According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, even though the Steelers aren’t ready to replace Ben Roethlisberger, they still may draft Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray.
The Steelers are not ready to start grooming a replacement for Roethlisberger, who is 31 and entering his 10th season in the league. He has three more years remaining on his $100 million contract. But that doesn’t mean they would pass on a talented quarterback who still needs several years of development before he is ready to play in the NFL.
And that quarterback is Tyler Bray, who is only 21 and skipped his senior season at Tennessee to enter the draft.
A lot of NFL teams, the Steelers included, think Bray is the most-talented quarterback in the draft. He is a 6-foot-6, 230-pound pocket passer with a powerful arm who threw for 7,444 yards and 69 touchdowns in three seasons with the Volunteers.
Bray, however, is not like any of the 2012 rookie quarterbacks who came ready-made for the NFL — Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson. In fact, some NFL teams are worried he might be more like Ryan Leaf, the poster child for the all-arm, no-head quarterback.
Because of his maturity level and need for development, Bray could go anywhere from the second to fourth round in the draft. But nobody questions his skills or ability to make any throw on the field.
While no one knows who’ll one day replace Roethlisberger, the Steelers could always develop Bray and trade him down the road. If they can get him in the fourth round or later, they could end up with a steal.