Saturday, April 24, 2004

Roethlisberger is the future
Round 1
The Steelers did exactly what they had to do when they took QB Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th pick in today's NFL draft. The QB they supposedly coveted, Philip Rivers, was gone by the fourth pick, as were standout cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Dunta Robinson. Unless the Steelers were willing to trade down and either get OT Shawn Andrews or another CB, this was without a doubt the right pick.

In the past few months I have been a vocal proponent of getting a CB and also very anti-drafting a QB with this pick. But given how things played out, the Steelers, in my opinion did exactly the right thing -- they took the best available player who hopefully will take a year or two to develop, will not be hindered by only playing the position for five years and by playing in a second-tier conference and will be a mainstay in Pittsburgh for years to come. Roethlisberger is a gamble, but who isn't outside of Robert Gallery?

Of course this does nothing to address the CB and OT needs, but the Steelers still have eight picks to go. If nothing else, this creates some excitement in Pittsburgh as fans look forward to the 2004 season. Check back later for the 2nd round commentary.