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mesaSteeler
01-28-2010, 11:13 PM
View From The Press Box
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the-press-box/2010/01/28/draft-class-looks-strong-at-cb-and-ot/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+triblive%2Fblog%2FViewFromThe PressBox+%28View+from+the+Press+Box+Blog%29


Draft class looks strong at CB and OT
January 28th, 2010

With the Steelers coaches now fully immersed in draft preparation — they are evaluating prospects this week at Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala. — they have to be encouraged by an early conclusion they have probably reached: this is a good year to take a cornerback or an offensive tackle with a first-round pick.

The 2010 draft appears to be deep at each position, and the Steelers would neither surprise nor disappoint anybody if they took a cornerback or an offensive lineman with the 18th overall pick.

“There’s plenty of depth at offensive tackle if the Steelers want to grab a tackle and play him there or move him inside,” said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who is also at the practices that precede the Senior Bowl. “There’s a lot of talent there, there really is.”

Russell Okung of Oklahoma State, Anthony Davis of Rutgers, Trent Williams of Oklahoma and Bruce Campbell of Maryland are at the top of the offensive tackle class, McShay said.

One of them could fall to the Steelers.

If the team that didn’t get an interception from a cornerback until the final game of the 2009 season addresses its secondary with its first pick, it will have plenty to choose from there as well.

The cornerback class has been bolstered by several underclassmen that entered the draft, particularly Florida’s Joe Haden.

“It’s turning out to be a really good cornerback class,” McShay said.

One player to keep an eye on as the draft draws closer is Florida State safety Myron Rolle.

A Rhodes Scholar who left Florida State a year early to study in England, Rolle has helped himself more than anybody at the Senior Bowl, McShay said.

“Probably the most impressive performance of anybody here this week,” McShay said.

McShay said Rolle showed up at the Senior Bowl “absolutely chiselsed,” which has helped allay any concerns about how serious he is about football.

Rolle has done so well this week that McShay projects him going in the third round of the draft and possibly the second if he continues to impress at the NFL Scouting Combine and individual workouts.

The Steelers could take a safety early in the draft, especially if Ryan Clark signs elsewhere.
Filed under: Steelers Comment (0)

Galax Steeler
01-29-2010, 06:09 AM
This years draft class if full of talent. There will not be a bad pick in the first two rounds of the draft from either team. I just hope we can get someone that can start from day one.

supa_fly_steeler
01-29-2010, 06:18 AM
This is the best draft class since 2004 imo.

Merchant
01-29-2010, 09:50 AM
This is the best draft class since 2004 imo.

At certain positions yeah.. The QB class looks meh. Bradford is probably gonna be the first QB off the board and even he's suspect with all his injuries. Not that many centers either. But all in all it does look solid. I'm excited to see who we snatch up!

SteelMember
01-29-2010, 10:08 AM
So, by that token, we should draft the thinnest position going by BPA and need in the 1st round...

Which, at this point, would be NT.

Big Snack will practically make this decision for us.

jonslow
01-29-2010, 11:57 AM
So, by that token, we should draft the thinnest position going by BPA and need in the 1st round...

Which, at this point, would be NT.

Big Snack will practically make this decision for us.

Nose tackle is pretty thin, but I don't think it's a neccessity to take one early. In a press conference yesterday that I attended, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said something that really made me think about how coaches should draft. He said a team has to draft based on value and that "You don't reach for needs." Essentially, there are going to be a lot of players of value at deeper positions when the Steelers pick at #18 and we have other needs thatn NT. This is one of the best safety classes I can remember. Cam Thomas is a solid NT prospect who's looked alright this week in Mobile and I wouldn't mind if the Steelers waited on him until the fourth.

SteelMember
01-29-2010, 12:09 PM
Nose tackle is pretty thin, but I don't think it's a neccessity to take one early. In a press conference yesterday that I attended, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said something that really made me think about how coaches should draft. He said a team has to draft based on value and that "You don't reach for needs." Essentially, there are going to be a lot of players of value at deeper positions when the Steelers pick at #18 and we have other needs thatn NT. This is one of the best safety classes I can remember. Cam Thomas is a solid NT prospect who's looked alright this week in Mobile and I wouldn't mind if the Steelers waited on him until the fourth.

I will agree with that assessment. I guess what I meant was I'd want the "best" NT. Having other positions with better depth would mean there's less separation of talent... And NT is the anchor of a 3-4. I wouldn't want to skimp on linemen. I want the best butt kicker out there!

Cam Thomas might very well be a possible candidate for us, but I'm not sure he'd be as "plug n play" as Williams or Cody if Hampton were gone. I guess Hoke would be the starter. He might be anyway, even if we took one of those guys. :noidea:

jonslow
01-29-2010, 12:17 PM
I will agree with that assessment. I guess what I meant was I'd want the "best" NT. Having other positions with better depth would mean there's less separation of talent... And NT is the anchor of a 3-4.

Cam Thomas might very well be a possible candidate for us, but I'm not sure he'd be as "plug n play" as Williams or Cody if Hampton were gone. I guess Hoke would be the starter. He might be anyway, even if we took one of those guys. :noidea:

I definitely would love to take Dan Williams this year, but he's looking like a late first rounder at this point. Terrence Cody still has me worried about his stamina, and he's looking like a first and second-down tackle at this point. If I'm going to take a guy in the first, I want to know he can play every down for me in the future.

I don't think NT has to be addressed this year, although with Hampton's age, it's probably a good idea to see where Cody, Williams and Thomas end up. We could also address the need in free agency if need be.

I'd just much rather we take a guy like Patrick Robinson or Earl Thomas in the first and see who falls to us in the second.

SteelMember
01-29-2010, 12:29 PM
I definitely would love to take Dan Williams this year, but he's looking like a late first rounder at this point. Terrence Cody still has me worried about his stamina, and he's looking like a first and second-down tackle at this point. If I'm going to take a guy in the first, I want to know he can play every down for me in the future.

I don't think NT has to be addressed this year, although with Hampton's age, it's probably a good idea to see where Cody, Williams and Thomas end up. We could also address the need in free agency if need be.

I'd just much rather we take a guy like Patrick Robinson or Earl Thomas in the first and see who falls to us in the second.

So, are you saying that you'd prefer to go secondary because other teams will think those positions could be had later? Leaving us the top choices... besides Haden.

Thomas seems to have the athleticism and hype on his side, but are there any concerns about him only being a sophomore (limited play in college), or his size, or his intelligence?

You always hear the words like potential and upside, but what are his faults?

Just wondered if you may have overheard anything.

jonslow
01-29-2010, 12:41 PM
So, are you saying that you'd prefer to go secondary because other teams will think those positions could be had later? Leaving us the top choices... besides Haden.

Thomas seems to have the athleticism and hype on his side, but are there any concerns about him only being a sophomore (limited play in college), or his size, or his intelligence?

You always hear the words like potential and upside, but what are his faults?

Just wondered if you may have overheard anything.

Other than his size and the way he often gambles to make plays (and gets out of position from time to time), Thomas looks like he has very few flaws. I guess you could say that after seeing so many top defensive backs all week and scouting them every day, I've really been impressed with a few of them more than I have Thomas from watching him on tape.

I think this year's defensive back class in general is really deep, but there are different levels of talent and I'd love to see us sure up the secondary this year with guys from the top tier.

Truth be told, I'd love Mike Iupati at #18 and a guy like Myron Rolle or Kyle Wilson in the second, but I don't know if Iupati will still be available at #18. His stock has just risen astronimically this week-- and for good reason. The guy is going to be an elite guard in the NFL with potential to play right tackle.

There are plenty of players and combinations of players I'd love for the Steelers to take. I just think it would be better to grab a couple top-tier players in the first two rounds as opposed to reaching for someone lower on the draft board because of position depth.

SteelMember
01-29-2010, 12:52 PM
I just think it would be better to grab a couple top-tier players in the first two rounds as opposed to reaching for someone lower on the draft board because of position depth.

Your right. and that's the approach they have taken in the past. For some reason, the thought of Hampton not being there gets me all worked up. :chuckle: Probably his 9 years of solid play.

Truth be told, I'd love Mike Iupati at #18 and a guy like Myron Rolle or Kyle Wilson in the second, but I don't know if Iupati will still be available at #18. His stock has just risen astronimically this week-- and for good reason. The guy is going to be an elite guard in the NFL with potential to play right tackle.

This years Brandon Albert.

jonslow
01-29-2010, 01:08 PM
This years Brandon Albert.

I think he's even better than Brandon Albert. Granted, Iupati didn't look great lined up at LT this week. (He tried it out for a bit and was unimpressive) But he's just a mauler at guard and looked alright at RT when they put him there a few times this week. He's 325 lbs. (officially) and is just solid. He's not a Vlad Ducasse 325 lbs... He's really muscular and strong. Out of all the North players I've seen, he and Kyle Wilson were the most impressive.

SteelMember
01-29-2010, 01:26 PM
I think he's even better than Brandon Albert. Granted, Iupati didn't look great lined up at LT this week. (He tried it out for a bit and was unimpressive) But he's just a mauler at guard and looked alright at RT when they put him there a few times this week. He's 325 lbs. (officially) and is just solid. He's not a Vlad Ducasse 325 lbs... He's really muscular and strong. Out of all the North players I've seen, he and Kyle Wilson were the most impressive.

What are your thoughts on a guy like Bulaga? Hear he's got a nice "nasty streak". This used to be something the Steelers really liked in a linemen.

I've read the write-up. I was just wondering if you could choose, would he be in the picture?

Iupati or Bulaga.

jonslow
01-29-2010, 01:33 PM
I was meaning his rise up the boards. Usually guards don't go that high. :hunch:

What are your thought on a guy like Bulaga? Hear he's got a nice "nasty streak". This used to be something the Steelers liked in a linemen.

He's not here at the Senior Bowl, so my thoughts on Bulaga are based on game clips and highlight videos, but I really like him. He does have that mean streak the Steelers love and he's a damn good pass blocker. At his size, he still has the quickness to move laterally pretty well.

Bulaga's weakness is his run blocking, and with the way the Steelers have run the ball lately, that worries me about him. Anthony Davis is a much better blend of pass-blocker and run-blocker, but I don't think he'll fall the the Steelers at #18.

That being said, I think interior lineman are going to be crucial for the Steelers in the coming years. Roethlisberger creates a lot of sacks by holding onto the ball too long and I don't think the offensive line's pass blocking is that bad. I'd rather have an Iupati to help in the running game. With as many counter and misdirection plays the Steelers like to run, Iupati pulling around the edge really intrigues me.

SteelMember
01-29-2010, 01:38 PM
He's not here at the Senior Bowl, so my thoughts on Bulaga are based on game clips and highlight videos, but I really like him. He does have that mean streak the Steelers love and he's a damn good pass blocker. At his size, he still has the quickness to move laterally pretty well.

Bulaga's weakness is his run blocking, and with the way the Steelers have run the ball lately, that worries me about him. Anthony Davis is a much better blend of pass-blocker and run-blocker, but I don't think he'll fall the the Steelers at #18.

That being said, I think interior lineman are going to be crucial for the Steelers in the coming years. Roethlisberger creates a lot of sacks by holding onto the ball too long and I don't think the offensive line's pass blocking is that bad. I'd rather have an Iupati to help in the running game. With as many counter and misdirection plays the Steelers like to run, Iupati pulling around the edge really intrigues me.

Great input, jonslow. Thanks. I'm sure I'll have more questions for you when I can get another break.

Enjoyed the site also. :thumbsup:

Galax Steeler
01-29-2010, 01:39 PM
He's not here at the Senior Bowl, so my thoughts on Bulaga are based on game clips and highlight videos, but I really like him. He does have that mean streak the Steelers love and he's a damn good pass blocker. At his size, he still has the quickness to move laterally pretty well.

Bulaga's weakness is his run blocking, and with the way the Steelers have run the ball lately, that worries me about him. Anthony Davis is a much better blend of pass-blocker and run-blocker, but I don't think he'll fall the the Steelers at #18.

That being said, I think interior lineman are going to be crucial for the Steelers in the coming years. Roethlisberger creates a lot of sacks by holding onto the ball too long and I don't think the offensive line's pass blocking is that bad. I'd rather have an Iupati to help in the running game. With as many counter and misdirection plays the Steelers like to run, Iupati pulling around the edge really intrigues me.

How about the corner position who is really standing out in that department and who might we have a shot at if we decide to go that route.

jonslow
01-29-2010, 01:51 PM
How about the corner position who is really standing out in that department and who might we have a shot at if we decide to go that route.

I've actually watched the defensive backs extensively this week. Myself and my two colleagues tried to keep an eye on different positions, and I love breaking down DBs, so I got a lot of scouting done on those guys.

Kyle Wilson was the standout for the North and possibly the best-looking corner all week. He's the best cober corner I've seen this week, and had scouts raving about his speed, fluid footowork and quick hips. He's sub-6' and under 200 lbs, so I wonder how he'll look tackling during the game, but he's always around the ball and in the hip-pocket of opposing receivers. Keep an eye on him, because he's a steal at #18 in the second round.

Florida State's Patrick Robinson was right behind Wilson. He's made some great plays this week and hasn't had a bad day. Just like Wilson, Robinson is a great cover corner and might even have better hands. He's a little more physical than Wilson and would be a great fit for the Steelers. I wouldn't consider him a reach in the lower-half of the first round.

Two other guys I like a lot (but not as much as Wilson and Robinson) are Brandon Ghee and Perrish Cox. Both are very physical, but they have different skill sets. Ghee loves to tackle, but his footwork has been suspect this week and needs to show he's faster than he looks. Cox has been #2 on my CB board for a while, but I think he's more in the 4-6 range now. He's a true ball hawk, and has great hands. I thought he'd come in close to 200 lbs. this week, but weighed in at 189 lbs. Regardless, he's still a good tackler.

If any of those four guys are available in the second round for the Steelers, I'll be overjoyed.

Galax Steeler
01-29-2010, 02:00 PM
I've actually watched the defensive backs extensively this week. Myself and my two colleagues tried to keep an eye on different positions, and I love breaking down DBs, so I got a lot of scouting done on those guys.

Kyle Wilson was the standout for the North and possibly the best-looking corner all week. He's the best cober corner I've seen this week, and had scouts raving about his speed, fluid footowork and quick hips. He's sub-6' and under 200 lbs, so I wonder how he'll look tackling during the game, but he's always around the ball and in the hip-pocket of opposing receivers. Keep an eye on him, because he's a steal at #18 in the second round.

Florida State's Patrick Robinson was right behind Wilson. He's made some great plays this week and hasn't had a bad day. Just like Wilson, Robinson is a great cover corner and might even have better hands. He's a little more physical than Wilson and would be a great fit for the Steelers. I wouldn't consider him a reach in the lower-half of the first round.

Two other guys I like a lot (but not as much as Wilson and Robinson) are Brandon Ghee and Perrish Cox. Both are very physical, but they have different skill sets. Ghee loves to tackle, but his footwork has been suspect this week and needs to show he's faster than he looks. Cox has been #2 on my CB board for a while, but I think he's more in the 4-6 range now. He's a true ball hawk, and has great hands. I thought he'd come in close to 200 lbs. this week, but weighed in at 189 lbs. Regardless, he's still a good tackler.

If any of those four guys are available in the second round for the Steelers, I'll be overjoyed.


Thanks alot that was a good read.:thumbsup:

groundhogday
01-29-2010, 10:34 PM
I think where the Steelers pick this year they'll get a quality OL in round 1 and a quality defender (DB possibly) in round 2. It sounds like we'll resign Hampton and Clark so CB may be a target.