And so the athleticism that second-rounder Brian O’Neill showed at rookie minicamp was encouraging to a staff looking for some competition in camp at those positions come summer.
“Well, that’s fine. He can [take over someday],” Roethlisberger said to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But I plan on playing for three to five more years, depending on how the line goes and staying healthy, if I can stay healthy. If he’s going to be their guy, that’s great, but in my perfect world it’s not going to be for a while.”
The only time Roethlisberger didn’t play last year was when he rested in Week 17, but he missed time due to injuries in the previous two seasons. That underscores the need for a capable backup in Pittsburgh, which is a role the Steelers will be hoping Rudolph can fill in the immediate future while questions about what’s next remain on the back burner.
When it did, suffice it to say, the staff was excited to get to work on modernizing the scheme in a way that, they hope, will benefit both Flacco and Jackson.
What will that look like in 2018?
The Arkansas offensive lineman became a hot name as the draft approached and was the first center selected.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn said after the draft he fielded several trade offers for the 20th pick but felt he couldn’t pass on a chance to add a rock like Ragnow to the middle of the offensive line.
Everything we’re about is kind of what he is, Quinn said, via MLive.com. So at that point in time, it was a real easy pick. He was a guy we kind of had our eyes on for a while, and it kind of worked out that way.
The Lions have invested heavily in their offensive line the past half-decade, including 2016 first-round left tackle Taylor Decker, 2016 third-round pick Graham Glasgow, and free-agent signees Ricky Wagner and T.J. Lang. Detroit previously used a first-round pick in 2015 on guard Laken Tomlinson, and third-round picks in 2014 and 2013 on Larry Warford and Travis Swanson, respectively, though none remain on the team.
Ragnow projects as a Day 1 starter; the question is whether he will line up at center or guard.