Steelers realize the obvious: They need quarterback help

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers were destined to arrive at this point, with a star quarterback weighing football immortality and minimal resources behind him.

The presence of Ben Roethlisberger allowed the Steelers to go heavy on defense in the last few drfats. And with Roethlisberger publicly evaluating his shelf life, the Steelers are left with a nearly rebuilt defense but journeyman Zach Mettenberger as the only backup quarterback under contract for 2017.

Landry Jones is the team's only draft pick at quarterback in the last eight years, and the impending free agent is hardly a guarantee to return.

That leaves the Steelers possibly grasping for their own Dak Prescott, a prospect they dined with during the 2016 draft process.

Asked about a succession plan for Roethlisberger , team president Art Rooney II said quarterback depth will be crucial.

"Truth be told, we were probably a little thinner at that this year than we might have liked," Rooney said. "And so, I think it is something we’ve got to look at this offseason in terms of -- even if Ben never said what he said, I think it’s something we’d be looking at anyway. So I haven’t spent a lot of time talking about it yet with Kevin [Colbert], and I’m sure he’s going to be working on looking at what’s available this offseason. So it’s something we probably have to address."

That doesn't sound like an endorsement of Jones and Mettenberger as primary backup options.

The Steelers are in a difficult spot because Roethlisberger could play one more season, or five, and not many would be surprised either way. The roster still has a few holes in other areas, namely pass-rusher and an additional playmaker on offense.

But investing in a passer on Day 2 of the draft would be a sensible play here, assuming the Steelers see long-term starter's potential.

The team's last quarterback selected in the first three rounds? Roethlisberger, in 2004.

It's probably time.