Saturday, April 27, 2013
Steelers join fourth-round run on QBs
By Jamison Hensley
The Pittsburgh Steelers joined in the run on quarterbacks in the fourth round, although they didn't take the one that had been linked to them.
The Steelers selected Oklahoma's Landry Jones with the 115th overall pick. He was the fourth quarterback drafted in the first 18 picks of the fourth round.
Most had linked the Steelers to Tennessee's Tyler Bray and Miami of Ohio's Zac Dysert. Instead, the Steelers went with Jones, who was the No. 1 quarterback in the draft on ESPN's Bill Polian's board. He said Jones has a big arm and quick release who was hurt last season by the lack of a supporting cast.
This is the highest that the Steelers have taken a quarterback since drafting Ben Roethlisberger in the 2004 first round. Jones will have time to develop behind Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski, who was signed this offseason.
The addition of Jones likely means the end of Charlie Batch's Steelers career. Batch completed his 11th year in Pittsburgh, which is the second-longest current tenure of any quarterback with the same team after Tom Brady.
Jones is a pure pocket passer and won't extend plays like Roethlisberger. According to ESPN Stats & Information, since the start of the 2010 season, Jones completed 27.4 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and five interceptions when forced to scramble out of the pocket.
There is also an unusual connection between Jones and Roethlisberger. Jones' wife, Whitney Hand, is a former teammate of Roethlisberger's sister, Carlee. Both played on Oklahoma's women's basketball team. Hand was drafted higher than Jones, when she was selected in the third round of the WNBA 12 days ago.
Jones is the seventh QB taken following EJ Manuel (Buffalo, first round), Geno Smith (N.Y. Jets, second round), Mike Glennon (third round, Tampa Bay), Matt Barkley (fourth round, Philadelphia), Ryan Nassib (fourth round, N.Y. Giants) and Tyler Wilson (fourth round, Oakland).