Daily American Debate
7:32 PM EDT, April 29, 2013
Ben Roethlisberger makes the Pittsburgh Steelers a contender every year. It is rare that a team is fortunate enough to have a quarterback of his caliber.
That's why it is surprising that team leaders didn't use last week's draft to better surround Big Ben with weapons.
Sure, they got a big back in Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell and potential Mike Wallace replacements in Oregon State's Markus Wheaton and Oklahoma's Justin Brown. But nothing is guaranteed. And those picks were the highlights of offensive add-ons.
They should have drafted Tyler Eifert in the first round. With aging and injured Heath Miller in question, Eifert could have been a lock-starter and clear upgrade to backup Matt Spaeth.
But instead Pittsburgh took Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones with their No. 1 pick. The hope is that he will be the next James Harrison — maybe in a few years.
Roethlisberger can orchestrate the league's best offense this season if he is provided with the right weapons.
In rounds 4 to 7 the Steelers drafted only two offensive players: Brown in Round 6; and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones with a second fourth round selection. Big Ben is under contract until 2015. New contract talks could start next year. Now is not the time to draft Roethlisberger's replacement.
In a few years the 2013 draft might turn out successful. Jarvis Jones could lead the league in sacks and Bell might be a pro-bowler — emphasis on might, maybe and could. Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and will be for several more years. This was the right time to solidify the offensive talent base to make the most out of the rest of his career. Eifert would have been a good start.
(City Editor Rick Kazmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog, "The Kazmer Report," at dailyamerican.com. Smartphone users can access the blog by scanning the QR code at left.)