Photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens.
With the ankle injury and surgery to Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett this past Sunday, the Steelers wasted no time signing ex-Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley to their practice squad. With Pickett out 2-4 weeks, the Steelers now have Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Trace McSorley at their services.
McSorley had a very successful career at Penn State and had back-to-back years of 3,500 yards passing in his sophomore and junior years. He was 31-9 as a starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions.
Trace McSorley was a 6th round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2019 NFL draft. He started his rookie season as the 3rd string quarterback behind Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III and made his debut in week 17 against Pittsburgh. His sole snap was a 1-yard quarterback draw.
In 2020, the Covid-19 season forced the Ravens and Steelers to play on a Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh and Trace McSorley entered the game in the 4th quarter after backup Robert Griffin III was injured. McSorley went 2-6 but threw his first NFL touchdown, a 70-yard pass to Marquise Brown. He also saw some action later in the 2020 campaign against the Browns.
McSorley was waived by the Ravens in 2021 and then signed to their practice squad, only to be signed away by the Arizona Cardinals in November. With Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy both injured, McSorley made his first start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 16 and finished the game 24-45 for 217 yards and 1 interception. The Cardinals lost 19-16 in overtime.
In 2023, he signed with the Patriots but was later cut and then signed with the Chicago Bears to their practice squad.
McSorley is only 6’0” and is not much of a pocket passer. He throws off the rollout accurately and is not afraid to take off and get yards on the ground. He is highly competitive and shows the kind of grit that could make him a fan favorite in Pittsburgh. He has a quick release and shows good anticipation throwing the ball to spots.
With his size, McSorley has had problems getting his passes batted down. He does not possess the arm strength to throw long or to squeeze passes into tight windows. His accuracy fails the further he tries to throw down the field.
Chances are that Trace McSorley will never see the field for the Pittsburgh Steelers and odds are it will take a Mitch Trubisky injury for him to even be added to the active roster.