The Louisville pro day will take place on Thursday and it sounds like Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will be present for it and perhaps even general manager Kevin Colbert as well. Tomlin admitted Monday at the annual league meetings that he’ll be attending that pro day to mainly scout quarterback Lamar Jackson and perhaps even have dinner with the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Tomlin and Colbert also previously attended the Oklahoma State pro day a few weeks ago where they spent a lot of time scouting quarterback Mason Rudolph. On Monday, Tomlin admitted to members of the Pittsburgh media that the Steelers are ramping up their process of scouting quarterbacks ahead of drafts the past couple of years because of the advancing age of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“It probably goes back beyond two years,” Tomlin said Monday in Orlando, FL, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s prudent business practice. When a quarterback is in his 30s, you better know what the market looks like, you better take yourself through the evaluation and stacking process. Whether or not you’re a true player in that market or it’s a dry run, Kevin and I have taken that approach the past couple. At some point it’s going to be real and maybe it’s this year.”
Even though Roethlisberger announced immediately after the 2017 season ended that he would be returning for the 2018 season and that he hopes to play at least three more seasons in total, the Steelers appear to be open to possibly drafting yet another quarterback this year after selecting quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the fourth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Should they ultimately wind up drafting one this year, odds are pretty good it would be either Rudolph or Jackson as those are the two most likely to still be on the board come the Steelers 28th overall selection in the first-round.
While in Indianapolis for this year’s scouting combine, Colbert talked about being intrigued with this year’s quarterback draft class that includes not only Rudolph and Jackson, but even higher-ranked prospects Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. On Sunday, Colbert was asked to give his thoughts on how so many good quarterbacks in this year’s draft class change the way the draft process works not only for the Steelers, but the other 31 NFL teams as well.
“Well, it’s an unusual season,” Colbert told Missi Matthews of steelers.com. “I mean, we go back to Ben’s season, when really you had three potential Hall of Famers drafted in Ben, and Eli Manning and Philip Rivers and that was an usual occurrence. It’s a cyclical deal and every so often it presents itself and I’m not saying this year’s group are Hall of Famers, but I do think this year’s group is as deep as it’s been in a long time.
“So, it not only gives you an option, but it also gives other teams options and if your not interested in taking a quarterback, it will help you get a player because other teams will be taking quarterbacks and it may flush some guys down to us that maybe if those quarterbacks weren’t available that we wouldn’t be able to get.”
Will the Steelers ultimately draft another quarterback this year, or is this just them doing more due diligence? It’s hard to say for sure but both Tomlin and Colbert are once again giving the appearance this offseason that they’re open to drafting yet another quarterback this year. We’ll find out for sure in a little more than a month from now and should they ultimately draft another one, at least we won’t be able to say that we weren’t told it would be a possibility.