Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had to wait until the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft until a “tall” wide receiver was selected, but once the choice of Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant was made, the quarterback was on the phone 10 minutes later welcoming him to the team.
“Yeah, I was [surprised] to be honest with you but it was a good experience for me,” Bryant said Friday after the first practice of Steelers’ rookie mini camp, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “He asked me when I was coming out here and I told him I report Monday.”
During the several months leading up to the draft, there had been heavy speculation that the team would provide Roethlisberger a “tall” wide receiver early on in the draft, but the first two selections wound up being spent on defensive players instead.
In round three, I bet Roethlisberger was shocked when the Steelers grabbed diminutive running back/wide receiver Dri Archer with the 33rd pick in the third-round. At that point, the Steelers quarterback probably thought the organization heard small instead of tall.
The Steelers, however, were able to fill the “tall” receiver request in round three as Bryant was surprisingly still on the board come time for their pick to be made. It had been reported that they almost decided to take Bryant in round three, but the gamble to wait a pick paid off.
While he has already caught a few passes from Roethlisberger, Bryant will have to wait a little over a week until he gets to work with him for the first time during a real practice as the team will begin their OTAs on Tuesday, May 27 – the day after Memorial Day.