View Full Version : Steelers draft: Ho-hum

04-30-2011, 10:37 AM
Steelers draft: Ho-hum
Saturday, April 30, 2011 08:15 AM
Written by Bob Smizik

Not quite halfway through the NFL draft, the Steelers have filled their needs as expected, although not quite in the order expected.

Few saw the Steelers going for a defensive end in the first round, and that remains a surprising selection. Forget the qualities that Cameron Heyward bring to the team, forget the unique circumstances of him having been born in Pittsburgh, still having grandparents living in Pittsburgh and being the son of a famed Pittsburgh athlete. Almost everyone was surprised by the choice.

The second and third round picks, made yesterday, were exactly as expected -- an offensive tackle, Marcus Gilbert of Florida, a cornerback, Curtis Brown of Texas.

It is sheer folly to attempt to rate a draft in the days, weeks or months following it. But let’s take a conservative stab at it.

For starters, the Steelers did not appear to greatly help themselves for next season, as they did last year with the first-round selection of Maurkice Pouncey, who became their starting center and top offensive lineman.

First-round choice Heyward looks to be little more than depth with Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood in front of him. Nothing wrong with that. As Kevin Colbert, the team’s director of football operations, has pointed out, the longer young players can be held out of important roles the greater their chance for success.

Nor does it appear Gilbert will be much of a contributor next season. Despite the instant help Pouncey gave the team, offensive linemen are traditionally slow in developing. That’s particularly true with the Steelers returning four tackles who have started at various times. Those would be Max Starks, the starter at left tackle last season before being injured; Flozell Adams, who started every game at right tackle; Jonathan Scott, who took over when Starks was injured; Willie Colon, who missed all of last year, but who had been the starter at right tackle for the previous three seasons.

Gilbert has time to develop and judging from most reports, he will need that time.

Brown probably has the greatest opportunity of offering immediate help, although that’s more because of the Steelers need at cornerback than any special skills he brings. It’s true, Ike Taylor was a fourth-round selection. But Taylor had limited college experience and mainly watched with the Steelers for two years before becoming a starter. Brown lacks the blazing speed usually associated with the best cornerbacks.

But with the status of Taylor, an unrestricted free agent, uncertain and with veteran cornerbacks Bryant McFadden and William Gay considered barely adequate as starters, Brown has a chance.

As a result of this draft the Steelers are not a whole lot better for 2011 than there were in 2010. Some of that has to do with how good they were in 2010 and some of it with the caliber of players they selected.

(Oh wonderful, the number 1 and 2 picks probably won't start which disposes of the twin theories that our pass rush and pass protection are going to be any better this year than last year. Our third pick is another slow CB! Oh well I guess the two slow CBs on the roster we had weren't enough.

Wow I'm so hopeful and excited about this draft. (Sarcasm intended.)

So that leaves us with hands of stone Taylor if he returns, the oft injured Troy, a new slow rookie CB, and the "barley adequate" McFadden and Gay in the secondary.

We are going to get ripped to shreds by any half way competent QB with a quick release and a spread offense. Even if by some miracle we reach the playoffs we'll just get bounced out. Stick a fork in the season it's already over.

It's clear the Steelers front office has gone into rebuild mode with this team. Here's to a nice long strike so I won't have to watch the Steelers get shredded by Cry Brady. - mesa)

04-30-2011, 04:10 PM
Heyward needs to play...We need speed and youth injected very badly..if he is not ready to get reps this year it was a bad pick..

04-30-2011, 04:18 PM
Oh! So Bob Smizik doesn't like it; well then, it must be bad then. lol. (sarcasm intended)

04-30-2011, 04:21 PM
Making the playoffs isn't going to be that hard. 28th easiest schedule in the league. But I'm surprised how you've given up already. Give these guys a chance. And with the whole thing as Heyward being part of the depth chart, I don't think so. I'm expecting him to be the starter middle of the season.

04-30-2011, 04:40 PM
Making the playoffs isn't going to be that hard. 28th easiest schedule in the league. But I'm surprised how you've given up already. Give these guys a chance. And with the whole thing as Heyward being part of the depth chart, I don't think so. I'm expecting him to be the starter middle of the season.

For christs sake, some of these people act like we didn't make the Super Bowl last year. Geesh!

04-30-2011, 04:48 PM
Whatever, I've loved the draft picks so far. Sure, it's not sexy, but its smart and safe, just like every year, and just like every year the Steelers end up with one of the better teams in the league without resorting to lucrative free agents, so yeah, something right is being done with the draft

Heyward needs to play...We need speed and youth injected very badly..if he is not ready to get reps this year it was a bad pick..


he's a first round pick, of course he'll play or else it will be a bust, but just like with Ziggy don't expect him to be an immediate starter. We already have a beast of a DL, it would take a defensive rookie of the year type player to beat out one of the current starters for the starting position, this isn't the same deal as Pouncey who came into an already weak OL, the only thing wrong with our DL is age, that's it, and Ziggy and Heyward will largely have solved that issue.

04-30-2011, 10:24 PM
Let's see... last year you guys were saying this season was over b/c ben was out 1/4 of the season on suspension, and we would be lucky to make the playoffs. The same sports writers had us going 3rd in the division (some even in last!)

And we went to the SB.

This year, it's oh no we don't have enough depth at CB and everyone will shred us up to itsy bitsy pieces, why watch? Stick a fork, the season's over... We didn't do enough in the draft, we didn't fix the problem, blah blah blah...

And you can read 7 different scouting reports on brown and they all paint a different picture of him as a player. Some say he is slow (er than the top CB's in the league) and some say that his game speed is much quicker than his 40 time. Some say he can't catch, others say he has great hands..Some say he can't tackle, others say he isn't afraid to throw his body around to punish ball carriers.

I appreciate you posting the articles on here, I really do. But from now on I'm just going to click the link and read so I can have an honest opinion afterward w/o the highlighting, bold, and gloom and doom comments sprinkled in.

Every year there is always those writers out there that put out these kinds of stories, and constantly we get the fear mongers following suit in here. I doubt KC or MT lose any sleep over what these chumps are saying about the team. They don't have that much success by getting lucky or by accident. My .02

04-30-2011, 11:17 PM
when have the steelers ever had a sexy draft?

i trust the front office of pittsburgh more then some writer

04-30-2011, 11:25 PM
Oh and Ike Taylor and Asante Samuel were both drafted in the 4th. So it's not like there's no quality in the later rounds.

05-01-2011, 06:55 AM
Heyward- He will be bred like Ziggy was I think. He will be sprinkled here and there but will be more of a teaching process.
Gilbert- Has the ability to steal a spot on the line, the right side is the weakest so he could take a spot if he plays physical and works on his protection.
Brown- Is solid but he needs time to learn and mature.

I think the steals where the second round. Carter was a great pick and he can learn behind Harrison and Woodley. Allen has huge upside and I think he will be better than Brown.

Fire Arians
05-01-2011, 01:33 PM
curtis brown isn't slow. sure his top speed might not be deion sanders but the dude is quick, probably one of the better corners in the draft at shadowing receivers, it was a solid pick. he'd probably be a 1st rounder if he was a better tackler in run support, but i think with how good our safeties are at run support, we can afford to have a corner that's a shitty tackler.

some of the best corners out there aren't 4.4 or 4.3 speed guys, they're the guys that can cover their wr's long enough for the pass rush to get there. guys like toast mcfadden are giving up openings in the first 2 seconds. In some cases, quick is more important than fast.

if we can have one of the new kids be an upgrade over gay as a nickel back, and butler/lewis can step up to replace mcfadden, our secondary could be solid

I still wish we could have picked up sands, we need depth at the safety position and i thought he was the best FS candidate for our defense