At some point, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is going to stop throwing a football. That time is sooner rather than later. The 36-year-old has flirted with the media about ending his NFL career, even questioning whether he “still had it” after a five-interception loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season.
The Steelers may not consider quarterback an immediate need for this franchise, but team officials are doing their due diligence at the NFL Scouting Combine. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com wrote earlier this week the will meet with Oklahoma State signal caller Mason Rudolph in Indianapolis.
At 6’5” and 230 pounds, Rudolph is ranked as the top quarterback prospect in the April draft, according to CBS Sports, which has him 10th overall on their ranking’s board.
“General manager Kevin Colbert said this week Roethlisberger’s presence provides security but doesn’t change the Steelers’ draft approach,” Fowler writes.
Right now, Landry Jones is the team’s primary backup with Josh Dobb listed as third on the depth chart. The Steelers have had success finding solid draft picks to build the franchise around. Rudolph has a strong arm and threw for 4,904 yards and 37 touchdowns his senior season for the Cowboys. He also ran for 10 touchdowns.
This year, there may be as many as six quarterbacks taken in the first round. According to CBS Sports, there are six quarterbacks listed among the top 35 draft prospects. CBS Sports senior writer Pete Prisco has the Steelers addressing defense in the first round by selecting linebacker of Boise State. Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans could also be a player the team looks at.
The Steelers could also look at Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who may not be ready to play this season, but would have an opportunity to learn Pittsburgh’s system under new coordinator Randy Fitchner.