Steelers draft capsule

The following is the third of seven Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 NFL draft position-by-position analyses:


Currently on roster: Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Zach Mettenberger

Last five drafts: The Steelers took Jones with the second of their two fourth-round picks in 2013. He seems destined to be a career backup.

Top quarterbacks available: Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina; Deshaun Watson, Clemson; DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame; Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech; Davis Webb, California

The Steelers might select: Webb; Brad Kaaya, Miami; Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh; Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee; Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech

Analysis: Roethlisberger is under contract for three more seasons, but his hint at retirement after last season has the Steelers at least peeking toward his eventual replacement. They spent the past few months talking to many of the quarterbacks who are projected as third-to-fifth rounders. The Steelers have two picks in the third round, and that would probably be the best spot to select someone like Webb, Kaaya or Peterman. Dobbs or Evans could be fourth- or fifth-rounders. The problem is that several teams — the Texans, Browns, 49ers, Cardinals, Jets, Broncos, Bears — appear to have a greater need for a quarterback than the Steelers do. Usually, teams needing QBs will reach for one in a higher round or trade up. Because of that and the fact that the talent pool at QB isn’t too great, this might not be a good year for the Steelers to take a middle-round QB. Once the draft gets past the fourth or fifth round, then the question becomes, is it worth it to draft someone with a similar potential to Jones or Mettenberger?


Currently on roster: Chris Boswell (K), Jordan Berry (P), A.J. Hughes (P), Greg Warren (LS), Kameron Canaday (LS)

Last five drafts: The Steelers haven’t needed to select kickers or punters recently.

Top specialists available: Kickers–Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State; Jake Elliott, Memphis. Punters–Austin Rehkow, Idaho; Justin Vogel, Miami. Long snappers–Colin Holba, Louisville; Cole Mazza, Alabama

The Steelers might select: None

Analysis: The Steelers will sign a free-agent kicker at some point after the draft just to give Boswell some competition, but they won’t waste any draft picks on a kicker, punter or long snapper.

Coming Sunday: Wide receivers/tight ends