ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Steelers are openly looking to trade Ben Roethlisberger(notes) for a top-10 draft pick - not that they'll move him no matter what, but that they'll exchange him for the right draft currency. Given the likelihood that Roethlisberger is out of town, and knowing full well that the Steelers are a franchise always looking to build through the draft, it's a good time to look at a few quarterbacks in this draft class that would fit Pittsburgh's system best.
At this point, the Steelers have gone far away from their power-running past - it's more about no-huddle, multi-receiver sets designed to stretch defenses to their breaking point. Roethlisberger evades pressure better than just about any quarterback, using his size to his advantage, and he throws very well on the run. In a weak QB class, and assuming that Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen aren't in the picture, where might the Steelers shop for a possible sleeper?
Tim Tebow: Well, it's a long shot, but the Steelers certainly wouldn't have to worry about conduct issues. Despite the rawness in his game, Tebow might be an intriguing match for the Steelers - he's got the size and mobility to make things happen behind Pittsburgh's sub-par offensive line, and the Steelers offense is more about different formations than route complexity. This is a team that runs a lot of no-huddle and shotgun as well - this wouldn't be a bad fit over time.
Jonathan Crompton: This Tennessee quarterback wasn't invited to the Combine, but he did have one great year under Lane Kiffin. Great guy on the move, and a rocket arm which is still somewhat inconsistent.
John Skelton: The Fordham signal-caller may be the best immediate fit for this team from a pure tools perspective. He has among the best arms in this draft class, and he's got the size to take the hits. He's got a quicker release and more route patience than your average small-school quarterback. Scouts seemed especially impressed with him at the Combine.
Avoiding the pure spread quarterbacks who already haven't made significant alterations to their throwing mechanics, and factoring in Pittsburgh's scheme needs, these three quarterbacks could help the Steelers in future years. The question now is whether they'll be asked to. Stay tuned...
- the Steelers