The Pittsburgh Steelers could be drafting Ben Roethlisberger’s heir apparent in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With Ben Roethlisberger’s illustrious NFL career firmly in its twilight, it would serve the Pittsburgh Steelers to draft his eventual successor in the 2021 NFL Draft.
What is challenging for Pittsburgh is the Steelers are never terrible and therefore, do not have a great draft pick in most years. Pittsburgh has the No. 24 overall pick this spring. While the Steelers could go quarterback there, they will be reaching on the at-best No. 6-rated signal-caller in this draft class. With that in mind, they could still find value if they do trade back or take one later.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 dark horse quarterbacks to take in 2021 NFL Draft
QB Stanford Cardinal
A developmental quarterback with serious upside potential
If the Steelers want to wait until the third or fourth round to draft a potential successor to Roethlisberger under center, Pittsburgh can get a high-end developmental project in Davis Mills out of Stanford. Though he played sparingly during his four years with the Cardinal, Mills was a former five-star recruit coming out of Norcross, Georgia back in 2017. Mills can really spin it.
Though he only played in 16 games during his college career with Stanford, it is a tad misleading. He came to Palo Alto when K.J. Costello was still with the program. While he did beat out Costello for the starting job, thus, forcing him to transfer to Mississippi State ahead of last year, Mills only got to see the field in five games last year due to the Pac-12’s incredibly shortened COVID season.
In those 18 career games for Stanford, Mills completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Mills has the prototypical size most NFL teams would be looking for in a draft-eligible quarterback prospect. Arm talent is not going to be an issue for him playing in the harsh northern climate in which the Steelers play.
Overall, taking a chance on a guy like Mills in the third or fourth round makes sense for the Steelers. They are going to start and play Roethlisberger for at least another year or so. Mills would have time to develop before potentially seeing the field in 2022 or 2023. Though backups Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges have not been that great, Mills has considerably more upside.