Many fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers often make a very understandable mistake when they discuss the 2013 NFL Draft. More often than not, I hear people say “I can’t believe the Steelers traded a third-round pick for Landry Jones!”
The Steelers did in fact trade a third-round pick but it wasn’t for Jones. They made the trade with Cleveland to move up and grab safety Shamarko Thomas. Jones was drafted with their original pick in the fourth round.
Regardless of how things went down, I believe the Steelers will regret losing that third round draft pick in this year’s draft. With such a deep pool of talent this year, especially in areas where the Steelers need help, not having a selection in the third round will hurt.
Moving up to get a safety they coveted wasn’t the problem. If you see a guy you want and have a chance to go get him then you do it. My issue is that following that selection up with such a useless, unnecessary pick is what grinds my gears.
The argument is that the Steelers needed to get younger at the quarterback position. You’ll get no argument from me on that but this could have been accomplished in the sixth or seventh round or in free agency.
With needs on the offensive and defensive lines, in the secondary and a need for depth at tight end, Kevin Colbert blew it by taking Jones. He showed very little in the way of being a potential NFL quarterback during his preseason playing time.
I know one discussion I had with some fans was that maybe they drafted him in order to trade him later on for a second or third round pick. This is the same discussion the Patriots and Redskins have had about Kirk Cousins and Ryan Mallett. It was thought those guys could fetch a second-round pick from a quarterback-desperate team but that isn’t happening.
Maybe Landry Jones will go on to a solid NFL career and if he does I’ll gladly eat my words, but I don’t see it happening. Even if that does come to fruition, the selection was a poor one especially knowing they had already traded away the third-round pick for this year.
Should the Steelers get the compensatory picks they are hoping for, it’s possible they could package enough selections to get the third-round pick back.
Either way, a poor decision in 2013 is leading to problems in 2014.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.