When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers draft needs for the 2016 NFL Draft, the list is long and extensive, but that isn't news for any NFL organization. For the Steelers though, their needs are primarily on the defensive side of the football. Yet, despite the glaring needs on defense, experts and fans alike continue to project Pittsburgh drafting a quarterback at some point in the 7-round madness.
Despite the team meeting with several quarterbacks throughout the offseason, the team should not consider drafting a quarterback for multiple reasons.
1. Those 'other' draft needs
The Steelers draft needs are such which a quarterback should be an afterthought for the organization. The 30th ranked pass defense will be without a true No. 1 cornerback and a bonafide safety to play alongside Mike Mitchell in the back half. If those needs weren't enough, the defensive line is missing anything which resembles quality depth behind Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. The loss of Steve McLendon in free agency only complicates the situation more. On the offensive side of the football, depth along the line is critical, but the skill positions should be mid-to-late round thoughts for the team, except quarterback.
2. Just need a No. 3 quarterback in 2016
The Steelers are content heading into next season with Landry Jones as the No. 2 quarterback. There is no quarterback controversy in Pittsburgh, and won't be for several years. The only spot the team needs to fill is the No. 3 quarterback position on the team's depth chart. Although players like Mike Vick and Bruce Gradkowski are both still free agents, bringing in someone like Gradkowski would bring leadership, experience and a knowledge of the system that a rookie doesn't encompass. Just fill the last slot on the depth chart with someone experienced, and hold off on drafting a quarterback in the coming years.
3. Ben Roethlisberger still in his prime
There is a small contingent among the Steelers fan base who are wondering if Ben Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his proverbial rope, in terms of his career. The injuries have piled up, and Roethlisberger isn't getting any younger, but is it tough to disagree with Kevin Colbert when he said Roethlisberger has 3-4 years left in his "prime". With Roethlisberger still considered "the man" for the next 3-4 years, drafting a replacement doesn't make much sense from a contractual sense. If Roethlisberger is going to be quarterbacking the Steelers for the next 4 years, that would encompass the entirety of a rookie contract, leaving the team to have to negotiate a new contract with the quarterback when the team was in need of a signal caller.
4. Can address the position without wasting a pick
The team has met with Cody Kessler, Dak Prescott and Vernon Adams, among others, throughout the offseason, but not all of these players will even be drafted players. There is a good chance the team will be able to pick up a potential No. 3 quarterback as an undrafted free agent, like they did with Tyler Murphy in 2015. The Steelers like versatile quarterbacks, and they could target one of the many coming into the NFL in 2016, and do so without wasting a draft pick which could be used to bolster other positions on the team's roster.
Overall, the Steelers do have a need at quarterback, but it doesn't come close to potentially bumping out other positions in terms of need. The team would be best suited having a very defensive focused draft, and if they don't snag a free agent quarterback, re-signing someone like Gradkowski would give them plenty of depth at the position to get them to a Suepr Bowl in 2016.