Ben Roethlisberger was hoping the Pittsburgh Steelers would waste no time getting him some help at wide receiver in the draft earlier this month. With Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders having left town, the Steelers have very few reliable options beyond Antonio Smith. Despite that, they decided to draft linebacker Ryan Shazier with the 15th overall pick.
While Roethlisberger seems to be on board now, he admitted on Tuesday that he was hoping the Steelers would not wait until the third and fourth rounds — when they took running back Dri Archer and receiver Martavis Bryant — to draft skill players.
“I got caught up in doing what I always say not to do, and that’s listen to the media,” Roethlisberger said, per Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “(The Steelers) obviously have their agenda, the things they want, and they got two guys that they felt can help this team.”
As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted, Wallace, Sanders and Brown were all drafted in the third round or later. The Steelers drafted former Texas star Limas Sweed in the second round back in 2008. Who? Exactly.
Pittsburgh obviously has a specific draft approach that has paid in previous years, so there’s no reason to deviate from it. At age 34 and seeking a new contract, you can understand why Roethlisberger was hoping for a sexier name like Kelvin Benjamin or Brandin Cooks. The Steelers ranked 20th in the NFL last season in total offense, so there is clearly work to be done. That doesn’t necessarily mean waiting to draft a wide receiver was a mistake.