Will the Pittsburgh Steelers wind up drafting a quarterback this year? It’s really hard to say at this point and especially based on what general manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday during his annual talk with the local media ahead of the scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“Landry Jones is a free agent, and I’d love to have Landry stay in the mix,” Colbert said, according to Bob Labriola of steelers.com. “But right now we have two quarterbacks under contract. Will we add a young one, in some form or fashion? Absolutely. When? It’s hard to say. We have to balance that (quarterback) class against other positions (in this draft), but sooner or later, we will have to address that.
“Ideally, the organizations that have been successful through eras have had the next guy in place. San Francisco went from Joe Montana to Steve Young. Green Bay went from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. If you want to be a continuously a successful organization, you should have a quarterback succession plan in place.”
Colbert indicated Thursday that he expects quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to return for the 2017 season even though he said immediately after the 2016 season ended that he would need to think about his future.
“I’m working under the assumption that until he says he’s retired officially, then he’s not. If he decides to (retire), then we’ll act accordingly, but in the meantime we’re not going to get out of sorts with potential retirements,” Colbert said of Roethlisberger, according to Labriola.
By the sound of things, the Steelers might not ultimately draft a quarterback this year and the chances of that happening might lower some should the team wind up re-signing Landry Jones, who Colbert indicated on Thursday might be allowed to test free agency come the start of the 2017 league year on March 9.
Even if the Steelers do wind up drafting a quarterback this year, it’s hard to imagine the player selected would have a great shot at succeeding Roethlisberger when he finally does retire. When you look at the 2017 quarterback draft class as a whole, it’s not very impressive and thus the Steelers would probably be wise to only spend a late-round selection on the position if they decide to select one at all.
One would think we’ll have a better sense of what the Steelers 2017 quarterback depth chart will look like ahead of the draft taking place as by then the team will have either re-signed Jones or quite possibly have signed another veteran free agent signal caller to replace him to compete against Zach Mettenberger for the backup job during training camp.
In short, be careful with your future Steelers mock drafts when it comes to predicting a quarterback being taken within the first four rounds.