In the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked to have solidified some key positions for the future. First, the organization drafted safety Shamarko Thomas, a player that is well-suited to replace future Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. A few picks later, Pittsburgh focused on the other side of the ball and selected quarterback Landry Jones.
This situation for Jones is a perfect one from my point of view. Not only will he have a chance to learn behind one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Ben Roethlisberger, but he will also learn from another veteran signal caller in Bruce Gradkowski, the Steelers’ new backup quarterback.
Baring any injuries to Roethlisberger and Gradkowski, Jones should have plenty of time to learn Pittsburgh’s offensive playbook, and to adapt to becoming a true professional in the NFL.
As fast as the quarterbacks were coming off the board during the third day of the draft, it was a very wise move by general manager Kevin Colbert to grab Jones with the 115th overall pick.
Jones, who was a four-year starter at Oklahoma, completed 65 percent of his career passes and threw 123 touchdowns vs. just 52 interceptions while playing in Norman. His 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame is similar to Big Ben’s stature, but he isn’t as mobile as Roethlisberger outside of the pocket.
The addition of Jones may put current Steelers quarterback John Parker Wilson on the practice squad once the 2013 season begins or could result in his release.
I don’t think anyone in Steeler Nation can be upset by any of the picks Pittsburgh has made thus far in this draft. They have selected players who can make an immediate impact, as well as players who will make great contributions in the near future.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google