7 Quarterbacks Pittsburgh Steelers Could Take in Later Rounds of 2013 NFL Draft
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
It looks like Charlie Batch will ride into the sunset a winner.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' backup quarterback engineered a fourth-quarter comeback Sunday in Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, keeping the Steelers (7-5) in control of their playoff destiny.
This season could be Batch's swan song in Pittsburgh. That would leave Byron Leftwich and Brian Hoyer as Roethlisberger's backups.
Leftwich might be more deserving of the "Big Ben" moniker with his long windup that resembles the hands of a clock.
Roethlisberger's injury this season highlights the importance of a backup quarterback. Since taking Roethlisberger in 2004, the only quarterbacks the Steelers have drafted are Omar Jacobs in 2006 and Dennis Dixon in 2008. They'd like to get a little more out of the next quarterback they draft.
There are some they should take a look at in the mid to late rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)
Weight: 228 pounds
Why not start with the quarterback of Ben Roethlisberger's alma mater?
Zac Dysert's college isn't the only thing he has in common with Roethlisberger. He can make big throws down the field and avoid the pass rush, according to NFL.com. He also can escape a sack when a pass rusher gets to him, and can run for key yards when needed.
Dysert is equally competent playing out of the shotgun as well as under center. It's not always easy to find quarterbacks like that in today's pass-happy college game.
There are some things Roethlisberger can do that Dysert can't, at least not yet. Unlike Roethlisberger, Dysert really doesn't have those eyes in the back of his head to sense pass rushers closing in from behind.
Dysert can't quite match Roethlisberger's physical stature. He could add a few pounds of muscle, but he's not as tall.
Dysert put himself on the map in 2011, throwing for 3,513 yards and completing 65.8 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He followed that up this season with 3,483 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 62.9 completion percentage.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Weight: 220 pounds
Landry Jones has put up some dizzying numbers at Oklahoma. He's the Big 12 record holder for career passing yards with 16,368 and is the first FBS player to have at least 3,000 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes in each of his four seasons, according to NFL Draft Scout.
Jones is a classic pocket passer who can make all the throws, according to NFL.com, although he sometimes lacks confidence when faced with adversity.
Last month, Jones led the Sooners to a 50-49 win over West Virginia and a 51-48 overtime victory over Oklahoma State. He threw for 554 yards against the Mountaineers and 500 yards against the Cowboys, becoming the first Oklahoma quarterback to throw for 500 yards in back-to-back games, according to NFL Draft Scout.
Jones won the Sammy Baugh Award in 2011 by throwing for 4,718 yards, 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He followed that up this season with 3,989 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, leading the Sooners to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
Weight: 215 pounds
It wouldn't be surprising to see a team reach for Bray in the first or second round. But if he's still on the board in the fourth round or later, the Steelers should give him a long, hard look.
Bray isn't a finished product and had an inconsistent junior season, but he went out with a bang by completing 20 of 34 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 37-17 win over Kentucky. It was the Volunteers' only SEC victory this season.
Bray threw for 3,612 yards this season with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, completing 59.6 percent of his passes.
Bray's leadership has been suspect, according to NFL Draft Scout, and the Steelers will need to do their homework before deciding to put him on their board. They don't have a good history drafting Tennessee quarterbacks, taking Tee Martin in the fifth round in 2000 with Tom Brady still on the board.
Mike Glennon, North Carolina State
Weight: 232 pounds
Glennon's two crowning achievements this season have been a 17-16 upset of Florida State and a 37-6 thrashing of Wake Forest that assured a bowl berth for North Carolina State.
Glennon completed 30 of 55 passes with two touchdowns and an interception against then-No. 3 Florida State. He went 25-for-41 with two touchdowns and a pick against the Demon Deacons.
For the season, Glennon threw for 3,648 yards with 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He completed 57.7 percent of his passes.
Glennon seems to be able to work well under center, according to NFL.com, although he isn't always accurate with the deep ball.
Glennon already has his bachelor's degree, according to Walter Football, and is taking graduate courses. That could suggest high intelligence and a strong work ethic.
Matt Scott, Arizona
Weight: 198 pounds
Matt Scott was named second-team All-Pac 12 this season (Oregon freshman Marcus Mariota was the first-team quarterback). Scott was second in the conference with 3,238 passing yards and threw for 24 touchdowns.
It's hard to imagine Scott withstanding the kind of punishment Ben Roethlisberger takes. He's more than 40 pounds lighter. He's the only one of NFL Draft Scout's top 20 quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class weighing less than 200.
Scott makes up for his lack of size with mobility. He ran for 485 yards on 107 carries this season with five rushing touchdowns.
Scott's running ability doesn't mean he can't throw the ball. He has a strong enough arm to run a high-powered offense, according to NFL.com, but his mechanics need some work and he needs to show more finesse on shorter passes.
Sean Renfree, Duke
Weight: 225 pounds
Unless they're scouting ringers for a charity basketball game, why would the Steelers look at anyone from Duke?
They might find a new backup quarterback in Sean Renfree, who has led Duke to its first bowl game since 1994. The Blue Devils will face Cincinnati Dec. 27 in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.
Renfree threw the game-winning touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in Duke's 33-30 victory over North Carolina on Oct. 20, clinching bowl eligibility for the Blue Devils.
In his third season as the starter, Renfree threw for 2,755 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Collin Klein, Kansas State
Weight: 226 pounds
Collin Klein led Kansas State to a BCS bowl-clinching victory mostly with his legs on Saturday.
The Heisman Trophy finalist ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in the Wildcats' 42-24 win over Texas. The victory clinched the Big 12 title and punched Kansas State's ticket to the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon.
Klein rushed for 22 touchdowns and threw for 15 more in his senior season. He ran for 890 yards at a rate of 4.6 yards per carry. He passed for 2,490 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2012. Three of those picks came in Kansas State's only loss this season. He's completed 66.2 percent of his passes.
Despite his numbers, Klein has a hitch in his throwing motion that will need some work in the NFL, according to NFL Draft Scout.
This all sounds an awful lot like Tim Tebow, doesn't it?
That's why the Steelers shouldn't take Klein any earlier than the sixth round. Quarterbacks who run as well as they throw don't win championships, and championships are the standard in Pittsburgh.
Of course, the Steelers aren't a championship-starved franchise looking for their savior in the 2013 NFL draft. However, who knows when Ben Roethlisberger's body starts to break down? If the Steelers draft a quarterback, they'll need to be comfortable with him starting multiple games per season if needed.