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View Full Version : Steelers seek depth at receiver By: Jim Wexell


mesaSteeler
04-21-2009, 11:05 PM
04/21/2009
Steelers seek depth at receiver
By: Jim Wexell , For the Herald-Standard
http://www.heraldstandard.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20301590&BRD=2280&PAG=461&dept_id=468632&rfi=6

The coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line needs young talent, but doesn't see how the offensive line won't garner the team's first draft pick.But the O-line coach looks at the Steelers' only lost starter and believes the first pick has to be a cornerback.

The DB coach, though, he believes that old draft axiom whereby those who score touchdowns will always get the attention in the first round.

So, since the Steelers are stocked at running back, this winding road leads us to the wide receiver position, where the Steelers not only lack depth there, but also could be without Hines Ward following the 2009 season.

Ward's contract will be up and he'll be 34 at this time next year, and he'll be a well-worn 34. He's won two rings, holds all the team's important receiving records, put up Hall of Fame numbers, and has told friends he has little more to accomplish. If Ward does opt to come back following 2009, it'll be at a reduced rate and likely a reduced role, much like Jerome Bettis in his latter years.

So the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger - considering the lack of depth behind Ward and Santonio Holmes - need another weapon, and there's a Ward-like performer who could last until the bottom of the first round.

Hakeem Nicks (6- , 212), of North Carolina, has drawn comparisons to Ward and Anquan Boldin by draft analyst Mike Mayock, and to Michael Irvin by Pro Football Weekly, and Nicks looked like all three players in his bowl game against West Virginia. Nicks ran great routes, showed "wow" hands, and flashed as much strength before and after the catch as Ward. Nicks finished the game with 217 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Yet, the junior doesn't have the scary speed of a Michael Crabtree or a Jeremy Maclin and is projected to be a late first-rounder, even though he ripped off a 4.49 40 at the combine.

That time was lost in the aftereffects of a strained hamstring. Nicks stopped working out and gained 14 pounds by his Pro Day. It brought up whispers of off-the-field character problems, which Scout.com's senior scout, Tom Marino, brushes off.
"Hakeem is a good kid," said Marino, a North Carolina resident who has followed Nicks' career. "He's quiet by nature and mature beyond his years. He stays away from people who push the envelope."

And on the field?

"He is smart," Marino said. "He can play any of the positions without a problem. He made in-game adjustments in their pro style offense. I like his mental toughness. He's a good practice player and a very competitive game day performer."
Marino likes Nicks' strength, explosiveness, leaping ability, timing, ability to wrest the ball from defenders, suddenness in and out of breaks, hands, concentration, route running and blocking.

As for Nicks' deep speed, Marino compared his tracking skills to those of legendary Baltimore center fielder Paul Blair. Marino watched all of the tape and saw Nicks drop one ball last season.

"He should be able to make a strong early impact and quickly develop into a club's number one receiver," Marino said.

The New York Giants are reportedly interested in trading for Braylon Edwards on draft day. If they don't, they'll take Nicks with pick 29. That would possibly leave Ohio State's Brian Robiskie as a candidate for the Steelers at pick 32.

A coach's son with size and speed (6-3, 209, 4.54), the disciplined and team-oriented Robiskie would be another worthy successor to Ward. He's been labeled as a second-rounder, probably because of the struggles Ohio State endured last season with a run-first freshman quarterback. But scouts believe Robiskie's polished enough to develop into a starter in his first or second season.
The Steelers are also considering Arizona slot receiver Mike Thomas and Florida split end Louis Murphy, who both visited the South Side facility. They're second to fourth-rounders.

The Steelers also showed interest in a couple of late-round speedsters, Jeron Cherry of Louisiana-Lafayette and Travis Shelton of Temple. Shelton is a cousin of Devin Hester and has been clocked at 4.2+ in the 40.

At tight end, the Steelers need blocking help, so they brought in North Carolina's Richard Quinn for a visit. Scouts agree that Quinn is one of the few "combination" tight ends in the draft, and some are calling him a third-rounder, even though he caught only eight passes last season.

lilyoder6
04-21-2009, 11:16 PM
mmhmhmhmhm

sounds very interesting... but i think they could find a quality wr later in the draft

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-22-2009, 01:02 AM
Yeah, the more I read of Wexell the more I think he is full of crap.

I almost believe more of what Mark Madden has to say than Wexell. :doh:

steelerguy26
04-22-2009, 01:15 AM
I am not sure the Steelers would draft a WR before the 3rd round myself. I think they have a ton of confidence in Sweed and feel he is going to come into his own this year.

Also they added Big Ben's old buddy Martin Nance who could play a key role if he and Ben can get on the same page as they once were in college.

It would not surprise me if they do go WR in the 1st round if a guy like P. Harvin falls to them at 32 though.

I see them getting the best value at CB with the 32nd pick....

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-22-2009, 01:22 AM
I see them picking Alex Mack in round 1, Jarron Gilbert in round 2 and CB Donald Washington in round 3.

ricksteelers55
04-22-2009, 02:46 AM
I see them picking Alex Mack in round 1, Jarron Gilbert in round 2 and CB Donald Washington in round 3.

hmmm not sure Gilbert would still be on board in round 2,would love it though

Galax Steeler
04-22-2009, 04:27 AM
hmmm not sure Gilbert would still be on board in round 2,would love it though

That is the funny thing about the draft you just don't know who is going to be there when you pick.

AllD
04-22-2009, 08:13 PM
Already talking about lack of WRs while in fact, we have TWO Super Bowl MVPs starting. They are second only to Swann and Stallworth. Just think if Randal El stayed.

revefsreleets
04-23-2009, 10:59 AM
I see them picking Alex Mack in round 1, Jarron Gilbert in round 2 and CB Donald Washington in round 3.

If that happens, I'll do sommersaults through the hallways. That would be a GREAT draft, filling need with really quality players.

However, I don't see Gilbert lasting. Maybe Moala? Washington I think is going to be superb.

Steel Head
04-23-2009, 11:25 AM
Washington I think is going to be superb.

Washington will be out getting coked up and shooting up titty bars...not exactly Tomlin's kind of guy.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-23-2009, 12:05 PM
Washington will be out getting coked up and shooting up titty bars...not exactly Tomlin's kind of guy.

Does he have a history of partying wit Jones??

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-23-2009, 12:09 PM
If that happens, I'll do sommersaults through the hallways. That would be a GREAT draft, filling need with really quality players.

However, I don't see Gilbert lasting. Maybe Moala? Washington I think is going to be superb.

The funny thing about Gilbert is that he has more questions than Moala. Level of competition, doesnt always play on every down hard, some think his temperment leads to being a better O lineman. I know its counter to what most think, but for some reason I think Gilbert is gonna slide a bit, kind of like Dre Moore did last year.

My new mock I have the steelers getting Eben Britton in round 1, Jarron Gilbert in 2 and Washington in 3. Then Rd 4 is a toss up between AQ Shipley or Mike Thomas.

Steel Head
04-23-2009, 12:34 PM
Does he have a history of partying wit Jones??

na, i was just messin with that OSU homer. He was blowing up Rey Maulaluga's charicter issues which are not big in a different thread.

Washington was suspended by Coach Tressell for undisclosed reasons. He missed their bowl game because of it

revefsreleets
04-23-2009, 01:54 PM
na, i was just messin with that OSU homer. He was blowing up Rey Maulaluga's charicter issues which are not big in a different thread.

Washington was suspended by Coach Tressell for undisclosed reasons. He missed their bowl game because of it

Cute.

Washington was suspended for NON LEGAL issues. Tress said "He needs to earn his car keys back". I'm guessing academics, but either way, it's nothing major.

Now Maualuga? Different story completely...He's been busted for fighting several times, was required to attend AA as part of a plea for one of them, has been suspended for sleeping through team meetings, and also had that super stupid and embarrassing moment when he danced behind Erin Andrews at the Senior Bowl. And that's just what we know. He's immature. Toss in all his missed tackles his senior year and you have to wonder if his heart and head are in the game.

NOT Tomlin's kind of guy.

Nice try, though. Why don't you post something worth a bucket of warm piss (for a change) instead of following me around and (lamely) trying to bash me?

Steel Head
04-23-2009, 02:01 PM
Cute.

Washington was suspended for NON LEGAL issues. Tress said "He needs to earn his car keys back". I'm guessing academics, but either way, it's nothing major.

nothing major to be suspended for 2 games including a bowl game? i dont think so, that is a big deal. And dont pretend to know why he was suspended because you don't know

and then he just declares for the draft to get away from his problems at OSU and make some easy money. sounds like the next Maurice Clarrett to me :flap:

doesn't seem like someone the Steelers would be interested in to me

Now Maualuga? Different story completely...He's been busted for fighting several times. So has Terelle Prior but i guess that is okay

revefsreleets
04-23-2009, 02:05 PM
People people people, can you at least get your facts straight before you hate on me and/or the Buckeyes?

Washington was NOT suspended for the title game. He violated team rules (and I'm going to take a wild guess he did NOT get drunk and knock somebody out at a party to do so) but was NOT suspended for the title game.

You haters are all the same...

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/football/stories/2007/12/29/osu_wash29.ART_ART_12-29-07_C1_148TKL9.html?sid=101

Steel Head
04-23-2009, 02:06 PM
People people people, can you at least get your facts straight before you hate on me and/or the Buckeyes?

Washington was NOT suspended for the title game. He violated team rules (and I'm going to take a wild guess he did NOT get drunk and knock somebody out at a party to do so) but was NOT suspended for the title game.

OSU was in the title game last year?

I dont remember that :noidea:

my bad, i see he was suspended the first 2 games last year. Possible Maurice Clarett type of guy, no thanks

revefsreleets
04-23-2009, 02:15 PM
OSU was in the title game last year?

I dont remember that :noidea:

my bad, i see he was suspended the first 2 games last year. Possible Maurice Clarett type of guy, no thanks

Wait, so are you NOW trying to say that he was suspended against Texas? Because he had 6 tackles in that game.

C'mon, guys, try harder...

revefsreleets
04-23-2009, 02:17 PM
Real reach....

Steel Head
04-23-2009, 02:18 PM
Wait, so are you NOW trying to say that he was suspended against Texas? Because he had 6 tackles in that game.

C'mon, guys, try harder...

every article i search says something different

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3524828

maybe he paid the coach off with drug money? im not sure

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-23-2009, 02:42 PM
Maualuga is probably gonna be the 1st ILB off the board. He wont get near #32. I'm still a Jasper Brinkley fan, but he might not get out of the 2nd round.

Washington I am sure was interviewed by the Steelers about the off field or team incidents and if that all checks out, I dont see why he would not be a Steeler pick in the 3rd. He or Mike Mickens.

SunshineMan21
04-23-2009, 03:24 PM
If there's a WR I would spend our 1st round pick on, it would be Nicks . . . the guy is the second coming of Ward. He's tough, physical, and big. If he's there, we should consider him (assuming we BPA it).

revefsreleets
04-24-2009, 09:56 AM
I like Nicks over Robiskie, too at WR.

But I'm wondering...if Nicks, Laurinaitis and Mack are there at #32, WTF are the Steelers gonna do?

Greatest need? Definitely Mack. BPA? Tough one.

That's why they get paid the big bucks, though...

I actually think Nicks and Lil Animal will both be off the board...

Steel Head
04-24-2009, 10:01 AM
I like Nicks over Robiskie, too at WR.

But I'm wondering...if Nicks, Laurinaitis and Mack are there at #32, WTF are the Steelers gonna do?

probably select Mack unless they think they can trade up in rd 2 to get Wood, then they can consider Nicks

easy to eliminate Laurinaitis there

also, there will obviously be more than just these 3 to consider

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-24-2009, 10:17 AM
I like Nicks over Robiskie, too at WR.

But I'm wondering...if Nicks, Laurinaitis and Mack are there at #32, WTF are the Steelers gonna do?

Greatest need? Definitely Mack. BPA? Tough one.

That's why they get paid the big bucks, though...

I actually think Nicks and Lil Animal will both be off the board...

So far I have Nicks and Laurinaitis gone before #32. Vikings, Ravens, Giants, Dolphins all need WR's and several teams need ILB help.

What about this scenario where Mack, Beatty, Gilbert, Moala, Brace, Darrius Butler, Alphonso Smith, Brian Robiske, Kenny Britt, Louis Delmas are all on the board at #32???

I am wrestling with do they take Mack to solidify the interior?? Beatty so they can stop franchising Starks annually?? or Butler for CB depth and punt return ability??? I really cant see taking Britt or Robiske as they will then have premium $$$ invested in young WR's Holmes, Sweed, Robiske.....with Ward probably getting a 3 year deal soon.

tony hipchest
04-24-2009, 10:23 AM
I am wrestling with do they take Mack to solidify the interior?? Beatty so they can stop franchising Starks annually?? or Butler for CB depth and punt return ability??? I really cant see taking Britt or Robiske as they will then have premium $$$ invested in young WR's Holmes, Sweed, Robiske.....with Ward probably getting a 3 year deal soon.we gotta shitcan starks. we got players like ike taylor repeatedly restructuring their (now below market) deal, and b. leftwich leaving, and it seems he is holding the teams cap situation hostage.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-24-2009, 10:33 AM
we gotta shitcan starks. we got players like ike taylor repeatedly restructuring their (now below market) deal, and b. leftwich leaving, and it seems he is holding the teams cap situation hostage.

I agree, but not sure if Beatty is what the Steelers want. I really like the kid as fitting the right size frame for a LT, with great mobility, long arms and he obviously knows where the weight room is.

He would need a year to refine his technique and bulk up, just like Hills did. The only concern with Beatty is attitude and he isnt thick in the lower body to anchor well against the bull rush. But, that was the same concern with Jordan Gross coming out of college too. I'm an O line pimp, so good with Beatty or Mack, but Butler also intrigues me too.

revefsreleets
04-24-2009, 10:47 AM
Starks ain't going anywhere. But Beatty is intriguing. I honestly think the FO is working the line inside out, so they go G/C with their first OL pick.

I'm guessing since the DL is healthy (albeit aging) they can draft for value in later rounds and bring a player or two along. Just a hunch. I also think CB is sort of the same situation, since outside of maybe Davis and Jenkins, it's probably unrealistic to expect a 1st year guy to come in and start (although stranger thangs have happened).

It's also certainly not outside the realm of possibilty that they DO go LB in Rd 1, because Farrior is getting old and Foote's contract is up next year. If they have their eye on someone, why not do it "The Eagles way" and draft against next years projected FA losses?

Steel Head
04-24-2009, 10:50 AM
there is also a good chance Beatty will be gone by #32 just like last year when all the tackles went quick

tony hipchest
04-24-2009, 11:00 AM
Starks ain't going anywhere. then he needs to sign more than a 1 year deal and give us some much needed cap relief. either he's being a stubborn ass, or the steelers dont see him, and his top 5 tackle asking price, in their future.

lamberts-lost-tooth
04-24-2009, 11:18 AM
I agree, but not sure if Beatty is what the Steelers want. I really like the kid as fitting the right size frame for a LT, with great mobility, long arms and he obviously knows where the weight room is.

He would need a year to refine his technique and bulk up, just like Hills did. The only concern with Beatty is attitude and he isnt thick in the lower body to anchor well against the bull rush. But, that was the same concern with Jordan Gross coming out of college too. I'm an O line pimp, so good with Beatty or Mack, but Butler also intrigues me too.

I'm not a big Beatty fan...seen too many accounts of him being soft...but I DO step aside and admit that your ability to critique Offensive Linemen is very good.:thumbsup:

revefsreleets
04-24-2009, 11:31 AM
then he needs to sign more than a 1 year deal and give us some much needed cap relief. either he's being a stubborn ass, or the steelers dont see him, and his top 5 tackle asking price, in their future.

Well, to be fair, there's very little reason for him to do anything other than what he's doing now. He's overpaid now, and next year he can go get WAY overpaid on the FA market, and his entire 8.5 mil salary is guaranteed this year as well.

I know the Steelers are trying to work a deal with him...it's in their best interests to do so but it doesn't seem like anything is going to happen.

Steelers Since '75
04-24-2009, 11:32 AM
I had heard that the Pats were real high on Darius so I can see them grabbing the best LB with their first pick and then trading a couple of their 2's to get another low 1 and grabbing Darius... maybe the Steelers should take the 2's and give the Pats the 1 for Darius... nope on second thought I hate the Pats so much I would hope the Steelers draft Darius just to spite them :mad:

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-24-2009, 11:40 AM
there is also a good chance Beatty will be gone by #32 just like last year when all the tackles went quick

Yeah, Buffalo is said to be high on Beatty and could take him with the pick they got from the Eagles.

I agree with Revs, the Steelers may look to build inside out and think that even if Starks goes next year they will have Hills, Essex, Colon Capizzi and probably another rookie this season that they draft.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-24-2009, 11:44 AM
I'm not a big Beatty fan...seen too many accounts of him being soft...but I DO step aside and admit that your ability to critique Offensive Linemen is very good.:thumbsup:

The thing that I never know is what the interviews are like. Beatty has better feet than Britton, Andre Smith, Jason Smith.......but "needs more sand in his pants". I think he is a focused run blocker, but not soft....he just arrives at the block too high. I honestly like him better than Chris Williams from Vanderbilt that was drafted last year by Chicago. Williams looked soft.

Dino 6 Rings
04-24-2009, 12:39 PM
What about the Steelers trading Pick 32 and Larry Foote to Detriot for Pick 20 and picking up a solid player at that spot?

Just kind of had that thought out of thin air reading this entire thread.

lilyoder6
04-24-2009, 01:32 PM
What about the Steelers trading Pick 32 and Larry Foote to Detriot for Pick 20 and picking up a solid player at that spot?

Just kind of had that thought out of thin air reading this entire thread.

that wouldn't be a bad idea if the lions don't draft curry...