers from home.

Ridder has “average arm strength,” “deep balls have a propensity to come up short,” “windup lowers overall release speed,” and “inconsistent accuracy on intermediate passes,” according to his official NFL.com scouting report. In summary, analysts believe Ridder lacks the physical ability to play at the next level as a top-tier quarterback.

All of this means the Steelers must decide whether to believe what they’ve seen on the field for Cincinnati or what they see when Ridder returns with shoulder pads or without them. On April 28, 2022, whatever option the Pittsburgh brain trust choose will debut at No. 20.

Sports Reference provided all stats.

Mock Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers, 3rd Round, 2022

The “is this big ben’s last season” is a question that has been asked for a while. The Pittsburgh Steelers took his replacement at No. 20 in the CBS Sports Mock Draft.

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