Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s response to the team’s decision to draft Mason Rudolph in the third round drew attention on Tuesday, particularly when Roethlisberger said he plans to play 3-5 more years after musing about retirement not so long ago.
Between last year’s trade request and reports just before the draft of a possible trade, Roethlisberger may have been the only one caught off guard when the Steelers shipped Bryant to Oakland. Roethlisberger said he’s heard comparisons between Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who made a strong impact as a rookie in 2017.
If those comparisons continue, the Steelers offense should be in fine shape.
“We had another team which is going to surprise you. Another team had said, ‘You may get a big surprise on draft day, at No. 2, if he’s available.’ And it was the Patriots,” Mills said. “They had 23 and they had 31 and they had two seconds. We thought, ‘That’s gonna be a heck of a move, to get up that high from where they are.’ And of course he wasn’t available so we never knew if that was reality or not.”
There was talk before the draft of the Patriots trading up for a quarterback, but trading all the way up to No. 2 would have been incredibly hard to pull off. Given that Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman scoffed at trading down from No. 2, he surely would have demanded even more than the Patriots’ two first-round picks and two second-round picks. Would Bill Belichick, who has traditionally preferred trading down over trading up, really have pulled the trigger on a trade like that?
Then there’s the question of how Brady would have reacted: He’s already refusing to say if he feels the Patriots appreciate him. How would he feel if the Patriots used a bounty of draft picks to take the next franchise quarterback, rather than using those picks on players who can help Brady win another Super Bowl this season?