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View Full Version : Here's To Hoping The Steelers Don't Draft A Cornerback Early On In 2010 Draft


Galax Steeler
01-26-2010, 07:41 AM
Last week, we posted a roundup of what some of the early mock drafts have the Pittsburgh Steelers doing with the 18th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. Yes, there was some variability in what the 'draft gurus' believed the Steelers would and should do with their 1st Round pick this year. For instance, one site had the Steelers taking Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. Most though believed Pittsburgh would bolster their defense in round one, and amongst those who did, most identified the secondary as the area Pittsburgh would likely target. More specifically, the Steelers ought to draft a cornerback in the 1st Round if you go by the early consensus of draft niks.

I totally disagree. Here's several reasons why.

1) Last time I checked, the Steelers drafted two cornerbacks last year - Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett. Granted, Lewis was a 3rd rounder and Burnett a 5th, but Lewis in particular has the physical tools to one day be a starter in this league. He just needs some time to learn the game at this level, much like the Steelers incumbent #1 CB Ike Taylor did earlier in his career. By drafting a cornerback in 2010 to play immediately, the Steelers would essentially be giving up on one of those two picks. How so? Well, Taylor's not going anywhere anytime soon. He'll turn 30 in May, but regardless of your opinion of him as an instinctive natural at the position, it's impossible to deny that Taylor is one of the most freakishly fit and durable specimens on the roster. So if it were Taylor and a 2010 1st rounder locking down the CB positions for the foreseeable future, that makes it difficult to work in Lewis and Burnett...not too mention....

2) William Gay. There was no tougher critic of William Gay than me all year. I definitely was disappointed to be 'right' about this one, but I worried 'on the record' here during last year's offseason that I thought the defense would suffer fairly dramatically by inserting him in to the slot once manned by Bryant McFadden. Nevertheless, Gay's struggles this year will pay dividends for the team next year. I'm positive he'll work harder than he has before in his life this offseason to improve his body and game for next year. Even though 'we're the Steelers' and have enjoyed frequent success for quite some time now, it's impossible to stay at the top year in and year out in this league due to the salary cap, and the demands it places on teams to continually work in less expensive, young talent. That means some down years from time to time, even for the best franchises. It would be foolish I believe to give up on Gay and not reap some dividends in future years for the losses the team incurred while working him in to the fold in 2010.

3) It's impossible to really say just how much of a difference Troy Polamalu makes when he's out there and healthy. On the one hand, it's easy to argue that there are 11 guys out there and that no single player can or should be that much of a difference maker. On the other hand, the proof may just be in the pudding. When #43 plays, the Steelers win and make life awfully tough on opposing offenses. With Polamalu doing his thing, our cornerbacks have looked significantly better in years past than they have when he's shelved with an injury.

***********

Now, it might be argued that the Steelers should consider finding another top shelf safety to play alongside Polamalu given his propensity for getting injured. I'd be amenable to that for sure, though I haven't yet scoured the draft boards closely enough to know who might be a good fit.

Getting a cornerback this year though in the 1st Round doesn't make sense to me. I'd instead look for a homerun pick at ILB or at nose tackle. James Farrior's replacement needs to be secured sooner rather than later. So does Casey Hampton's. I don't see that same immediate need at the cornerback position, particularly when you consider the fact that Pittsburgh plays in the AFC North where a high premium is placed on winning the battle at the line of scrimmage and fielding a physical team in the trenches. We know Baltimore's offensive line and running game is in good shape for the future; same with Cincinnati, and to a lesser degree, even Cleveland.

So, I'd like to hear your thoughts and I'm sure I'll be expounding on some of these thoughts in the future weeks and months, but for now, this is my story and I'm sticking to it - let's see what the Steelers can do next year defensively if Polamalu's back healthy and our young DBs have had that much more time to develop. If we see the same problems rear their ugly head next year - namely, if #43 can't stay healthy again, and if guys like Gay, Lewis and Burnett struggle - then maybe it'd be time to invest heavily in getting a lockdown corner early on in the Draft. For now though, I believe Pittsburgh would be better served packaging a number of their mid round picks to move up in Round 1 and get a slam dunk pick like Rolando McClain, Gerald McCoy or even one of the prized offensive tackles of this year's Draft

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2010/1/26/1270160/heres-to-hoping-the-steelers-dont

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-26-2010, 08:31 AM
. For now though, I believe Pittsburgh would be better served packaging a number of their mid round picks to move up in Round 1 and get a slam dunk pick like Rolando McClain, Gerald McCoy or even one of the prized offensive tackles of this year's Draft

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2010/1/26/1270160/heres-to-hoping-the-steelers-dont

I agree with the premise of the article and think that we will better served in picking up a NT or Safety in the first.

I do however disagree with two things. 1) We have no chance of picking up McCoy, who will probably go in the top three and would virtually cost us our whole draft. Besides I think he is a proto-typical 4-3 DT and not a 3-4 NT. 2) If we want an OT, we are sitting in the right spot to get one. Without a doubt, one of the 1st round rated OT's will be available at #18.

SteelMember
01-26-2010, 09:10 AM
2) If we want an OT, we are sitting in the right spot to get one. Without a doubt, one of the 1st round rated OT's will be available at #18.

Right in the pocket of Bulaga, Campbell, or Davis.

atlsteelers
01-26-2010, 11:53 AM
i for one would love to see the steelers draft cj spiller. if we want to get back to running the ball cj would be the man. mendenhall and cj would make a great tandem. of course we need help on the d-line and of o-line and farrior is getting old in an hurry. so who knows.

fat4jc
01-26-2010, 12:58 PM
Not denying Spiller's talent here, but if the Steelers take Spiller in round 1, I'm going to be very upset. I like the CB talent in this draft class, so passing on a CB in round 1 is okay with me, as long as we address that position in the 2nd. For what it's worth (very little), I think we need to use our 1st rounder on one of the following positions:

1) NT (assuming Hampton is gone)
2) ILB
3) Safety

jdthree
01-26-2010, 01:49 PM
Not denying Spiller's talent here, but if the Steelers take Spiller in round 1, I'm going to be very upset. I like the CB talent in this draft class, so passing on a CB in round 1 is okay with me, as long as we address that position in the 2nd. For what it's worth (very little), I think we need to use our 1st rounder on one of the following positions:

1) NT (assuming Hampton is gone)
2) ILB
3) Safety


The only issue that I have with the above positions is that there is only one person that is (right now) worthy of drafting in the first.

NT - with the new revelation of Codys weight, Williams is the only true NT to be worthy of a first round pick

ILB - McClain, unless you value Spikes more than most draftnuts out there, and

Safety - Earl Thomas is pretty much the only one I'd pick as Mays has the measuables, but doesn't have the instincts or ball skills to be worthy of a FS.

So while I don't disagree with you, the amount of players at each of those positions is quite small, and inmho, down to only one person.

But the amount of players at the O-line is somewhat bigger, obviously depending on how the draft falls to us.... but I see several players that very well could be interesting to us.....

Brian Bulaga
Anthony Davis
Bruce Campbell
Mike Iupati
Trent Williams

And while our O-line wasn't our glaring weakness this season, we will be getting our two best defensive players back next year. Combine that with the CB and S class being pretty deep this year, I'm leaning towards getting someone like Iupati in the first and then going mostly D the rest of the way.

revefsreleets
01-26-2010, 02:35 PM
I don't disagree with the general notion either...I PRAY that Lewis AND Burnett pan out.

That being said, fans becoming enamored of certain players doesn't increase their ability to perform on the field. If they aren't able to make the step up, the coaches will be aware of that and draft accordingly. I think one year IS enough to get a viable sense of the potential the DB's on this team possess. I hope that the assessment of Gay (which clearly was off) was an anomaly.

IF Burnett and Lewis aren't starter caliber, then we do need to take a good, hard, long look at CB early, and I would have no problem trading the second pick to move up and take Joe Haden if it's possible, but only if necessary. Otherwise I like DT at #1.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-26-2010, 03:19 PM
Right in the pocket of Bulaga, Campbell, or Davis.

Or maybe even Trent Williams, depending on workouts.

SteelersTilIDie
01-26-2010, 04:20 PM
absolutely depends on if joe haden is on the board or not, if not then it's not worth it

revefsreleets
01-26-2010, 05:29 PM
absolutely depends on if joe haden is on the board or not, if not then it's not worth it

At #18?

No way. If we covet him, we're moving up....

Chidi29
01-26-2010, 08:46 PM
Or maybe even Trent Williams, depending on workouts.

Tackle is not a position of need for us.

The only offensive line spots I'd consider upgrading is RG (Definitely) and C. But if you want a new center and plan on spending a high pick on him and replace Hartwig with him, you're going to need to cut Hartwig.

Cutting him will cost about $1.5 million, and I believe we'll have to pay that in one lump sum. Can't prorate it in the CBA-less world we're about to live in for at least a year.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-27-2010, 04:44 AM
Tackle is not a position of need for us.

The only offensive line spots I'd consider upgrading is RG (Definitely) and C. But if you want a new center and plan on spending a high pick on him and replace Hartwig with him, you're going to need to cut Hartwig.

Cutting him will cost about $1.5 million, and I believe we'll have to pay that in one lump sum. Can't prorate it in the CBA-less world we're about to live in for at least a year.

Tackle IS a position of need.

Personally I think that there is a chance Hampton will be gone and our two biggest needs will be NT and Safety, but I think with Colon being a Free agent and Starks being....Starks....We may have to pick up a OT at some point in this draft.

SteelMember
01-27-2010, 09:12 AM
Or maybe even Trent Williams, depending on workouts.

Very Possible.

The guy that most fits the Steelers "mentality" mold for a nasty streak is Bulaga. I'd have zero problem if we selected him. Just don't let on to Tex... :wink02: :chuckle:

Tackle is not a position of need for us.

The only offensive line spots I'd consider upgrading is RG (Definitely) and C. But if you want a new center and plan on spending a high pick on him and replace Hartwig with him, you're going to need to cut Hartwig.

Cutting him will cost about $1.5 million, and I believe we'll have to pay that in one lump sum. Can't prorate it in the CBA-less world we're about to live in for at least a year.

If you re-sign Colon, then no, not as much. There is even a possibility if that were to happen that Essex could move to RT and plug Stapleton or Urbik at RG.

Even if the FO was still thinking about a "franchise" center this year, Hartwig wouldn't need to be cut this year. I think it's a rarity that a rookie can come in and be a starter in his first few games. Legursky would probably be the casuality.

1st rd center... Maurkice Pouncey... maybe J.D. Walton.

I know Aussie has shown Pouncey some love, but I don't know if I'd be willing to go 1st pick for him when a guy like Tennant, McNeil or Hall could be had later.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-27-2010, 09:47 AM
Very Possible.

The guy that most fits the Steelers "mentality" mold for a nasty streak is Bulaga. I'd have zero problem if we selected him. Just don't let on to Tex... :wink02: :chuckle:



If you re-sign Colon, then no, not as much. There is even a possibility if that were to happen that Essex could move to RT and plug Stapleton or Urbik at RG.

Even if the FO was still thinking about a "franchise" center this year, Hartwig wouldn't need to be cut this year. I think it's a rarity that a rookie can come in and be a starter in his first few games. Legursky would probably be the casuality.

1st rd center... Maurkice Pouncey... maybe J.D. Walton.

I know Aussie has shown Pouncey some love, but I don't know if I'd be willing to go 1st pick for him when a guy like Tennant, McNeil or Hall could be had later.

J.D. Walton was the guy that I mentioned at the end of last year....I believe he could be had in the 3rd

SteelMember
01-27-2010, 11:43 AM
J.D. Walton was the guy that I mentioned at the end of last year....I believe he could be had in the 3rd

Has O'Dowd declared?

I haven't seen him in any updated player rankings.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-27-2010, 11:56 AM
Has O'Dowd declared?

I haven't seen him in any updated player rankings.

Kristofer O'Dowd had an injury this last season that caused him to lose his starting job (knee injury)...He took the wise road and stayed in school. He should be the #1 OC in next years draft.

Steely McSmash
01-27-2010, 12:49 PM
Cutting him will cost about $1.5 million, and I believe we'll have to pay that in one lump sum. Can't prorate it in the CBA-less world we're about to live in for at least a year.


It's an un-capped season so there's no cap for the $ to count against.

IMO there's no way we cut Hartwig outright

if we pick up a good center who is able to beat him in camp

--or--

If we draft a young guy and Legursky beats Hartwig in camp

...then we may consider trading him ala Mahan. Consider Hartwig could play guard as well.

Chidi29
01-27-2010, 04:56 PM
Tackle IS a position of need.

Personally I think that there is a chance Hampton will be gone and our two biggest needs will be NT and Safety, but I think with Colon being a Free agent and Starks being....Starks....We may have to pick up a OT at some point in this draft.

I would strongly disagree.

First off, Colon will be back next year. He'll get the highest tender possible, around $2.2 million.

Starks improved a great deal, especially in pass protection, as the year went along. His footwork was a lot better; he showed me he can improve in an area he struggled with. We also just gave him a four year, 20+ million contract. It's not like we're going to bench him.

I see no reason to spend a high pick on a tackle.

Chidi29
01-27-2010, 04:59 PM
It's an un-capped season so there's no cap for the $ to count against.

IMO there's no way we cut Hartwig outright

if we pick up a good center who is able to beat him in camp

--or--

If we draft a young guy and Legursky beats Hartwig in camp

...then we may consider trading him ala Mahan. Consider Hartwig could play guard as well.

There's no "cap hit" per se, but you're still going to have to pay him. Though I did realize that it would be cheaper to cut him than keep him. What I said becomes a moot point in terms of it being too expensive to cut him. But he'll still get cut.

Who is going to want Hartwig? At best, he's an average center and if he gets beat out by a rookie or Doug Legursky, who will that entice? A guy that lost his job to a UDFA?

We were lucky to even get a 7th rounder for Mahan. I think Tampa was just desperate in addition to the fact they had already had him in the organzation before.

Chidi29
01-27-2010, 05:08 PM
Very Possible.

The guy that most fits the Steelers "mentality" mold for a nasty streak is Bulaga. I'd have zero problem if we selected him. Just don't let on to Tex... :wink02: :chuckle:



If you re-sign Colon, then no, not as much. There is even a possibility if that were to happen that Essex could move to RT and plug Stapleton or Urbik at RG.

Even if the FO was still thinking about a "franchise" center this year, Hartwig wouldn't need to be cut this year. I think it's a rarity that a rookie can come in and be a starter in his first few games. Legursky would probably be the casuality.

1st rd center... Maurkice Pouncey... maybe J.D. Walton.

I know Aussie has shown Pouncey some love, but I don't know if I'd be willing to go 1st pick for him when a guy like Tennant, McNeil or Hall could be had later.

Wouldn't want us to take a tackle anywhere in the first few rounds. Nowhere to play him. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

Kick Essex out, start Urbik/Stapleton, what??? All while tendering Colon? Where are you playing him?

Stapleton never impressed me at RG; his best bet is center. And even then, I don't like him. Essex sucks in pass protection - which really disappoints me since his run blocking is above average, and I hated the Urbik pick from day one. The guy has stiff feet; he just tried to overpower guys in college and because of his strength, it worked. Not going to happen in the NFL. Should have taken Tyronne Greene if we were going to take a guard.

Alex Mack started this year. Eric Wood ended up playing and playing pretty well (Granted, it was at guard but he was a center in college). John Sullivan started his second year and maybe he would have started from Day 1 had they not had a guy like Matt Birk ahead of him on the DC.

My point about Hartwig is that he isn't going to sit on the bench. He's either with us as a starter or he'll be gone. He doesn't fit our mold of backup lineman. Our backups are young, cheap, and versatile. Look at guys like Urbik, Foster, Stapleton, Legursky, and Hills. All under 25, all have played multiple positions, and all are cheap; no one taken higher than the 3rd round with three of them being UDFAs. We're not going to pay a guy over $2 million to sit on the bench when Legursky can do it for what, 600K if we so choose to keep him.