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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin speaks on draft picks through 4th round

Mike Tomlin gave interviews after the Steelers took Landry Jones and he feels good about the draft. Put him in the Le'Veon Bell = Eddie George category.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gave interviews to both ESPN and NFL Network after the Steelers' second selection in the fourth round. I took some snippets of the NFL Network interview on four of the Steelers' five picks so far.

Jarvis Jones
"We had him as one of the 6 or 8 special guys on our board. We felt like if we had the opportunity to get one of those guys, then we were really fortunate. It happened to be a position of need for us."

"We were comfortable from what we've seen from a medical standpoint. And what he's done at the last two years at Georgia, to put those health concerns to rest for us."

Clearly Tomlin and the Steelers weren't worried about Stenosis and view Jones as the player many had him as before his poor workout performance: a top 5-10 pick.

Le'Veon Bell
"Le'Veon's a guy for all situations."

"He has very soft hands, and the way they used him in the passing game was really impressive."

Tomlin and the Steelers view Bell as a three-down back, and whether or not you agree with them, if reports that the Steelers are looking to trade Dwyer or Redman are true, Bell might be the first player from the 2013 class to start.

Shamarko Thomas
"He's fast and physical. He loves to play the game and that's obvious when you watch his tape."

"We believe he has the ability to be a core special teams player immediately."

It seems like everyone from Mike Mayock to commenters on this site loved this pick, and Pittsburgh has found an immediate contributor as well as a future replacement for Troy Polamalu.

Landry Jones
"He's a sharp guy, he's a football junky. He's a good, sharp young man to put in the room and develop."

Tomlin also note that Ben has been in contact with the coach and management throughout the draft process, and has no problem with the Steelers selecting a backup. He pointed out that the Steelers have frequently needed their backup QB as well as their third string QB, and it is clear this pick was to improve the third string with a player who can develop into a full time backup. In my opinion, this is a lot like the Ryan Mallett pick for the Patriots a few years ago, and maybe in 3 years the Steelers can ship him to the Cardinals or Dolphins for a second-round pick.

Tomlin wasn't asked about Markus Wheaton, but I have to assume he would have given a similar, Tomlin-esque answer about how Wheaton has good skills and plays the game smart and has a good work-ethic.

Tomlin is confident the Steelers had a good draft to this point, as he should be. He clearly disagrees with Neal and others about Bell, but he didn't have time to go into enough details to convince me it was the right pick. Jones, Thomas, and Wheaton are some of my favorite picks of the last few years, and I think Landry was a smarter pick than many of the rest on this blog. Reports have Roethlisberger's sister and Landry Jones' wife as close friends (Big Ben's sister was in Jones' wedding) and hopefully the two have a good relationship. If Jones respects Roethlisberger and is willing to learn from him, the physical aspects are there to make Jones a solid NFL quarterback.