Ben Roethlisberger will turn 40 next offseason and if this year isn't his final year, it's obvious that there isn't much left in the tank. A former five-star recruit and USC transfer, Daniels threw for 1,231 yards, 10 touchdowns to only two interceptions in his four games for the Bulldogs in 2020.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a few different options behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the moment, including Joshua Dobbs, Mason Rudolph and former first-round selection Dwayne Haskins, who was let go by Washington last season. Still, given how Roethlisberger's season ended in 2020, you might think that finding the true quarterback of the future will be atop the list of to-dos for the Steelers in 2022.
Could Desmond Ridder be the answer? Before announcing his decision to return to Cincinnati for his senior season, Ridder was getting some buzz as perhaps a quarterback to crash the top tier in the 2021 NFL draft. He has been a mainstay in the Bearcats' offense the past few seasons and posted career-high marks in completion percentage (66.2%) and NCAA Passing Efficiency (152.9) last season.
Slovis had an up and down sophomore year after an outstanding true freshman campaign. He doesn't quite have the arm of some others in this class, but he's been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the class for two years running.
Another QB! We just watched five go in the first 15 picks last week, and now we could see as many go in the first half of Day 1 again. Pittsburgh has Ben Roethlisberger back for one more season (2022 is a void year on his contract), so it should absolutely be in the QB market at the draft. Ridder has done a little bit of everything at Cincinnati, throwing for at least 2,100 yards and 18 TDs in three straight seasons. And the 6-foot-4 redshirt senior averaged 6 yards per carry and scored 12 times on the ground in 2020.
After the Steelers failed to address offensive tackle in the draft, I doubt Ben Roethlisberger has much longer. If you're looking for a quarterback with breakout potential like Joe Burrow or Mac Jones, it's Daniels in his first full season as Bulldogs starter.
Another quarterback who can put himself in the first round discussion with continued development, Jurkovec is a well-built competitor with better mobility than expected -- similar to a current Pittsburgh quarterback. Scouts are eager to see the development of this Notre Dame transfer.
Elam has the size (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) and athleticism to be considered among the up-and-comers to watch. He had two picks and 11 pass breakups last season playing opposite Marco Wilson, a 2021 fourth-round pick of the Cardinals.
Many expected Ridder to declare and be a top-100 pick in the 2021 class. Ridder instead chose to return to a loaded Cincinnati program, where he hopes to improve his stock by ironing out some of his ball placement and errant decision making. Ridder has good size, excellent rushing ability, and a strong arm. All the tools for success are there -- Ridder just needs to make use of them in a smart, consistent way.