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2010 NFL Draft: How Big Ben Puts a Big Question Mark on the First Round

Bob Evans@@TheRealBobEvansCorrespondent IApril 22, 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

In 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick in the first round.

In 2010, they may be pressing the restart button and going after a first round quarterback again.

After Wednesday's six-game suspension, it is being reported by sources around the National Football League that the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to trade their problem child franchise quarterback.

This is a dramatic change of direction for a franchise that is just two years removed from a Super Bowl victory under the leadership of the man known as Big Ben. And it seems like the Rooney family is finally done dealing with players that present the Steeler organization in a negative media light.

With that said, a trade of Roethlisberger would not only shake up Steeler Nation, it would change the direction of the first round in a big way.

Reports are that the Steelers are asking for a top 10 first round pick from any team interested in trading for the suspended quarterback. A top 10 pick is much larger than the fifth rounder that the team settled for in the trade of troubled receiver Santonio Holmes.

With their demand of a top 10 pick, I doubt that the Steelers will get a lot of takers for Roethlisberger.

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Let's pretend, for the sake of the article, that there are teams that would be interested in giving up a high first-round pick for Big Ben.

Where exactly could he end up?

The most logical choices are Seattle, Buffalo, Oakland, or even Jacksonville. With the long shots being St. Louis and Cleveland.

Seattle

Seattle presents an interesting opportunity because it has a starting quarterback already in Matt Hasselbeck, and two first round picks at No. 6 and No. 14.

This means that they would be able to wait for Big Ben to come off suspension, and they might be able to entice the Steelers with the No. 14 pick instead of the No. 6.

If the Steelers had the 14th and 18th picks in the draft, they would have some ammunition to attempt to move up and select Bradford as their future QB, or possibly get Clausen as the heir apparent to Big Ben.

Even if the Steelers don't take a quarterback in the first round, adding a second pick that high in round one, with their organization's track record, would be an excellent addition of talent for Steeler Nation.

Buffalo

The Bills don't have a quarterback, they aren't sold on Clausen at No. 9, and Big Ben could be theirs for the price of the pick.

Granted, the fans would have to deal with Trent Edwards at the helm until Week Four or Week Six, but the addition of Big Ben would immediately make the Bills a force to be reckoned with in the East once he gets off suspension.

If the organization does not wish to go through the growing pains of a young quarterback, they could choose to wait on the end of Big Ben's suspension.

Oakland

Big, athletic, good arm, and available for the No. 8 pick? I'm surprised that Al Davis hasn't pulled the trigger on this one already...Baby!

While Oakland may not be the ideal destination in Roethlisberger's eyes, the Raiders do have the opportunity to put their usual surprise stamp on the first round with this trade.

Big Ben would have plenty of offensive weapons when he comes off suspension, and the Raiders would finally have a real quarterback to compete with Philip Rivers in the West.

Jacksonville

The Jaguars are desperate to put fans in the stands. What better way then adding a two time Super Bowl Champion quarterback in his prime?

David Garrard is an OK quarterback, but he isn't going to bring any championships to Jacksonville. And if the organization is desperate to keep the team in Florida, they need to make some sort of a splash to ignite the fire in the fans.

With all due respect to Steeler Nation, if Big Ben can win behind that line, the Jaguars may just be one or two weapons away from being a contender.

Long Shot No. 1—St. Louis

With the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Rams have the biggest arsenal to get Ben, but I am not sure that they really want him.

The Rams are younger than most of the other teams, and the first overall pick would be way to steep of a price to pay for a quarterback that isn't going to play until week six.

If the Steelers put together a package of Big Ben, the No. 18 pick, and maybe a second or third rounder, I could see the Rams doing this deal.

With that said, unless the Steelers are sold on Sam Bradford being their quarterback of the future, this deal makes no sense for either team.

Long Shot No. 2—Cleveland

Big Ben is a product of Ohio, the Browns have Jake Delhomme as their quarterback, and the No. 7 pick as bait....makes sense right?

Wrong.

The organization is attempting to remove bad character players from their team, even if it is the guy that dominates when playing at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Roethlisberger would instantly upgrade the Cleveland Browns and become the starter when his suspension is up, but the move does not make sense for either organization.

The Steelers do not want to make the Cleveland Browns better, and Steeler Nation would protest outside the gates if the Rooney family traded him to their bitter rivals.

As many writers have put it "you just don't trade inside your own division"...well, unless you are the Eagles and Redskins. So, I guess anything could happen?

Draft Impact

If Big Ben is traded for a first round pick tonight, the ramifications on the first round could be great.

It would mean that the Steelers would probably be in the market to select a quarterback in round one, thus inflating the stock of guys like Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy.

Also, a trade into the first round could satisfy the quarterbacking needs of one of the teams that may be interested in selecting Clausen, thus allowing him to fall even further if the Steelers decide not to take a quarterback in round one.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops throughout the NFL Draft, but the possible trade of Big Ben could put a big question mark on round one.

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