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Steelers draft capsule

April 18, 2013
By Buck Frank (bfrank@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The following is the first of seven position-by-position 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers NFL draft analyses:

QUARTERBACKS

On the roster: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, John Parker Wilson

Last six drafts: Since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach, the Steelers have drafted only one quarterback - Dennis Dixon (fifth round, 2008).

Top quarterbacks available: Geno Smith, West Virginia; Matt Barkley, USC; Ryan Nassib, Syracuse; EJ Manuel, Florida State; Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

The Steelers might take: Matt Scott, Arizona; Zac Dysert, Miami, Ohio; Collin Klein, Kansas State

Analysis: It became evident last season the Steelers need to start developing a young quarterback to add more insurance behind Roethlisberger. The signing of Gradkowski will allow them to start that process. Expect the Steelers to either draft a quarterback in the later rounds or bring one to camp as a priority free agent. Scott and Klein are QBs who can run the ball and are projected to be late-round picks. Dysert is more like Roethlisberger and comes from the same school as him.

SPECIALISTS

On the roster: Shaun Suisham, Daniel Hrapmann (kickers); Drew Butler (punter); Greg Warren (long snapper)

Last six drafts: Punter Daniel Sepulveda (fourth round, 2007) never could stay injury free.

Top specialists available: Dustin Hopkins, Florida State; Caleb Sturgis, Florida (kickers); Jeff Locke, UCLA; Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State (punters); Luke Ingram, Hawaii (long snapper)

The Steelers might take: None

Analysis: Suisham enjoyed a solid season in 2012, but Butler wasn't exactly a rookie phenom at punter. The Steelers will need to bring in a punter to give Butler a push, but they can't afford to spend a draft pick on one. Expect them to sign a free agent punter immediately after the draft concludes, along with a long snapper to give Warren some competition.

Coming Friday: Offensive line

- Buck Frank

 
 

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