The Pittsburgh Steelers has very "Pittsburgh Steelers" draft in taking some beef on the line and running backs to help fill a depleted roster, but one of their picks has more far reaching effects than the others in the selection of Landry Jones, quarterback from Oklahoma.
Jones was selected with the 115th overall pick after a number of other starters went, including Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley and according to backup Charlie Batch, the plan is to develop Jones as a replacement for Roethlisberger in the future. According to the The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Batch, who has been with the Steelers as a backup since Roethlisberger was traded, said that the team could be planning to develop Jones into the starter two years from 2013, giving them a young option as Big Ben gets older.
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While the Steelers have denied that is their intention, it isn't a bad plan and in the meantime if the youngster replaces Batch and Byron Leftwich as backups, that's not bad either because at least there will be an elite talent behind him if he gets hurt, which happened last season and could happen again. Making the whole situation even more interesting is the fact that the 31-year-old QB is up for a new contract soon since his deal is around $19 million in cap space in 2014.
Roethlisberger likely will stay with the Steelers for his entire career, but Mike Tomlin finally wanted to put someone behind him that could be a similar mold of a starter, since Batch and Leftwich are big downgrades over Roethlisberger. Batch has been a mentor and a solid player for the team, but as he gets up in age, the team needs to find a suitable replacement: enter Jones.
The quarterback class was considered deep and Jones was one of those prospects and he put up fantastic numbers while starting for the Sooners and with a strong arm and good mobility, he will be a good fit for the Steelers offense. It likely isn't a situation like Aaron Rodgers had in Green Bay, but more like the Giants, who drafted Ryan Nassib to sit behind Eli Manning, who was drafted ahead of Big Ben. Both players are in their 30's and the teams behind them are just getting their ducks in a row in case an emergency happens.
Jones was an excellent player in college and he should transition to the NFL fine and another interesting option for the Steelers could be Tim Tebow, as he is a man without a team and could end up somewhere surprising. The Steelers seem like a crazy option, but Tomlin could find ways to use him and get him on the field in ways the Jets never did.
"(U)ltimately, I think this isn't about replacing me," Batch told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Big picture, maybe they're thinking, 'Can we develop Landry Jones to be the starter? Maybe two years from now, he could be our guy for the next 10 years.' We don't know. But with the contracts for quarterbacks these days, he'd certainly be a heck of a lot cheaper than Ben at age 34 or 35 or 36."