The Steelers show few cards regarding their predraft strategy, but they’ve been pretty clear that quarterback and tight end are not high on their radar screens heading into the 2011 NFL draft.
There’s some justification for that.
While some teams are content to back up their starters with no-names the Steelers follow a different path which yielded dividends in 2010.
Barring injury or more off the field indiscretion, the Steelers brass will not seek a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger via the draft for the foreseeable future.
Behind Ben you have Charlie Batch, Bryon Leftwich, and Dennis Dixon, all of whom took snaps in 2010. While Dixon could be a potential free agency defection, depending on the CBA/lockout situation, the Steelers figure to enter 2011 having too much depth at quarterback. A good problem to have.
- Draft Priority of Quarterback for the Steelers in 2011: Nill.
Statistically Health Miller might have taken a step back in 2010, but don’t be fooled. Miller is one of the NFL’s best kept secrets, and his blocking ability is under estimated.
For a couple of years Matt Spaeth didn’t do much, except catch balls on the rare occasions they were thrown to him, and frequently those ended up being touchdowns. The coaches seemed to be willing to call his number more in 2010 and, as his performance in the Jet’s regular season game indicates, Spaeth didn’t quiet step up.
David Johnson on the other had, did make strides, although those seem to be widely ignored or discounted. He made his impact felt with his blocking and he stepped up and caught the ball on a few occasions when counted (like in the second Baltimore game.)
- Draft Priority of Tight End for the Steelers in 2011: Low to moderate.