With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: QB Landry Jones
Stock Value: Down
Let’s make one thing clear before we dig in here. Yes, the drafting of quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft saw the stock value of fifth-year veteran Landry Jones take a hit, but that in no way means that his position in the pecking order of the depth chart is in any sort of serious jeopardy at the moment.
What we’re really talking about here is about a long-term investment. The Steelers signed Jones to a two-year contract after he completed the four years on his rookie contract, but with the introduction of Dobbs into the mix, one would have to presume that they anticipate him at the very least emerging as the backup quarterback to Ben Roethlisberger upon the conclusion of Jones’ most recent contract.
In other words, the drafting of Dobbs takes a shot at the prospect of Jones being viewed right now as a long-term backup, and as somebody that they wanted to try to improve upon. Whether or not that experiment ends up being successful with Dobbs, who had more accuracy issues but who did finish his college career strong, is a question that we will have to revisit well down the road.
Jones’ stock value is down, but his actual value to the team remains tremendous, as he is the first in line behind Roethlisberger, and the man who will come in if there is an injury. He has improved every season since his rookie year, and had a nice game against the Browns to close out the season, including a comeback victory—even if it was against Cleveland.
They believe he is a quarterback who has their system down and who is capable of running it and making the necessary throws if given the opportunities, and they have seen him grow when given more opportunities to demonstrate that growth.
But that won’t stop them from turning to Dobbs, say, in 2018, for the backup role should he outperform him. The Steelers wanted to see Jones command the backup role by his second season and he failed to do so. Perhaps Dobbs will have more success in accomplishing that task. Or perhaps not.