Oct 12, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Tyler Bray (8) prepares to take a snap during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: Are Steelers considering Tennessee QB Tyler Bray?

It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers needed to improve the backup quarterback position before the 2013 season and Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert addressed part of the need by signing Bruce Gradkowski to back up Ben Roethlisberger.

With Roethlisberger now in his 30’s, there is also a need to develop a young quarterback behind him, because unfortunately one day the Steelers won’t have No. 7 under center. With the beating his body takes, Roethlisberger can’t play forever.

Many feel that the Steelers should look at the quarterback position in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft and for the first time there are signs that they may do exactly that.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Steelers have shown interest in Tennessee signal caller Tyler Bray and that the Steelers’ brain trust had dinner with him before attending his Pro Day.

September 29, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Tyler Bray (8) drops back to pass in the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs won 51-44. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

It was a  bit surprising that Bray left school with a year of eligibility remaining  as he would have likely been a  first-round pick in 2014, but is instead projected to go in the third or fourth round this year, precisely where the Steelers could look to grab a quarterback for the future.

There’s a lot to like about Bray, especially his arm. He can make all of the throws, especially the deep ball. The balls comes out of his hand quickly and smoothly and some scouts have said that he has the best arm in this year’s draft class.

There is some concern about Bray’s maturity and work ethic. He had a couple of incidents last summer, including a reckless boating charge that was dismissed and a citation for vandalism for throwing beer cans on parked cars,  but those types of things can be addressed. Talent is the most important thing here and Bray has a great deal of upside.

The comparison Bray often receives is that of Roethlisberger, without the improvisational skills.

He’s confident in his arm and can fit the ball into tight windows. Bray also has good size at 6’5″ and the confidence and makeup of a future NFL quarterback.

The Steelers have a lot of holes still left to fill, but there is a chance they may look to draft a quarterback sooner than most people thought they would.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers Tyler Bray

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