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