The 2014 NFL Draft is upon us yet still a few weeks away thanks to Czar Goodell´s decision to expand the off season into May (hey Rog, ever heard of “over exposure?”). The Steelers have been entertaining visitors on the South Side for weeks and now Steel Curtain Rising begins its look at the Steelers draft needs, beginning with quarterback.
A year ago Kevin Colbert turned a few heads by refusing to rule out the Steelers taking a quarterback in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Expect him to follow suit this year.
- Don´t expect the Steelers, however, to do anything of the sort.
Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger will be 32 this year which is still relatively young for a quarterback. And while injuries hampered his play in late 2011 and late 2012, Roethlisberger threw every pass for the Steelers in 2013, a feat not accomplished by any quarterback in Pittsburgh since 1952.
Barring a major injury, Roethlisberger should at least have 3 or 4 more years of prime play ahead of him. He could conceivably remain a viable Super Bowl quarterback for longer, although the cumulative impact of injuries could catch up with him.
- Still, until the Steelers see signs of Roethlisberger “Getting old” quarterback will remain a low priority for Pittsburgh in the NFL Draft.
So it will be in 2014.
Behind Roethlsiberger the Steelers have Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones, whom they took in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Gradkowski has never thrown pass in Pittsburgh, but his body of work has him pegged as a journeyman back up, someone how more fits the Mike Tomczak mold as opposed to the Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich mold.
Jones is a complete unknown. By all accounts he looked green in preseason last year, but the entire Steelers roster looked as bad in exhibition has they did during the first round games of the season. Having invested a premium pick in a quarterback in 2013, its unlikely the Steelers would do so again in 2014.
There’s no other way to break this down. Quarterback is the lowest of priorities for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.