View Full Version : Steelers Best Skipping Last Three Rounds, Signing Street Free Agents Instead

04-24-2008, 10:44 AM

Steelers Best Skipping Last Three Rounds, Signing Street Free Agents Instead
Posted Apr 22nd 2008 9:34PM by JJ Cooper

When it comes to Steelers first-round picks, there's not a whole lot to complain about. The Steelers second-day picks, on the other hand, deserve a lot of venom. As a story in the Post-Gazette points out, the Steelers saving grace has been their ability to find street free agents who can really play.

While the jury is still out on last year's first-rounder Lawrence Timmons, every other first-rounder the Steelers have taken this decade has turned into a consistent NFL starter, with Plaxico Burress, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Casey Hampton and Heath Miller all becoming among the better players at their position.

But when it comes to second-day picks, Pittsburgh has thrown plenty of darts without getting many bullseyes. At one point, the Steelers were among the best at finding late-round stars. Greg Lloyd, Lethon Flowers, Darren Perry, Carlton Haselrig, Earl Holmes, Orpheus Roye, Deshea Townsend, Larry Foote, Aaron Smith and Clark Haggans are all among the fourth-rounders and beyond who have become starters for the Steelers.

But since taking Foote and Keisel in 2002, Pittsburgh has found only two starters in five years. And worse than that, Taylor, Colon, Daniel Sepulveda, William Gay and Chris Kemoeatu are the only second-day picks during that span who have not been waived by the Steelers at some point or another (Ryan McBean and Dallas Baker spent much of last year on the practice squad, but they are back on the Steelers offseason roster).

Pittsburgh has actually been better at finding undrafted players than they are at drafting on the second-day. Undrafted free agents James Harrison and Willie Parker are both Pro Bowlers (something no Steelers second-day pick since Aaron Smith can say). In addition, Nate Washington is the team's No. 3 receiver , Gary Russell was the team's No. 3 running back at the end of the season, and Darnell Stapleton is a backup center. That's five undrafted free agents on the 2007 roster from the past six years, compared to five second-day picks from the past five years.

With this many holes on the current roster, Pittsburgh can't afford to keep missing on second-day picks. That is, unless Pittsburgh can find some more Willie Parkers and James Harrison's among undrafted free agents.

04-24-2008, 07:52 PM
Looking at the players who the steelers have had in for visits many are projected Undrafted free agents.

Maybe they should trade down in the lower rounds to get more picks to actually take these guys and eliminate the risk of another team grabbing them after the draft.
Eg. treat rounds 5,6 and 7 as UDFA rounds.

It wouldnt do any harm because not much else has worked the last few years.

The only other option is to pick guys who are gamers. Throw all the stats and potential stuff out the window and just pick guys with heart and motor. we have a quote in Australia that might be applicable. " its not the size of the dog in the fight that matters but the size of the fight in the dog that really matters"

04-24-2008, 09:48 PM
they definitely need to improve in this area...the core of the roster is starting to age and they can't keep striking out on second day picks, especially since they don't like to dig into free agency.

i like kevin colbert, but i still question his overall ability...let's not forget we picked him up from the lions...