Steeler Nation, Grade Your Draft Picks: Rounds 4 & 5

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4th Round, 115th Overall: Landry Jones

Jan 4, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Landry Jones (12) scrambles out of the pocket against the Texas A

The Steelers ‘on a roll’ was short lived with a record scratching halt during their 2nd selection in the 4th round and just mere minutes after they selected Thomas.  The Steelers, who have been thinking about their future quarterback, pulled the trigger and took one…. but it was Landry Jones.  Jones is a bit of a head scratcher with so many other higher graded QB’s on the board.  But, clearly the Steelers see something in Jones that makes him more of a fit than the others.  4th round pick for QB is a safe one – especially with so many left on the board after quite a drought in the earlier rounds.

A huge upside to Jones is that he is a pocket passer.  We all love Big Ben and know that his biggest strength is the ability to feel pressure, get the hell out of there, and make a play.  We also all know that OC Todd Haley would rather Ben stay in the pocket a bit longer than he does.  Jones fits that desire.  The catch is that the O-line needs to pass block more effectively if the offense is ever going to survive with a pocket passer in under center.  Dom has this to say of Jones:

A big-framed quarterback (6’4″ 225 lbs.), Jones is most at home in the pocket, and when he receives time to throw is a very accurate passer at all levels of the field.  His work in the short and intermediate games with the Sooners should help him adjust well to what offensive coordinator Todd Haley wants to do in Pittsburgh, but he definitely has more than enough arm-strength to stretch the field vertically.  Unfortunately, Jones is not the most mobile quarterback, and made quite a bit of bad decisions during his career when he was under duress.  Considering that Pittsburgh’s offensive linemen outside of Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey are young and still developing, Jones could definitely be in trouble if he is pressed into action too early.  While he was statistically the most prolific passer in Oklahoma history, Landry was definitely a frustrating player for Sooners fans to watch after the Sam Bradford-era ended.  On one hand, Jones could fire strikes and do some impressive things in the passing games.  But then on the very next play he would make a bone-headed error with a pick, cough up the ball by not taking a sack, or simply not make a correct read.

Mike Mayock had this to add:

[Y]ou have to go back to his junior tape, maybe even his sophomore tape. I feel the more pressure he was under to win games, he was forcing things to win games.

Not hugely encouraging words.  The thing to keep in mind with Jones is that he will be learning under one of the elites in the league and will have plenty of time before all of Steeler Nation will be counting on Landry to move this team into its next era.

What grade do you give the Landry pick?

What grade do you give the Landry Jones pick?

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