Will the Pittsburgh Steelers take a quarterback in the NFL Draft?
Despite not needing a starter or a backup, the Steelers could draft a quarterback depending on who falls in the draft. The only experienced quarterbacks on the roster are Big Ben and Landry Jones. Mike Vick is gone and Bruce Gradkowski might not be back as he recovers from surgery. The team brought in veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer for a visit as a potential backup, but he is looking to remain a starter.
If the Steelers do look for a quarterback on Day 3, the team has shown interest in Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. One of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, Prescott exploded onto the national stage in 2014; he served as a situational quarterback his first 2 seasons in Starksville. In 2014, he led the Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in program history, culminating in a trip to the Orange.
Prescott finished 2014 with 3,449 passing yards and 27 touchdown passes while rushing for 986 yards and 14 scores. He earned first team All-SEC honors and was 8th in the Heisman voting. After losing some of his offense talent to graduation in 2015, Prescott put the Bulldogs on his back in his senior season.
Though he did not duplicate the team’s national championship run in 2014, Prescott improved his passing throwing for 3,793 yards and 29 touchdowns. He stayed more in the pocket in 2015, only rushing for 588 yards and 10 touchdowns. But if teams gave him the opportunity to run, Prescott burned them for big yards.
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He has the size to make it in the NFL (6’2 226), but he must improve his skills as a passer to be a starter in his league. His athletic upside and leadership skills could get Prescott drafted on Day 2, but he may slide to Day 3. If he is there in Round 4 or 5, the Steelers might be tempted to add him into the fold.
Todd Haley would love to develop and polish a quarterback in his system with the skill set of Prescott. He could force the Steelers to let Jones make after this season if he shows progress within the offense. Down the line, Prescott could be the eventual replacement for Ben.