Steelers Draft Buzz
Dale Grndic’s Write up’s on first three picks:
Through the first two days of the draft, the Steelers accomplished their primary goal of addressing the defensive line, offensive line and cornerback.
Now their focus will turn to some skilled positions in Day 3 (RB, WR). They would love to get a running back, most notably a sprinter who can be a change of pace back with Rashard Mendenhall, have the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield on third downs and be a returner.
Eastern Washington’s Taiwan Jones is believed to be a player that could interest the Steelers. West Virgina’s Noel Devine even fits into what the Steelers are seeking as a late round pick.
Several positions are going to be in play today, including linebacker.
Texas OLB Sam Acho remains on the board and is an intriguing player still left. The Steelers met with him during his proday in Texas.
Today, they could even look at the defensive tackle position at a “developmental” guy like Alabama A & M’s Frank Kearse who the team held a private workout for and is said to be intrigued by.
There’s also a few intriguing corners still out there.
Onto first three picks….
Some might have wanted the Steelers to go cornerback early but indications are the team was really set on the D-Line.
Talk out of Steelers circles is that Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn (20th overall) and Cameron Heyward were the top two targets going into round 1.
The team intended to look into a trade up for guard Mike Pouncey if he slipped into the 20’s but that obviously wasn’t realistic and D-line was where the team saw the most value on Day 1.
Some interesting chatter is that Texas CB Aaron Williams wasn’t near the top of their wishlist that some thought he was because the Steelers saw him more as a safety.
Miami’s CB Brandon Harris appeared to be falling into the Steelers lap at No. 63 but the Steelers didn’t value him enough to move up and land him.
The only corner I’m told they would have been willing to move up for was Virginia Tech’s Ras-I-Dowling but he was off the board quickly.
In the end, the Steelers lucked out and got a guy in Curtis Brown they really liked and had rated among the higher corners.
He’s a player secondary coach Carnell Lake seems to believe could contribute in his first season but with likely no OTA’s and possibily no training camp, that hurts Brown going into next season along with young corners Keenan Lewis and Crezdon Butler.
Cornerback is going to have to be addressed with at least one starting cornerback and possibly another top-4 cornerback to provide depth.
Some names will include top target Ike Taylor, William Gay and Baltimore’s Chris Carr who the Steelers pursued in free agency following the 2008 season.
On the offensive line, even with the addition of second round pick Marcus Gilbert, the best case scenario for the Steelers is to have the 2010 rules in place and get Willie Colon back on a first round tender.
From there the Steelers can sort things out and either give Colon an opportunity to regain his starting right tackle spot or develop him into a guard which offensive line coach Sean Kugler is said to be intrigued by.
I don’t understand the infatuation from the organization on bringing back 36 year old Flozell Adams. The interesting thing about Adams is that if Colon is brough back under the 2010 rules, there are whispers he won’t accept a “paycut” and could ask for a release.
At the defensive end position, the Steelers are in excellent shape for the short-term and long-term.
A Ziggy Hood, Aaron Smith tandem at left defensive end will be a great combination if Smith can stay healthy.
Brett Keisel still has a few good years left in him and Cameron Heyward is in a great position where the Steelers can slowly work him into the mix.
The hope is that Casey Hampton remains in shape and motivated and that the Steelers can get another impact year or two out of him. The defensive tackle position will surely have to be addressed early in next year’s draft.