When it comes to back up quarterbacks, the Steelers had quite a roller coaster run last year. The team originally had Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones backing up Ben Roethlisberger. However, a preseason injury sent Gradkowski to the injured reserve.
The Steelers then signed quarterback Michael Vick to their squad. When Roethlisberger went down, Vick was the guy to take charge of the offense. However, he did so only for a short time, as he would fall to a hamstring injury. That left Roethlisberger and Jones, and Jones had to start two games.
In his seven games and two starts, Jones didn’t really impress. The Steelers fans have been annoyed with Jones calling him “inconsistent,” and pleading with General Manager Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin to draft a younger quarterback. The Steelers could very well do just that this upcoming NFL Draft.
During their time at the NFL Combine this past weekend in Indianapolis, the Steelers met with Vernon Adams. However, before meeting with Adams, the team met with University of Southern California quarterback Cody Kessler at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which was held in January.
In his career, Kessler completed 553/815 passes, which results in a 67.9 percentage, for 6,803 yards. He threw 59 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions in his career. In the Trojan’s record books, Kessler has made his mark. He is fourth on the Trojan’s career touchdown passer’s list and sixth on the career passing table, with his 553 completions.
In his senior season, which was the third year in a row he was the Trojan’s starter, Kessler was a nominee for the Heisman Trophy and he was an All-American candidate. He was listed as the “nation’s most accomplished quarterback in 2015 after having the most efficient passing season in USC history.”
Another position that the Steelers could use some solid depth on is the offensive line. Injuries plagued the offensive line last year. The offensive line also had some trouble in games, especially towards the end of the season, keeping Roethlisberger in a clean pocket.
The Steelers, at the NFL Combine, interviewed Stanford University’s Joshua Garnett. Garnett played all four seasons during his time at Stanford. In his senior season, he was named the Outland Trophy Award winner, where he became the first player in Stanford history to receive the award, and he was named the Morris Trophy Award winner, which went to the Pac-12 Lineman of the Year.
In his senior season, he started and played in all 14 of Stanford’s games at the role of left guard. In his senior year he was a part of an offensive line that ranked 18th nationally in tackles for loss allowed (4.62 per game). The line was also ranked 42nd in sacks allowed (1.77 per game).
The Steelers are more than likely going to choose between Adams, who played collegiate at Eastern Washington and Oregon, and Kessler. The Steelers could also pick up Garnett with one of their picks. The NFL Draft begins on April 28 and will end on 30. The draft will be aired on NFL Network.