After an 8-8 record, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert appears to be distraught at the team’s sudden decline, and is willing to do anything to get the Steelers back to their winning ways, including drafting a quarterback in the first round of this year’s draft.
Looking at the age and performance of Pittsburgh’s backup quarterbacks from this past season, drafting a young signal caller wouldn’t be a bad idea, but snagging one in the first round would be a bad move.
It’s safe to say that no one will replace quarterback Ben Roethlisberger any time soon. Roethlisberger is still playing at a MVP level, and was the team’s only consistent player all season. However, grooming a young quarterback over the next few years will prepare the franchise for life after Big Ben.
If I were Colbert, I would wait until the later part of the draft to pick a quarterback. It’s been projected that no quarterbacks will be chosen in the first round. The Steelers could then use that 17th overall pick to fill a much more needed position, and get the same quarterback that they planned on getting at a cheaper price.
Pittsburgh will have many starters on both sides of the ball that will be unrestricted free agents this coming offseason. The list includes linebacker Larry Foote, offensive linemen Ramon Foster and Max Starks, nose tackle Casey Hampton, cornerback Keenan Lewis, running back Rashard Mendenhall, and wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Colbert mentioned that using the franchise tag on any of these players would be “very doubtful,” meaning that there is a good chance that a good number of these starters won’t be donning the black and gold in 2013.
If you ask me, the first-round pick should be used on a pass rusher, a cornerback, a running back, or a wide receiver. Pittsburgh’s sack total for 2012 was uncharacteristically low, the running game was abysmal, and looking at their salary cap situation, the likely hood of Lewis and Wallace being re-signed is slim.
Adding some youth to the corps of quarterbacks in Pittsburgh is highly needed and will be a smart move on Colbert’s part, but wasting a first-round pick on a quarterback will only make getting back on the winning track more difficult.
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