PDA

View Full Version : Most Glaring Need: OLB Depth


MontaniSemperLiberi
04-19-2014, 08:31 PM
Situation:

I believe we will take the best player available in the first round (crossing fingers for OT/NT) but the most important decision, in my opinion, will be made in the second round. I hope we address OLB because it seems to be the most glaring need in the immediate future. Both Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds are pretty much unproven, but will have a chance to solidy their positions this year (however Worilds may take his talents elsewhere after this season and I think Jones has questionable work ethic when it comes to strength and conditioning).

The Prospects:

Assuming Kahlil Mack and Anthony Barr are gone before we pick - the players I hope we target are Jeremiah Attaochu, Dee Ford, and Demarcus Lawrence. Attaochu is my surprise favorite because he is a high character guy, with great athleticism, and has been a team captain and defensive leader. I actually like Attaochu in the 2nd better than Kahlil Mack or Anthony Barr in the 1st... I even like him more than Jarvis Jones and wouldn't mind if we picked him in the first round this year (if it looks like we could get Nix in the second). Attaochu would to give Jones viable competition (and light a fire under his arse in the weight room) so hopefully both would develop into Pro Bowlers.

Other Outside Linebackers who I think have Pro Bowl potential and will be available on day three are poor man's J.J. Watt: Cassius Marsh and Clay Matthews' mini-me: Morgan Breslin.

Remaining Picks:

In rounds 3 4 and 5 I hope we target (WR, CB, RB, OLB/DE) and WR/CB again in 6/7.

WRs: Brandon Coleman, Cody Latimer, Devin Street, Dri Archer, Jeff Janis, John Brown
CBs: Pierre Desir, Keith McGill, E.J. Gaines, Victor Hampton, Ross Cockrell, Walt Aikens, Aaron Colvin
RBs: Lache Seastrunk, Bishop Sankey, Ka'Deem Carey, Charles Sims, Andre Willams
OLB/DE: Marsh/Breslin, Adrian Hubbard, Jackson Jeffcoat, Michael Sam

SteelerJT
04-19-2014, 10:01 PM
It's not even the most pressing need on defense. At least there's two starting OLBs on the roster. We have one DE.

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-19-2014, 10:55 PM
DE Cam Heyward & Brian Arnfeldt
NT Cam Thomas & Hebron Fangupo
DT Steve McClendon & Nick Williams

So there's the two deep across the D-Line (Arnfeldt is gonna turn some heads, McClendon can definitely hold his own, and hopefully we get Nix in Rd 1)

How is OLB not a need in Rd 2 when there's nobody proven to be a season long starter, this could be Worilds last year, and Jones is coming off of his rookie season? Whom are you confident we can rely on if one of the unproven starters is benched/gets injured/or departs after the season?

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-19-2014, 11:12 PM
and further in your sig you have us taking CJ Mosely in the FIRST ROUND? We have Vince Williams, Lawrence Timmons, Arthur Moats, Sean Spence, Kion Wilson, and Terrence Garvin who all provide depth at the ILB position. Even if we were going to pick an ILB in this years draft there's great quality in the middle rounds (ie Christian Jones Fl State)... no way we waste a 1st round pick on Moseley.

SteelerJT
04-19-2014, 11:49 PM
DE Cam Heyward & Brian Arnfeldt
NT Cam Thomas & Hebron Fangupo
DT Steve McClendon & Nick Williams

So there's the two deep across the D-Line (Arnfeldt is gonna turn some heads, McClendon can definitely hold his own, and hopefully we get Nix in Rd 1)

How is OLB not a need in Rd 2 when there's nobody proven to be a season long starter, this could be Worilds last year, and Jones is coming off of his rookie season? Whom are you confident we can rely on if one of the unproven starters is benched/gets injured/or departs after the season?

and further in your sig you have us taking CJ Mosely in the FIRST ROUND? We have Vince Williams, Lawrence Timmons, Arthur Moats, Sean Spence, Kion Wilson, and Terrence Garvin who all provide depth at the ILB position. Even if we were going to pick an ILB in this years draft there's great quality in the middle rounds (ie Christian Jones Fl State)... no way we waste a 1st round pick on Moseley.

Woah there, skippy.

First, it looks like you missed this:
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert confirms Cam Thomas was signed to play defensive end

By Neal Coolong on Mar 23 2014

Thomas received a contract roughly on the same level as what Tennessee gave Al Woods. The Steelers made Woods an offer presumably to start at defensive end.

Perhaps the scenery isn't the only thing changing for newly signed Steelers defensive lineman Cam Thomas.

Steelers general manager told Post-Gazette reporter Gerry Dulac the team signed him to play defensive end.

If it doesn't mean he won't get looks at nose tackle as well, it basically means the team sees him as the 2014 version of Al Woods - a versatile swing lineman who could potentially hold down a starting defensive end role while being prepared to back up assumed starting nose tackle Steve McLendon.

Depth along the defensive line is still an issue for the Steelers, having only replaced one of two defensive ends, and lacking another reserve nose tackle.

Some would say they Thomas is the purest nose tackle on the roster. He caught something of a reputation for a lack of effort while in San Diego, losing the starting job in 2013 he earned in training camp.

The Steelers don't currently have any experienced depth behind Cam Heyward, the only certain starting defensive end currently on the roster. The Steelers sniffed around free agent Alex Carrington, but talks broke off and have not reportedly resumed since he left Pittsburgh two weeks ago. He is still unsigned.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2014/3/23/5539514/steelers-free-agency-depth-chart-cam-thomas-position-depth-chart-defensive-end

So you can refrain from penciling in Cam Thomas at Nose Tackle. And even then, despite his measurables Thomas lost his job at NT last year and has never started at end. Neither has Arnfelt or the true project Nick Williams. So no, they have no strong prospects to start opposite Heyward. That;s a fact.

I never said anything about not taking an OLB in round 2. For example, I wouldn't be against Marcus Smith in round 2. I never said it's not a need, but it's not the biggest.

Williams (two down player, liability in coverage)
Moats (career ST beast. Also, they've said he's going to be lined up at OLB here)
Spence (as of this writing worthless)
Wilson and Garvin (good ST, poor starters)

They have a lot of "guys" to go next to Timmons, but none of them are high enough quality players that they can't be replaced. You don't think the play of 6th round pick Williams attributed to the poor run defense last year? Mosley's instincts would be an instant upgrade, and he could hold his own in coverage on 3rd down.

You don't draft in round 1 based on need anyway. You take the best player available, and that could end up being Mosley. I could even been swayed to Hageman. However, there is not a chance in hell they pick Attoaochu. That's atrocious, that's reaching, and that is wasting a pick.

For what it's worth, I'd take Barr over Mosley. I just don't think he'll be there.

PhantomJB93
04-20-2014, 12:39 AM
High character guy? lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfz58agsfas

Then again, maybe we need a complete scumbag in our defense...because something's missing.

teegre
04-20-2014, 01:22 AM
SteelerJT

This guy is just shotgunning. He's listing as many players, at as many positions as possible; then, he'll come back & post an "I told you so" thread.

He did it earlier this off-season. He called out Bayz101 for a post from last year... yet, last year, he listed ten other "possible" picks in that same round.

It'd be like me saying that the Steelers will draft Mosley, Dennard, Gilbert, Nix, Hageman, Barr, Ebron, Pryor, Fuller, or Beckham in R1... and then, saying that I had called the pick.

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 07:32 AM
Woah there, skippy.

First, it looks like you missed this:


So you can refrain from penciling in Cam Thomas at Nose Tackle. And even then, despite his measurables Thomas lost his job at NT last year and has never started at end. Neither has Arnfelt or the true project Nick Williams. So no, they have no strong prospects to start opposite Heyward. That;s a fact.

I never said anything about not taking an OLB in round 2. For example, I wouldn't be against Marcus Smith in round 2. I never said it's not a need, but it's not the biggest.

Williams (two down player, liability in coverage)
Moats (career ST beast. Also, they've said he's going to be lined up at OLB here)
Spence (as of this writing worthless)
Wilson and Garvin (good ST, poor starters)

They have a lot of "guys" to go next to Timmons, but none of them are high enough quality players that they can't be replaced. You don't think the play of 6th round pick Williams attributed to the poor run defense last year? Mosley's instincts would be an instant upgrade, and he could hold his own in coverage on 3rd down.

You don't draft in round 1 based on need anyway. You take the best player available, and that could end up being Mosley. I could even been swayed to Hageman. However, there is not a chance in hell they pick Attoaochu. That's atrocious, that's reaching, and that is wasting a pick.

For what it's worth, I'd take Barr over Mosley. I just don't think he'll be there.

You're missing the point, but talking all around it: Whether it's Thomas or McClendon at NT... 1) they will both start concurrently with Heyward next year 2) we have designated backups behind them and 3) we will most likely draft a rookie DT this year and teach him how to play NT. I hope that's Nix in Rd 1 (assuming the elite OTs are gone). Arnfeldt hasn't started, but he has shown flashes of brilliance on the field... he will make an impact in the future. If we get Nix (or even Jernigan in 1, Anthony Johnson in 3, DaQuan Jones, and so on) depth on the D Line becomes a none issue.

Whether or not ILBs are worth Rd 1 picks... something we both can agree on: the Steelers have depth at ILB.

We have depth at Safety.

There are plenty of Cornerbacks who can cover better than Gilbert and are Faster than Dennard in the mid/late rounds.

WR is also very deep this year.

You still didn't really address the depth at OLB: there's Worilds (possible departure), Jones (sophomore season), Moats (Special Teams like you mentioned), then Chris Carter?

If the Steelers want to get back to being an elite pass rushing team, then at OLB in Rd 2 Attaochu is my guy... (with Dee Ford and Demarcus Lawrence as suitable substitutes if a team like Atlanta takes picks him first: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2032116-2014-atlanta-falcons-potential-draft-pick-profile-deolb-jeremiah-attaochu ). Attaochu has 196 tackles, 31.5 sacks, 43.5 TFL, 4 forced fumbles, and 5 pass deflections in his career at GT. He is widely considered one of the best pass rushers and defends the pass very well, but the one knock on him is stopping the run (and I agree with you that has been an issue for us since losing Casey Hampton); but folks said the same things about Von Miller... my main point is that elite pass rushers get picked early (I'll also agree with you that Marcus Smith is another good alternative).

We can get a DE/OLB tweener to sure up Cam Heywards side against the run in rounds 5,6, or 7 so even though I'm a fan of Crichton I'd go for the (smaller) elite pass rusher in Rd 2.

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 07:38 AM
High character guy? lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfz58agsfas

Then again, maybe we need a complete scumbag in our defense...because something's missing.

I can see you're from Virginia (I used to live in Hampton when I was in the Air Force so even though I went to WVU... I have to admit there is some talent in the tidewater and I respect VT despite our rivalry) so the forearm shove/strike on Logan Thomas probably ticked off you and GalaxSteeler (that's fair... but it's the only knock you'll ever find on the guy in 4 years at GT). He was still a team Captain in HS and College and is very well spoken.

I watched the clip you posted and noticed that he beat three blockers in one play to get to Logan Thomas in the first place... then after being upset about being held (probably for most of the game)/not being able to wrestle down the big/athletic quarterback he shoved him down forcefully with a forearm strike after the play was dead. Honestly, his stats could be much better if he would have been able to stay at OLB in a 3-4 throughout college... both he and Christian Jones were forced to move to DE and that hurt their sack totals. You should aslo watch some of his interviews then compare him to James Harrison/Jarvis Jones/Dee Ford; or at least check out his tape on the field.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nYVMdBbry8

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 12:52 PM
SteelerJT

This guy is just shotgunning. He's listing as many players, at as many positions as possible; then, he'll come back & post an "I told you so" thread.

He did it earlier this off-season. He called out Bayz101 for a post from last year... yet, last year, he listed ten other "possible" picks in that same round.

It'd be like me saying that the Steelers will draft Mosley, Dennard, Gilbert, Nix, Hageman, Barr, Ebron, Pryor, Fuller, or Beckham in R1... and then, saying that I had called the pick.

LOL, I don't know about your claim that I was "shotgunning" with about ten different picks for a particular round but at WVU we prefer beer duels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zafZglDEMWQ

What specific round are you referring to (in which I was "shotgunning")? What ten people did I suggest we pick in that "shotgun" round? I did post a handful of mock draft scenarios based on player availability, but I never posted ten targets in a particular round.

I do list multiple players that I like at each position in order of precedence* - it's called prioritizing and having contingency plans... but I guess only a military logistics officer would understand that concept.

I did call out @Bays101 for two reasons:

1) Bashing my prediction that we would take Le'Veon Bell in the second/third round when everyone else on here had him graded in round 3 or 4.
2) Bashing my suggested pick of Duke Williams in the 6th round (long story but I opted out of selecting one of my favorite safeties TJ McDonald (USC) in a mock draft so we could add depth at the Center position by taking USC center Khaled Holmes)... Williams will be vying for a starting position with the Bills this season and was selected in the fourth round!

The thing with these mock drafts is: you never know who will be available the next time your team's on the clock... some players and/or positions are worth reaching for despite what round they are graded at; if* they fit your scheme.

For example, this year there are many quality WRs/CBs graded in the later rounds; I've seen Coleman, Latimer, and Street all graded, on average, somewhere in the fifth but I doubt Latimer will last past the fourth and Coleman could be selected in the third round. "Why?" you might ask... well in a league with officiating bias for high scoring offense I believe drafting the WR position has become more valuable than the CB because most of the time they are allowed to be more physical than CBs (defeating the jam at the LOS, PI, hand battling, etc). There are exceptions to how physical the refs let CBs play; like the Seahawks last year and the Patriots a few years ago (most teams coach their DBs on how to get away with holding because the refs can't spot it or call it on every play). So even though I'm high on Pierre Desir and to a lesser degree Keith McGill... I would opt for Coleman or Latimer instead; and then try to pick-up E.J. Gaines or Victor Hampton in a later round.

Likewise since the league has departed from the running game, I would opt for a player graded as a "second tier" pass rusher (if they fit our scheme/don't have character concerns) over this year's top tier of running backs. It's not that I don't think a player like Lache Seastrunk deserves to be picked in the 2nd/3rd round... I just think he'll still be there when we pick in the fourth. Conversely, I doubt there will be any "second tier" pass rushers left after the second round and I'd really like the Steelers to at least come away from this draft with one decent pick at OLB.

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 01:12 PM
So here's my ideal situation for the Steelers in the upcoming 2014 draft.

1) Louis Nix - NT, Notre Dame

2) Kahlil Mack - OLB, Buffalo (never happening now thanks to TV exposure)
-or-
Jeremiah Attaochu - DE (3-4 OLB), Georgia Tech / Dee Ford - DE (3-4 OLB), Auburn

3) Cyrus Kouandjio - OT, Alabama (will probably be long gone) / Morgan Moses - OT, Virginia / JuWuan James - OT, Tennessee

4) E.J. Gaines - CB, Missouri / Victor Hampton - CB, South Carolina
-or-
Charles Sims - RB, West Virginia

5) Lache Seastrunk - RB, Baylor / Andre Williams - RB, Boston College
-or-
Brandon Coleman - WR, Rutgers / Devin Street - WR, Pitt / Cody Latimer - WR, Indiana

6) Morgan Breslin - DE (3-4 OLB), Southern California / Cassius Marsh - DE (3-4 OLB), California Los Angeles / Michael Sam - DE (3-4 OLB), Missouri

7) Dri Archer - WR/RB (like Tavon Austin but has untested receiving capability), Kent State


Other Players I really like that fit the Steelers mold at each position:

Zach Mettenberger - QB, Louisiana State
Jerick McKinnon - RB, Georgia Southern
Kelvin Benjamin - WR, Florida State
Joe Don Duncan - TE, Dixie State

OT - All those elite guys we don't have much of a shot at (unless teams reach for quarterbacks in round one): Robinson, Matthews, Lewan
OG - Gabe Jackson/Cyril Richardson... we can't afford to draft guards/don't need them

C - (somebody to provide depth... not much film to evaluate on interior offensive lineman)

DE - Ed Stinson/Stephon Tuitt (blah blah blah)... we will move McClendon to end opposite Heyward (Arnfeldt looks like a contender btw).

Scott Crichton (move to runstopping OLB position) / Aaron Donald (could he possibly cut weight and move to OLB? I love what I see from Donald, but he's not really a good fit on the DL)

Caraun Reid - DT, Princeton
Christian Jones - OLB, Florida State
Andrew Jackson - ILB, Western Kentucky (I think he goes undrafted and whoever picks him up will be surprised, but it will not be the Steelers)
Lamarcus Joyner - SS, Florida State (Shamarko Thomas with more upside)
Deone Bucannon - FS, Washington State (imagine Ryan Clarke was brainwashed to make interceptions sometimes instead of always laying the big hit)
CB - PIERRE DESIR is the man!

I believe this is the post you are referring to... my Ideal Situational Picks were listed in bold. There are other ancillary players I like for the Steelers listed at the Bottom, but I never said whether they would be available because in most cases I think they will be selected ahead of the where Steelers pick in the corresponding round where most of them are graded - I listed them at the bottom because even though I think they fit what the Steelers do I think it's unrealistic that they slide down, but if they do I think the Steelers would jump at the opportunity.

(Also, no it's becoming very likely two of the three tackles I listed in round three will be off the board when the Steelers pick... then I think we start to look at WR early).

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 02:05 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLceQLeY2f8

SteelersCanada
04-20-2014, 02:13 PM
OLB depth isn't the biggest need on this team.

CB
DE
OLB

In that order.

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 04:30 PM
So what's your ideal draft scenario if the top 3 are CB, DE, and OLB in that order?
1686

SteelersCanada
04-20-2014, 06:55 PM
So what's your ideal draft scenario if the top 3 are CB, DE, and OLB in that order?
1686

Dennard
Tuitt
Smith
Colvin
Barrett

CB, DE, LB, CB, OLB.

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 10:42 PM
Dennard
Tuitt
Smith
Colvin
Barrett

CB, DE, LB, CB, OLB.

I think Dennard has the potential to be good if the officials let him play physical (like Sherman, Browner, etc), but my worry with him is that he may be slower than Ike Taylor in deep coverage.

Is that Marcus Smith, Chris Smith, or Telvin Smith with the 3rd Rd Compensatory?

Shaquil Barrett... now that's balsy! I've never even heard of him, but he looks to be more of a run stopper than pass rusher because he has a slow start off the snap - nevertheless he seems to get the job done despite how awkward he may look doing it (kind of like watching Andre Williams run).

Also what about the compensatory fifth, sixth, compensatory sixth and seventh round picks... offense?

SteelersCanada
04-20-2014, 10:51 PM
I think Dennard has the potential to be good if the officials let him play physical (like Sherman, Browner, etc), but my worry with him is that he may be slower than Ike Taylor in deep coverage.

Is that Marcus Smith, Chris Smith, or Telvin Smith with the 3rd Rd Compensatory?

Shaquil Barrett... now that's balsy! I've never even heard of him, but he looks to be more of a run stopper than pass rusher because he has a slow start off the snap - nevertheless he seems to get the job done despite how awkward he may look doing it (kind of like watching Andre Williams run).

Also what about the compensatory fifth, sixth, compensatory sixth and seventh round picks... offense?

Telvin Smith. I love his game. He covers like a Safety but is physical for a Linebacker. In our nickle/dime, I think he can take on a similar role as Kam Chancellor.

Barrett has all the tools. He was coached under Porter at CSU, and has the potential to be a quality depth player for us. While I disagree in that he looks like a run stopper, he needs to work on his technique and bend. If he's able to, he could be in the rotation for us.

As for the other compensatory selections, I'm not sure. I'm not done watching film / reading up on prospects to make an education opinion. In my last mock, I had a couple DE's and NT's going late, but I don't know if we go that route. Give me a week, I'll give you something more educated and accurate.

SteelerJT
04-20-2014, 10:56 PM
Barrett has all the tools. He was coached under Porter at CSU, and has the potential to be a quality depth player for us. While I disagree in that he looks like a run stopper, he needs to work on his technique and bend. If he's able to, he could be in the rotation for us.

I really don't know how you can be a member here and not know Barrett :tt02:

:chuckle:

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-20-2014, 11:24 PM
I really don't know how you can be a member here and not know Barrett :tt02:

:chuckle:

Yeah I don't know Barrett but I do recall this Kordell Stewart guy you may have heard of...

I've been forced to watch WVU suffer in the Big XII and almost never watch Mountain West Conference games... I usually stick with the SEC, ACC, and a few Big Ten games on tv. The one person I am real familiar with is Aaron Colvin because he often lined up across from Stedman Bailey when we played... too bad about his ACL (I tore mine and went with a hamstring autograft the first time - have never been quite the same, but my second surgery with a cadaver ligament is doing way better). I noticed you also have E.J. Gaines in your mock draft... I didn't know much about him before the combine, but he looked very agile in his drills and I hope he gets to keep wearing black and gold!

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-30-2014, 08:48 PM
"#46 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Jeremiah Attaochu – OLB – Georgia Tech

Jarvis Jones will get first crack but the Pittsburgh Steelers are driven by the success of their linebackers. Jeremiah Attaochu will remind them a lot of Joey Porter and James Harrison. He’s not only a gifted pass rusher but he’s fiery and isn’t afraid to talk."

http://nflmocks.com/2014/04/26/2014-nfl-mock-draft-update-2nd-round-revelations/

Guess I'm NOT the only one: "I think you're right about none of those guys being available at pick #97. Pass rushers generally go early. I would be perfectly fine with any of those 3 guys at pick #46, and would personally not be disappointed with Attaochu at #15. I feel strongly that he's going to be a really good pro - likely even more productive than he was in college. He just turned 21 in January, and he's already Georgia Tech's all time sack leader. He's known to be a good guy and hard worker, and you can see it in his game tape. He never stops until the whistle blows.

I'll make a prediction here that contradicts the online "experts." Attaochu will be selected in the 1st round. I think NFL teams are going to see what I see, even if the draftniks don't."

http://thesteelersfans.com/forums/showthread.php?9039-OLB-prospects

MontaniSemperLiberi
04-30-2014, 09:12 PM
Never said this before, but I agree with Todd McShay!

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10687757