Steelers draft capsule

The following is the first of seven position-by-position 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers draft analyses:


Currently on the roster: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones

Last five drafts: The Steelers selected Jones in the fourth round last year, and he spent the season watching Roethlisberger and talking to Gradkowski.

Top quarterbacks available: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M; Blake Bortles, Central Florida; Derek Carr, Fresno State; Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois; Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

The Steelers might select: None

Analysis: Having a franchise quarterback who is productive is a luxury the Steelers should not take for granted. With Roethlisberger, a capable backup in Gradkowski and a youngster in Jones, the Steelers should not use any of their nine picks on a quarterback. They’ll most likely wait until after the draft to sign a QB like Pitt’s Tom Savage or North Carolina’s Bryn Renner to give Jones competition in training camp.


Currently on the roster: Shaun Suisham (placekicker), Brad Wing (punter), Adam Podlesh (punter), Greg Warren (long snapper), Bryce Davis (long snapper)

Last five drafts: The Steelers haven’t selected a specialist since they took punter Daniel Sepulveda in the fourth round in 2007.

Top specialists available: Placekickers-Chris Boswell, Rice; Anthony Fera, Texas. Punters-Pat O’Donnell, Miami; Tom Hornsey, Memphis. Long snappers-Marcus Heit, Kansas State.

The Steelers might select: None

Analysis: The Steelers have two punters to battle it out for a roster spot, and they signed Davis to try and unseat Warren at long snapper. Suisham is the only one without competition right now. The Steelers will sign a free agent placekicker after the draft just to make sure Suisham doesn’t get too complacent. But with so many needs on defense, using a draft pick on a specialist this year doesn’t make sense.

Coming Friday: Running backs