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mmalone
06-29-2009, 09:56 AM
Eighth of nine draft picks signs
Monday, June 29, 2009
By BOB LABRIOLA
Steelers.com

It’s no simple thing for a rookie to win a starting job in the NFL, and it’s almost impossible to do if said rookie doesn’t report to training camp on time. By signing a three-year contract with the Steelers on Monday, Kraig Urbik took care of the easy part.

Urbik, 6-foot-5, 328 pounds, was the first of three third-round picks made by the Steelers in the 2009 draft, and he became the eighth of their nine selections to sign a contract. Only No. 1 pick Ziggy Hood remains unsigned, with players due to report to training camp on July 31.

A veteran of 50 college starts at Wisconsin – 34 at right guard and 16 at right tackle – Urbik will arrive at his first NFL camp thrown into the mix at right guard, where the depth chart figures to list Darnell Stapleton and Trai Essex above him.

Stapleton made the team as an undrafted rookie in 2007, and his ability to play all three interior line positions is valuable to an NFL coach. When starting right guard Kendall Simmons injured an Achilles last Sept. 29 in a game against the Baltimore Ravens, Stapleton stepped in and filled the spot through the rest of the regular season and the march to the Super Bowl.

Essex, a third-round draft pick in 2005 as a left tackle in college, came close to being waived at the end of training camp in 2007, but since then has developed into a guy who has filled in capably when called upon. The Steelers thought enough of him to re-sign him this offseason after he had become an unrestricted free agent.

Urbik has an advantage over the 305-pound Stapleton in size and one in experience as a right guard over Essex, but rookies have a lot to overcome in terms of learning the offense and understanding how to be a professional.

Then again, the Steelers have something of a recent history of starting rookie offensive linemen. Simmons – a No.1 pick in 2002 – was the most recent example, and he was preceded by both Marvel Smith in 2000 and Alan Faneca in 1998.

“I love him,” said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians of Urbik during the draft. “Big, tough, nasty type of guy who has position flexibility. This kid understands football.”

HometownGal
06-29-2009, 10:00 AM
Great news! 8 down, 1 to go! :drink::tt02::applaudit:

Galax Steeler
06-29-2009, 10:03 AM
This is good to hear now if we just can get Hood signed.

mmalone
06-29-2009, 10:20 AM
This is good to hear now if we just can get Hood signed.

how many first rounders have signed? how about the other DL's?
Steelers may be waiting for a price range on hood.

KeiselPower99
06-29-2009, 10:28 AM
Stafford and Sanchez are the only 2 signed right now. Great for Urbik to get signed.

Men of Steel
06-29-2009, 11:48 AM
lookin forward to Urbik providing some Depth at the Oline.. possibly even to start???

LVSteelersfan
06-29-2009, 11:51 AM
Cool. I know Ziggy will be signed before camp starts. The Steelers are the best at getting their people signed. Ziggy sounds like he wants to be a Steeler so I don't think he will hold out.

mmalone
06-29-2009, 12:11 PM
Cool. I know Ziggy will be signed before camp starts. The Steelers are the best at getting their people signed. Ziggy sounds like he wants to be a Steeler so I don't think he will hold out.

i have the feeling the letters hood will be planted on top of many RB's and QB's

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-29-2009, 12:17 PM
I can't wait for camp to start. Gonna be so interesting to see if Urbik can grasp things well enough to have a shot at starting by the 3rd preseason game.

LVSteelersfan
06-29-2009, 12:23 PM
Wish I could go to camp. Too far away from Las Vegas though. Hope to hear lots of good things from people who can make it.

lamberts-lost-tooth
06-29-2009, 12:49 PM
Very good news!!!! I really believe that he will be on the right side when the year starts.

Psyychoward86
06-29-2009, 01:33 PM
Cmon Ziggy, just sign on the dotted line :wink:

mmalone
06-29-2009, 01:55 PM
Financial terms were not disclosed.

Chosen 79th overall, Urbik (6-5, 328) was the first of the team's three third-round picks, and becomes the eighth Steelers draft choice to sign a contract. First-round defensive end Ziggy Hood is the team's lone unsigned draft choice.

Urbik started 50 games at the University of Wisconsin, all on the right side (34 at guard, 16 at tackle) and was regarded as being one of top run-blocking guards in the 2009 NFL draft.

Fire Haley
06-29-2009, 02:48 PM
Ziggy better be signed, sealed and delivered by training camp if he hopes to get any significant playing time.

Give It To Abercrombie
06-29-2009, 05:40 PM
Of all the guys picked higher than him, all the guys who can maybe return kicks and run real fast....Urbik was the pick I was most excited about after the draft was over. Got real high hopes for him. Hopefully realistic, but still high.

Preacher
06-29-2009, 06:09 PM
how many first rounders have signed? how about the other DL's?
Steelers may be waiting for a price range on hood.

Exactly. Most 1st rounders don't sign until almost the very end. Just days or hours before camp. Once one signs, all the rest start folding within minutes or hours.

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-29-2009, 06:12 PM
Of all the guys picked higher than him, all the guys who can maybe return kicks and run real fast....Urbik was the pick I was most excited about after the draft was over. Got real high hopes for him. Hopefully realistic, but still high.

I gotta say that of the guys on the interior, I wanted Mack, Wood, Urbik, Vasquez in that order on draft day. Urbik is just gonna be a solid pro for 10 year. Maybe never make a pro bowl, but just gonna be an anchor.

As for who I am excited to see. Keenan Lewis as hopefully the dime corner. Ziggy Hood in 3rd down situations, Joe Burnett or Stephan Logan returning kicks and anybody that can play FB instead of Carey Davis.

Psyychoward86
06-29-2009, 06:56 PM
Ok, now im looking on the NFL page, and am I the only one who finds it odd that EVERY draft pick so far was only signed for three years? Vote of no confidence, or something else?

tony hipchest
06-29-2009, 07:32 PM
no sweat on ziggy hoods contract. it will pretty much write itself at about $2.5 mil/ season for 5 years.

take last years #32 pick (kenny pillips $11.15 mil) and add about 10%. i'll be generous and say about $12.5 mil.

as for urbick, i think its his job to lose.

we'll probably be the 1st team with all players signed (and as we saw with l. timmons 3 years ago, the steelers dont sit around and wait for everyone else establish the market, since they already know what it is and should be.)


Ok, now im looking on the NFL page, and am I the only one who finds it odd that EVERY draft pick so far was only signed for three years? Vote of no confidence, or something else?
you cant sign 3rd rounders (and below) for longer than 3 years. 1st round picks get a 5 or 6 year deal by rule.

Texasteel
06-29-2009, 08:02 PM
Of all the guys picked higher than him, all the guys who can maybe return kicks and run real fast....Urbik was the pick I was most excited about after the draft was over. Got real high hopes for him. Hopefully realistic, but still high.

Urbik was not my first choice, but I agree, he is the one I am most excited about and the one I expect the most out of this year.