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2010 NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Should Use Late Round Pick On Quarterback

Dan WeilContributor IApril 19, 2010

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 19:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers practices on April 19, 2010 at the Pittsburgh Steelers South Side training facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

With Ben Roethlisberger's suspension coming today or tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Steelers have at least 48 hours to decide whether a quarterback should make his way onto their draft board. 

Today, the Steelers quarterback situation consists of third year player Dennis Dixon and the veteran Charlie Batch. Dixon made a start against division rival Baltimore last season and despite an overtime loss, played surprisingly well.

If the Steelers drafted a quarterback it wouldn't happen until the third day of the draft, like Fordham's John Skelton, and would not start right away.  But how do the Steelers know Roethlisberger is out of the woods?  How do they know he'll stay out of trouble in the future?  I'm sure the Rooney's thought Big Ben would stay out of the headlines following his motorcycle incident in 2006 and Lake Tahoe accusation last year.

The Steelers can't be certain he won't screw up again. What could they base it on? His word? That's as good as dirt. If such is the case, taking a late-round quarterback on Thursday isn't an outlandish idea.  The Steelers own two fifth round picks thanks to the Santonio Holmes trade, and a player like Skelton is being projected to land there.

Skelton is a 6'6" 240 pound quarterback who a lot of scouts have referred to as this years Joe Flacco.  Now, Flacco was obviously highly touted, he went in the first round even though he played at Delaware and is one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL.

Scouts have said Skelton's arm is pro ready, but he needs to improve his quickness off the snap.  This can be worked on with good coaching and Skelton could be ready in a year or two. So, if Roethlisberger slips up again in that time, Skelton can take over.

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If Roethlisberger does behave himself and continues to be the franchise quarterback, then the Steelers have a solid back up on their hands who, if his potential is noticed by other teams, could be used to get some future draft picks in a trade. A player of Skelton's skill-set is better than Dixon, who looks like this decades Kordell Stewart.

Skelton isn't the only options should they want a quarterback late; Oregon State's Sean Canfield and Troy's Levi Brown have both been mentioned as solid quarterback prospects.

The Steelers have too many team needs to take a chance on Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow in rounds two or three, so a late draft slot would fit perfectly.  Also, if the Steelers drafted a high profile player like McCoy or Tebow, than they would almost certainly create a quarterback controversy.

But I'm sure the Steelers would welcome that type of controversy.

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