Would The Steelers Really Draft A QB In The First Round?

By Jeremy Hritz

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-6, something that very few anticipated, as teams with franchise quarterbacks rarely experience such pathetic seasons.

Whether it was forecasted or not, the reality is that 2013 has become a nightmare with no relief in sight, and the only solace fans can find is in prognosticating the potential draft position of the Steelers in 2014 and which position they will most likely address.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote early on Wednesday morning that despite the abhorrent first half of the season, the Steelers organization is not concerned with drafting position this year and that their focus still is to win as many games as possible.

While this is the mindset of the organization and understandably so, several fans and many in the media have taken to thinking ahead.

With that in mind, and upon examining the Steelers remaining eight games, if the Steelers continue to play the way that they have, a top ten pick is a minimum guarantee, and if they happen to land in that drafting terrain, they will be in the position to obtain a high quality player.

The key question will be which position will the Steelers address if they do in fact kick off the 2014 season with a top ten draft pick?

Looking a Mel Kiper’s current top 15 collegiate players on his draft big board, the positions are represented as follows:

PositionForecasted Players in Top 15
Linebackers4
Quarterback2
Defensive End2
Offensive Tackle2
Wide Receiver2
Defensive Tackle1
Cornerback1
Tight End1

While it is extremely early to begin analyzing the upcoming draft, it is interesting to consider which position the Steelers will address being that their current level of play indicates a variety of needs, and depending on which position they do select, it will say a great deal about the direction the team is moving.

There has been a significant amount of discussion that the Steelers are likely to select a quality tackle early next year, and the names Jake Matthews from Texas A&M and Taylor Lewan from Michigan are the two current most promising names. However, considering the lack of success the Steelers have seen from their early picks spent on tackles Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams, you have to wonder whether or not they would be willing to retry on a tackle. This could potentially be a position that the Steelers address through free agency.

Underlying the selection of a tackle early in the draft would be a surefire sign that the Steelers organization will be committing to Ben Roethlisberger until he decides to retire and not planning to draft and groom his heir apparent.

But a question that has shuffled through some Pittsburgh media spots is the possibility of the Steelers selecting a quarterback in the first round next year should they be in a position to land a once-in-a-lifetime talent at the position.

Say for instance that the Steelers select third or fourth overall in 2014 and either Teddy Bridgewater or Marcus Mariota are available, the Steelers would then be presented with a unique decision. Would the Steelers trade away such a pick to obtain more selections, or would they show a long-term commitment to the future by drafting one of the top-rated signal callers?

While more than likely the Steelers will be Roethlisberger-led again in 2014, these types of scenarios will grow more legs if the losing continues.

These final eight games will set up the narrative that will make for one hell of an offseason.

Right now, it’s the most exciting thing Steelers fans have to look forward to.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    This will hinge on the contract extension talks with Roethlisberger after the season before the new year starts. I think the Steelers will hold a hard line and not give him an outrageous contract. (The higher their draft pick, the more leverage they have in the negotiations.) If they can’t agree to an extension, I think they will look hard at one of the QBs. If they can work something out with Ben, then they will look to take another run with him as the centerpiece.

  • steeltown

    No

  • cencalsteeler

    It’s really quite simple. You need to look at a players career like a pyramid or a triangle. Is this player you are analyzing (Ben, Troy, Ike, Clark, Kiesel, etc.) on the front side of the pyramid? Is their skill set improving, getting better as they continue to improve and make positive contributions towards the peak of the pyramid. Or have they peaked, and you see their play diminish and slow down. More mistakes, injuries and less positive contributions to the team and their respected positions. We all need to take off our jerseys and ask these questions in a non-biased way, because the answer is right there in front of us every Sunday afternoon and in the stat columns on Monday.

  • 2443scott

    are to many needs on both sides of the ball ..ben will be better then 25 other qbs next year and maybe a year after that as well steelers already drafted a qb last year …so i think useing a pick on a qb would be a wasted pick unless at there pick the guy would be a long term qb not just a hope and see 2 or 3 year one …right and left tackles are whats needed …draft one early then move down on next pick and get the second then a te next ..and then hit the defense side of the ball with rest the picks …

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Here’s my take. There will be plenty of time to draft a new franchise QB once Ben is gone. For now, you milk out every year he’s got left. He’s only 32 years old, and just last year he put up his best stats ever through the first 8 games.

  • dgh57

    NO! What’s the use in doing that with our porous OL like we have.

    LOL!!, unless of course, we draft a QB with good legs under him and in that case he may lead the NFL in rushing his 1st year!

    No, we draft a LT for Big Ben and his eventual replacement down the road.

  • Fritz Baughman

    Dude, it took the Steelers 21 years to draft a franchise QB after Bradshaw retired. Is that your definition of “plenty of time?”

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Every draft that is rich in QBs (like the one to come) makes everyone ask this question. If Ben were 34 or 35, I’d be asking it myself. Personally, I think Ben has a good 3-4 years left in him. Assuming the FO doesn’t have to pay Ben a Flacco-esque contract extension, I think the Steelers have bigger areas of concern. And considering the number of clubs that WILL be going hard after a QB (Browns, Jags, Cards, Vikings, maybe Bucs and Eagles), you use the panic in the room to acquire more picks. I want the Steelers to get a big-bodied WR to complement Brown and Wheaton (after Sanders likely departure). We obviously need help on the O-line (what else is new), we MUST look at drafting Heath’s long-term replacement now while he’s still around, and we’ll likely nab another safety.

  • steeltown

    Agreed

  • TheBlitz

    [Tomlin ON]

    NO!!

    [Tomlin OFF]

  • steeltown

    Yea the Steelers having an atrocious season doesn’t bode well for Ben and his hopeful extension..whether Ben’s to blame or not, the terms will be way different then they would had we won the AFCN or better

  • Jonathon Bert Schade

    d line please

  • Ike Evans

    Sooooo your short of talent in at least 4 positions and you choose to draft a position you actually have talent in….hmmmmm sounds like something they would do…..why not? They ignored OLINE AND SAFETY for so long….let’s keep ignoring the dline and the cornerback position now as well

  • steeltown

    touche

  • srdan

    Don’t forget that it takes two sides to sign a contract. Who is to say that Ben doesn’t take a look around the team and decide that playing with say Andre Johnson and that Oline is a better option for him.

  • srdan

    I agree with your pyramid scheme except for QBs and kickers. It is not necessarily a direct application as it would be on a DB or RB.

  • Matt Searls

    Wide receiver unless
    Mathews is on the board. We couldn’t pass up Sammy Watkins or mike Evans

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Draft best player available even if that best player is a QB then so be it. Otherwise trade back for multiple picks maybe work a deal with St. Louis or Cleveland for both of their 1st rounders if they want to move up assuming we have a higher pick than these two teams and a player they covet is there or projected to be there when we pick.

  • george

    The Steelers have 3 ROT, they only need a LOT

  • SumnerYoung

    While it is likely Bridgewater (JR) and Mariotta (R-So.) declare for the draft, it is not a certainty. And furthermore, drafting a QB that high does not guarantee success. See Tim Couch and Akili Smith. Also see Alex Smith and Sam Bradford, who have had some success but both were # 1 overall picks and thus need to be great players. EJ Manuel was drafted # 16 in 2013, and Geno Smith was drafted # 39 in 2013. I think it’s apparent that these two kids have potential, and they weren’t deemed “Top Ten” talent.
    With that being said, I have no problem with the Steelers selecting a developmental QB later in the draft, and this is why. If Big Ben is not extended, I can see a 1st or 2nd round QB taken in the 2015 draft. Then in the 2016 season–the first potentially without Ben–there will be a true QB competition between Landry Jones, and the 2014 late round pick, and the 2015 early round pick. The best QB of the three wins and is the new starter. I think in the 2014 draft, the Steelers have to go to other positions of need from rounds 1 through 5. If we have a shot at Jake Matthews, that would be my selection at pick # 1. Unless someone can predict Beachum or Adams dominating at LT the second half of the season.

  • george

    Ben is having an up and down almost average year. Also he has not seemed to commit or able to take advantage of the shorter throws and new quick release type offense. Some of Ben’s problems seem to be that the Steelers smaller WRs have trouble getting open against press type coverage and hauling in catches when coverage is tight. So I think the Steelers ought to, 1 – Give Ben what he has always wanted. A true / Big # 1 WR. Mike Evens A WR Ben feels confident throwing to even in tight coverage.
    2 – Then if the Steelers are able to score points first , earlier or more often in games it would also help the defense.
    3 – If that doesn’t make the Steelers Offense better in 2014 ? A true # 1 WR in 2014 would be a huge help to our new QB in 2015.

  • Bradys_Dad

    We need help at so many positions that it’s tough to determine the priority list. LT – yep. DE – yep. ILB – yep. CB – yep. S – yep. …. heck I don’t know where to start or stop. We need help just about everywhere. OK – aside from Suisham’s 2 miss game he’s proven to be a solid K. Am I the only one still scratching my head of the wasted (IMO) 4th round Landry pick? Seriously, there was no OL or DL body out there in the 4th round that would have been a more logical pick? This off-season is going to be infinitely more exciting (and probably frustrating) to watch than what’s left of this season. Don’t spend too much money on any of your favorite veteran’s jerseys for the holidays. A whole lot of them will be sold at huge mark-downs come April or May.

  • steeltown

    I would absolutely love a BIG bodied WR for this Team, but I am not sure we need to spend a TOP 10 pick on one

  • Mike Carroll

    I don’t see the team extending Ben after this season. Neither side is going to be interested in bargaining off this year. Much better for the team to eat his large cap hit and reconsider signing him in 2015/16 when his market price will be even lower than it is now. This plan will mean cutting some high priced vets who won’t productive in 2015/16, but they should be doing that anyways.

  • steeltown

    I think OLB is more of need than ILB, especially if Worilds isn’t retained

    Also, im on the other side of the fence with the Landry Jones pick, we needed to get younger at the position. Years and years of Charlie Batch and either the lowly Dixon or the statue Leftwich was getting tiresome. Even after bringing in Gradkowski we needed another (young) QB to groom because as we all know in Pittsburgh we need 3QBs. Landry had a great college career, his stats are eye popping. He needs to be groomed no doubt about it especially on the mental aspect like making secondary reads, but I think he has high value for a 4th Rd selection

  • Nolrog

    In fairness, they did spend 2 first round picks on the DL and 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks on the OL, so it’s not like they were ignoring it. Picking poorly, yes, but not ignoring them.

  • John

    WE NEED A STUD WR, a sure-fire OL player, or better DL player. We cannot afford to miss on this one. And, to be honest, it looks like we need multiple players so let’s not get our hopes up.
    If you take QB, you admit the Landry Jones pick was a complete waste. It was and it cost us a third rounder this year when we could have taken a better player with the trade slot last year or a third rounder this year. A bad decision, no doubt.

  • SumnerYoung

    Big Ben has taken a ton of big shots over the years, and he isn’t getting younger. What if Landry Jones beats out Gradkowski next year for the backup QB position. What if next year Big Ben gets injured. I’m not saying these are going to happen, but they definitely could. Landry Jones could be starting games at QB for the Steelers as early as next season.

  • Nolrog

    I don’t see the logic in picking a first round QB (much like I still struggle with the logic of Landry Jones.) The biggest need on the team offensively is a stud LT, and as much as I hate to pick yet another OL in the first round, it’s something that urgently needs to be addressed, whether that means a first round pick or a FA pick up. We cannot go into next year with a porous OL.

  • steeltown

    We traded to get Shamarko

  • dgh57

    The biggest part in winning games comes from being STRONG in the trenches on both sides of the ball. So if it so happens a LT like a Matthews or Lewan were sitting there you just about have to select them, not just for the sake of Ben but for eventual replacement down the road. Add the aforementioned names to a OL of Valasko(if resigned), Pouncey, and DeCastro you have a solid OL. In the 2nd rd. a NT would be nice because as it stands now we have the 31st ranked rush defense which is killing our pass defense and the combination leads to scores like vs. the Patriots!

  • george

    They need more than a Big bodied WR. The Steelers need a True # 1 to suit what Ben likes to do. I fear it is either that or trade Ben and get a new QB. Even with a good LOT, the type of OL the Steelers have assembled now is not big enough to keep Ben up right as long as he likes to hold the ball. At least with a true # 1 type receiver it would allow Ben to just heave the ball once in awhile and let the receiver make plays.

  • James Kling

    No need, we have Landry Jones!

    I don’t think we’re picking 1.3 or 1.4, maybe ~1.8-1.10. IMO, Bridgewater will be off, Jake Matthews will be off, and probably Mariota too. Lewan may be there, but I’m not convinced of the value of other QBs that high. Maybe the best value would be in getting a pro-ready playmaker like Sammy Watkins or a big-bodied playmaker like Mike Evans.

  • CW

    I’d say that depending on position and what is available when the Steelers draft either the team should trade back a few positions or draft a top wide receiver, a top left tackle, the best nose tackle, or the best defensive back.

  • chris ward

    Steelers don’t have a true LT on their roster at this point. Would like to see them draft a stud LT in the draft. A tall WR that can stretch the field would also be nice.

  • Dan

    I support Ben, but would not agree to extending his deal this year. He still has two years left after this year and giving him more signing bonus money will hurt our cap situation even if there is first year base salary relief. This offseason will include major changes so we will need 2014 to unfold and give us a better idea of the direction of our team and how we should steer 2015; whether that’s letting Ben be a FA in 2016 or how much we should offer. It would also be good to see if he can stay healthy two years in a row before we do the math.

  • treeher

    Lord knows we need a crapload of talent. I’d be salivating at one of those top 10 tackles and it would be hard to pass up. But the D has declined so precipitously, I’d have to look for another Big Snack to firm up the middle and a big, fast DB.

  • r4kolb

    Here is what they will do if they find a dance partner….I think we would agree there are so many areas of need that we need the picks more then we need a QB. The best scenario is trading down and getting more picks. As far as the O line goes other then left tackle (which is a BIG other) they have some potential. Keep Velasco and move either him or Pouncey to another O line position. DeCastro is a stud. Gilbert is serviceable, as is Foster. Beach has potential. Adams is your bench player. Heath still has a couple years left in the tank. Bell is your RB of the future. AB, Wheaton are your #1 and 2 receivers. The D is what’s losing them games now. To me that is where the greatest need is other then left tackle.

  • SumnerYoung

    You can’t have two serviceable o-tackles in the NFL. If Gilbert is serviceable, as you say, I think you need a very good to great player at the LT position. To further your final point on the defense; Keisel, Hood, Clark, Worilds are all in contract years, and Ike and Troy have one year left at big $$ cap hits. Is it possible that all six of these defensive players are gone next year. Probably not, but maybe four or five.

  • TheBlitz

    I’m with you on this.

    Regardless of what people think, I believe drafting a QB last year was a good idea. Now the round in which Landry Jones was selected is debatable. Would he have lasted a few more rounds if the Steelers really liked him ? Nobody knows.

    I saw some good throws from Landry during the 1st half of the last preseason game against the Panthers. One can only hope he builds up on that and turn out to be a good QB. He could very well play for us at some point. Nobody knows.

    Today Green Bay is glad they drafted Rodgers when they did while Favre was still playing. If Landry can learn behind Ben and contribute in a year or two I’m all for it. Drafting a QB and throwing him in the fire his 1st year isn’t always a recipe for success.

  • r4kolb

    Gilbert has graded out surprising well in some games according to PFF as has Foster. Not saying they are studs but they are good enough. Everyone needs a very good LT that’s why they are the highest paid on the O line for the most part. Guess the question is how many Stud LT’s are there really in the NFL? Not many I’d guess. We agree the D is where the need is most.

  • TheBlitz

    I agree with you that besides LT, our D is a big area of concern especially at the NT position.

    If you look at the NE game, they ran all over our D, which sets up the pass against a surgeon like Tom Brady. End result ? 55 points more than 600 yards

  • Cody Younkin

    Not sayin I support this but if they are going to do this, Tajh Boyd is the best option. Way more accurate than Bridgewater, who is quite inconsistent as well. He is also a proven leader and, I don’t trust a redshirt sophomore (Mariota, Hundley)

  • r4kolb

    Yup. Let us also not forget our D made Cassel and the 1 – 7 Vikings look like Champs.

  • greeny

    Exactly why you extend Ben. We would miss on a QB the way we have drafted recently.

  • Ike Evans

    Even before they drafted pouncey…..we were having oline problems since that championship year in 06. So for 3 years all you could muster Craig ubrik? Really? Now dline you have a point but they have to get a guy in this years draft……we used to draft needs like 3 years ahead….I feel like since 2008 we are just so behind the 8ball….except at receiver and qb

  • greeny

    Considering our success rate drafting recently is probably around 20 percent, we need to draft nothing but OL and CB. This way we are assured (hopefully) 1 OL and 1 CB will pan out.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Ben has a unique skill set unlike almost no other QB. He does possess very poor skill in reading defenses or he likes to hold the ball and wait to see if he can hit the big one. I have said this before but a QB after he takes his drop should release the ball, Ben rarely does this thus taking a lot of sacks and putting us back in down and distance. If Bridgewater is available I would not hesitate to draft him. Ben can still bring us a few first rounders in years to come plus a few other picks plus we would have a QB for the future. It isnt saying I am not thankful for what Ben does for us but if the future is in your face then we must pull the trigger.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    sad but true.

  • SumnerYoung

    Here’s something interesting to note: Notre Dame visits Pitt this weekend. 8:00 PM on ABC at Heinz Field. Louis Nix is predicted as the top 3-4 NT in the 2014 draft, a consensus top 15 pick. Stephon Tuitt is rated as one of the top 3-4 DE’s in the 2014 draft, a mid-first to high second round pick. These two should dominate Pitt’s o-line. If they don’t, I would have concerns. Needless to say, I will be watching them in this game.

  • r4kolb

    Something to think about though is after the way the D is stinking it up this year LeBeau may be retiring and Tomlin is a 4 – 3 guy.

  • SteveM2

    I like South Florida’s QB (plays Big Ben’s style, too), but I’m not sure about his draft status.

  • Tom

    The chances of them drafting a QB in the first round is equal to the chance of them drafting a punter in the first round. Strangely, no one discusses that possibility. I would suspect they will draft a left tackle, though that would not necessarily be my preference.

    My preference would be for them to release/not resign 15 million
    worth of salary at the safety positions and sign a proven LT on the free agent market.

    Seriously…..what other team in the NFL would even consider alloting 15 million dollars to the safety positions? Is there any team that is even close to that figure?

  • JohnnyV1

    OT’s and CB’s have the highest success rate than any other position, by far, in spots 1-10 of Round 1, which is where we’ll be selecting. So I disagree with the correlation of the Steelers’ recent failure with Rd 2 OT’s (Gilbert & Adams) and them being gun-shy about picking an OT in Rd 1 of 2014 NFL draft.

    And it’s not too early to think about the 2014 NFL draft. 2014 is our next glimmer of hope, since 2014 NFL free agency won’t help given the cap situation. This season is done.

  • joed32

    I don’t know, Andre will be 33 when they get to camp next year. The guy has been great but injured quite a a bit. He won’t be there much longer

  • SumnerYoung

    Plus, a lot of OT’s go in Round 1 overall, so by Round 2, the position is already watered down.

    To debate your other statement, I do think there is a glimmer of hope still within the current season though. And that is to see if any of the Steelers’ young players develop into good NFL caliber players. A lot can happen in eight games. A lot of good experience can be gained, and positive steps can be taken. What if Lev Bell explodes with a few 100 yard rushing games as he runs behind rising star RG Dave Decastro? What if Wheaton starts showing skills similar to Antonio Brown? What if Jarvis intercepts some passes in coverage and knocks a couple of QB’s out of the game with big blindside hits? I will be watching and hoping for these things in the remaining eight games.

  • SumnerYoung

    Yeah. The 3-4 and the 4-3 are both defenses capable of winning Super Bowls. The Steelers, Packers, and Ravens proved it recently with the 3-4. The Giants have proven it recently with the 4-3. The Steelers need more talent on D regardless of scheme. But I think considering this could be a 2-4 year rebuild, this offseason would be the time to switch to 4-3 if it’s going to happen.

  • JohnnyV1

    You’re absolutely right on the 2nd part. Seeing the development of the younger players is why I will be watching. And that’s why they need to sit some older guys who won’t be here next year.

  • SumnerYoung

    I think guys like Decastro, Shamarko, Lev Bell, Antonio B., and Heyward are already making positive steps toward being good NFL players. They need to keep developing and others need to join them. The Steelers need to determine who the next group of young core players is to build around. These five should definitely be a part of that discussion. Antonio already signed a nice contract so count him in.

  • Bell Cow

    Not true about the linemen. It takes tackles years to develop. There were 5 tackles selected in the 1st round in 2013, including 3 in the top 4 picks. Those picks haven’t paid any dividends yet for those teams. According to Pro Football Focus, No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher is rated 71st out of 73 tackles. 2nd overall pick Luke Joeckel (out for season) was rated 67th and 11th overall pick DJ Fluker is rated 31st. The only tackle who would even be considered better than the Steelers current tackles is Fluker.

  • Mike Amaro

    I feel if the opportunity is there for a future franchise quarterback take it who knows when they would have another top 10 top 15 pick say they pick 5th overall they still get 5th in the second round too maybe not the 3rd but also in the forth and possibly have cap space to make a move in free agency for once the truth is they need to look to the future Ben has been playing behind a bad o-line his entire career might as well let him finish that way and build around the future Franchise QB.

  • Bell Cow

    The Steelers won Super Bowls with linemen who were drafted in mid rounds (Starks, Colon, Kemoeatu). They also had success with cast away free agents like Flozel Adams and Justin Hartwig.

    The idea that drafting tackles early is a safe bet is completely wrong. It takes tackles years to develop. There were 5 tackles selected in the 1st round in 2013, including 3 in the top 4 picks. Those picks haven’t paid any dividends yet for those teams. According to Pro Football Focus, No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher is rated 71st out of 73 tackles. 2nd overall pick Luke Joeckel (out for season) was rated 67th and 11th overall pick DJ Fluker is rated 31st. The only tackle who would even be considered better than the Steelers current tackles is Fluker.

  • SumnerYoung

    Every team wins Super Bowls with linemen drafted in the mid to late rounds. It’s how they are coached, and how they play together as an o-line that makes the team better. The Steelers haven’t had the luxury to gel as a unit because certain pieces are always injured. But I think you still need dominant players on the o-line. We might have two with Pouncey (though he doesn’t grade well on PFF), and Decastro. But regardless of position, if you’re picking in the top ten, you have to get a player you think is going to be great.

  • disqus_8tmMXmccaM

    The Steelers should trade rothlisberger and Woodley. This team needs a total rebuild. We will be even worse next year without keisel, Taylor, Foote, and Clark. I would build the defense around Timmons and Jones. We need to draft a left tackle and the offensive line will be good.

  • JohnnyV1

    I did not include 2013, since it’s only mid-season and difficult to determine if the three selected in the top 10 were hits or misses. We’ll have to wait until next season (and beyond for Joeckel) to determine that. But all three were starting, two still are. So, it is true.

    But you have some valid points.

  • disqus_8tmMXmccaM

    I would wait for jameis Winston from fsu.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Stay with big ben. Know why? Despite leverages, despite the sub-par season, despite frustration- there are NO Andrew Luck in upcoming draft and by that I mean in next draft as well. When we see one with that kind of potentials, of course you hit the reset button.

    Draft a franchise left tackle, rebuild with weapons and playmakers until that “franchise QB” come along.

    However… I do believe Big Ben will take much lesser contract that he had in past because as much professional football players are egocentric- Big Ben is entering Peyton Manning saga which he knows Steelers have gave him a chance in past and if he wants to win a Super Bowl again there is simply.. one way to do that, take a smaller contract.

    I suppose I could be saying- I’m putting my faith all in Big ben and him alone.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Heinz Field has more of a chance of flying away

  • Bell Cow

    My point is that they need impact players from day 1. Linemen take time to develop and if the team wants to keep Roethlisberger for 4-5 more years, than they don’t have time to wait around for them to develop. In my opinion, Colbert has gotten way too infatuated with drafting offensive linemen early. Their best picks were impact guys like Polamalu, Miller, Santonio Holmes, and Timmons. They need new stars, not linemen.

  • SumnerYoung

    The impact guys you list took years to develop as well. Polamalu played badly his rookie year, kind of like Jarvis is doing now, but it is to be expected. Timmons took three years to ascend to full time starter. I would love to see an impact defender like Polamalu drafted in 2014. Tell me Bell Cow, who is that player? I would love to see an impact offensive weapon taken too. But likely it will be one or the other unless they move back late into the first round or hit a home run with the high 2nd round pick. I think Mike Wallace was an impact player in the third round, but they couldn’t pay him.

  • SumnerYoung

    If you want impact players from day 1, you better look in free agency, because a rookie stepping in and being great is much more rare than common.

  • LucasY59

    I agree. Matthews should be the top pick, a LT is the biggest need, but if Matthews is already taken, picking a game changing WR is the next best pick IMO. Lewan or Kouandijo are not top ten LT picks (maybe if they trade with a team desperate for a QB and get extra picks) they could get one of those LT’s and a WR or TE early

  • LucasY59

    I think it depends on which QB’s declare for the Draft. Boyd is the only 1st rd QB that will for sure be in the Draft but probably isn’t a top 10 pick (Mettenberger, McCarron, and Murray are also Sr’s but probably not 1st rd picks) It look’s like Bridgewater (Jr) and Manziel (RS So) are also more than likely going to declare for the draft, but the real ?’s are Mariota and Hundley if both declare that makes 4 or 5 QB’s that could be taken in the top 10 picks.
    the Steelers could take a QB if the value is there when they pick (Packers got Rodgers when they still had Favre, but Favre was older than Roethlisberger when they took Rodgers) or they could also use the possible QB talent in the draft to acquire extra picks (something it looks like they need more than a QB)

  • LucasY59

    If they get another team to give a ton of valuable picks (e.g. Redskins when they traded up for RGIII) they could get a LT, CB, WR and TE or D-lineman in the 1st 3 rds. IMO that is a better way to rebuild the team. having a QB for the future is good, but not when there are multiple positions that need to be upgraded and the team already has a QB that can win a SB in the next 3-5 yrs if the rest of the team is upgraded with talented players that can bring the team back to SB contenders.

  • LucasY59

    If they do pick a QB with their 1st pick in the draft they should probably embrace the rebuilding stage and trade Roethlisberger, and any other players worth a 3rd rd draft pick or better and are more than 28 yrs old. (they should also embrace having similar seasons to this years for the next 3-5 yrs)

  • LucasY59

    I think LeBeau will seriously think about retiring after this season, If he doesn’t, he definitely needs to rethink how the D should look with the new way that football is being played (the offensive emphasis) a 3-4 and 4-3 hybrid is what I think could work (especially with the current players on the team) either way I think that CB is probably the 2nd most important position to pick in the next draft, Teams will need a minimum of 3 very good DB’s to even have a chance of keeping up with the current and future offenses of the NFL

  • Luke Shabro

    Yeah but they have a good defense, (possibly) a healthy Arian Foster next year, a much better O line, Owen Daniels and a young star receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. I highly doubt Ben leaves the Steelers but I actually think he would be a good fit in a Kubiak offense (provided Kubiak doesn’t get fired.)

  • Luke Shabro

    I agree. He’s only got the fourth highest winning percentage in NFL history for quarterbacks. He may not be Brady or Rodgers but lets not pretend he’s some scrub. Some people in Steeler Nation are so quick to push people out the door if they have a bad season.

  • Luke Shabro

    We’ve actually for the most part done better when drafting for need rather than for the future. Pouncey was a need pick, DeCastro was a need pick, Timmons was a need pick. Ziggy, Cam Heyward and Mendenhall were all guys picked for on down the road. Just my opinion.

  • HarryBackside

    Judging by the FO’s recent track record evaluating OT’s in the draft, the free agent route might be the way to go.

  • Bell Cow

    Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotulelei, Kenny Vaccaro, Cordarelle Patterson, Robert Woods, Giovani Bernard, Geno Smith, Kiko Alonso, Eddie Lacy. These are rookies who were drafted in 2013 in the 1st-2nd round making a big impact for their teams. I would even put Bell on that list because he’s making a big contribution on offense.

  • Bell Cow

    Agreed. They need to draft skilled positions and defense then utilize free agency for linemen.

  • Bell Cow

    I know Colbert doesn’t like to trade down, but this might be a good year to trade down and accumulate more picks. They have a lot of holes to fill and apparently this 2014 draft class is supposed to be deep.

  • HarryBackside

    Honestly, I think they are a year away from having the luxury of drafting skill positions. The defense is a shell of itself. They need to pump as many picks into that side of the ball as possible. We need starters and depth. That would put them in a position to spend some high picks to get some playmakers for the offense next year.

    I’m coming from the perspective that the team isn’t going to win next year, and that the defense is going to need time to gel, because so many positions need to be upgraded. I don’t think it will take as much time for a first round WR or TE to get up to speed in an already established offense. I think that gives the team the best chance to be able to win in 2015.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Subpar season he is on pace to throw for 4700 yards!!! Throw the bum outa tawn

  • dgh57

    We need to find a way to bring the total # of sacks given up down someway and a LT is a good place to start. Ben is on pace to be sacked over 60 times this season and in no way is Adams or Beachum the answer. In turn the overall play of the offense will feed off of those fewer sacks.

  • Bradys_Dad

    We had a youthful JPWilson on the squad and he would have been cheap to keep and no draft pick would have been wasted. Maybe Landry will work out but it sure seems like we were being penny wise and pound foolish on that pick.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    For those lets trade ben he has a 18.895 “million” cap charge. If for I will play along for proving what will not happen and why.

    Lets say the Steelers were to trade Big Ben to the Vikings.

    NFL Draft trade alert

    Steelers trade B. Roethlisberger to Minnesota for 2014 1st, 2nd, 4th and 2015 2nd round draft pics.

    The Steelers would immediately be on the hook for any unpaid bonus money. The Vikings in this scenario would not be responsible for any of his unpaid bonus money. And would also have to create room if they could not absorb his 2014 salary of $12,100,000.00. They would balk at this and force the Steelers to pay most if not all of the 12.1 million thus vaulting the Steelers to an additional 12.1 million over the salary cap bringing them to an estimated 18.1 million over but wait were not done. There is also an additional $6.795,000.00 that would also be in play here which would be the dead money charge. Bringing the total to $24,895,000.00 over the Salary cap.

    To cover that sum would require releasing.

    Woodley, Timmons, Ike Taylor, Troy, Pouncey, and that still would not get them to be even with that number. And since the Steelers are already an estimated 6 million over the projected 2014 Salary cap and must be in compliance by the first day of the league year most likely 3/1/2014. They could not even remotely trade him. He is the definition of un-tradeable.

    “It will not happen” This is not Madden where you can sign a player to a new contract and he is gone.

    If they did a sign and trade because someone is going to say that. The NFL has a hard cap it is not baseball or basketball with no cap.

    If the Steelers were to sign then trade him lets say he signed a 5 year 75 million dollar contract with 32 million guaranteed. The entire 32 million would become immediately payable upon completion of the trade and count against there 2014 cap pushing them to 38 million over add in his 12.1 million salary and they would be 50.1 million dollars over the salary cap.

    Game over thank you for playing the will never happen in real life game

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Not claiming Big Ben is having a bad season! should have pinpointed that on the offense as whole, not Big Ben.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    three words dead money charge

  • patrick Mayfield

    we’re talking extension here. BR is signed through next year. For him to be moved he’d probably need to work out a deal with another team prior to a trade. Seems highly unlikely.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Yep no offensive lineman needed, not important. *

  • Ike Evans

    Exactly you just named all the picks after 2008……before that year you’re point was not necessarily the case…now, of course, it is the case. We were much better at drafting in advance before that year…..now we HAVE to draft need

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    So you would have them pay Ben a new contract will need it to get under the cap, plus a top 5 quarterback 5 years 22-25 million? And get all of this under the salary cap for 2-3 years?

  • TheBlitz

    The real question is: Did the Steelers deem JP Wilson a better prospect than Landry ? I don’t think so.

  • LucasY59

    I hope the asterisk at the end of your comment is for sarcasm

    A LT is Very Important! (or any lineman better than the ones on the team now) how is Roethlisberger going to make impact plays (or any play really) if he is getting sacked at a record pace? a LT is the most needed player on this team. If Ben has time to make plays the offense will be drastically improved, If he is running for his life Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald couldn’t help the Steelers win a superbowl.

    A quality O-line also helps the running game (which is horrible this year even though it seems to be the most important part of the offense from what the front office has said and done to try and improve it) an improved line is the Only way that the running game will improve (also allows the offense to control the clock and save the defense from allowing 50+ points) the play action pass will also be more effective, and will create the impact plays that will help the team win games

    There are “impact” players that could really help this team but they need to be defensive players that can either lead the league in sacks or INT’s

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    buzz sound of that sarcasm flying over your head hence the *

  • LucasY59

    pretty sure it didn’t fly over my head, otherwise I wouldn’t have started the comment the way I did

  • Matt Searls

    I’m a for that. Our o line is bad but think what we could do if we had an a.j Greene or Brandon marshall. Not to mention that sanders and cotchery will be gone next year

  • Bradys_Dad

    Obviously (or maybe they flipped coin) they thought otherwise. In any case, Gradkowski was the signing of note as opposed to the 3rd string clipboard carrier. So I respectfully disagree and believe that the office could have waited another year to spend that high of a pick on a QB. Heck – we blew it when we let Hoyer get away last year. Hind-sight is 20/20 right?

  • TheBlitz

    It sounds great to wait another year when you know there is good chance your franchise QB is going to last an entire season without being hurt. However we all know every time Ben goes down we hold our breath. It’s now the norm around here.

    After going through all 3 QBs last year I don’t think they wanted to wait and risk reliving that movie again, especially after they started the season so well and Ben’s injury severely compromised their hopes of being a contender.

    When you consider the fact that Ben hasn’t played a full season for I don’t how many seasons now, then as an organisation you don’t want to take that risk and you make sure his backups are up to par and ready to contribute in the event he goes down.

    If JP Wilson was a better clipboard holder why isn’t he doing that somewhere else in the league ?

  • Bell Cow

    Read comments before attempting to be a smart ass. They should go the free agency route like they’ve done in the past.

  • Bell Cow

    You’re obviously not reading the comments, so I won’t bother replying to your post.

  • SumnerYoung

    I hear you loud and clear. It looks like there were many impact type players in the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2013 drafts. Unfortunately, I think the Bengals got two with Eifert and Bernard. I also think, even though he is just 23 years old, Mike Adams is either a bust or a RT. Branden Albert via free agency? That would cost a lot of dough. You gonna cut Troy and Ike to pay a LT?

  • SumnerYoung

    Do you think Heath has another season in him? I hate to say it but he is struggling right now. Maybe an offseason to recover is what he needs for his knee. Maybe he has lost a step. I’d like to see another NFL caliber TE on this roster, one who can make plays in the passing game. I bet Ben would too.

  • SumnerYoung

    I think this could be a real possibility.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I wouldn’t mind a Mike Evans, Seferian-Jenkins, or Lewan/Matthews with a first pick