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DIESELMAN 03-17-2006 10:49 PM

Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
By Jim Russell
Date: Mar 17, 2006

An early look at the draft targets for the Pittsburgh Steelers, considering only confirmed reports of interest, interviews or visits.

Where is Bill Cowher? He shows up at the Florida State pro day last year and then the Pittsburgh Steelers draft CB Bryant McFadden.

Triangulating the draft board for the Steelers isn?t quite that easy. Like any other team, Cowher and GM Kevin Colbert are capable of subterfuge. But prospects blurt out upcoming visits. The press spots an unknown figure at the South Side Complex. And a member of the Steelers staff is seen at a team pro day.

Short of pegging the right player in the right round, all this information provides a shopping list of Steelers draft needs and interests.

S Chris Hope leaving via free agency supplied the most glaring need. The Steelers picked up a cheap hedge in Ryan Clark, but a first round rookie wouldn?t start at the beginning of the 2006 season (see Troy Polamalu).

The safety prospects associated thus far with the Steelers carry a second round tag, with some as high as the late part of the first round. Others may slip into the third round, but will be gone when the Steelers pick.

Cowher and defensive coordinator **** LeBeau were visible at the Ohio State workouts. S Donte Whitner would be a late first round/early second round target. Then again, the Steelers recently signed FB Brandon Joe, who also participated in the pro day events. Was Joe all the Steelers were after? The other attraction was the linebackers, but more on that later.

Darnell Bing (USC) is another late first round possibility, the Steelers hot on his trail after the combine.

Staying in the first round, Jason Allen (University of Tennessee) is set to fly into Pittsburgh for a visit. The Steelers are allowed twenty rookie visits before the draft, so they wouldn?t waste one on a smokescreen.

Speaking of visits, Nebraska?s Daniel Bullocks writes in his diary that he is preparing for a workout with the Steelers in early April. Bullocks is a Day 1 pick, available if the Steelers go in another direction with pick #32.

Another round 2 or round 3 pick may be LB Jon Alston, who projects as a safety at the NFL level. The Steelers already put Alston through the paces in an individual workout, which means the team is serious. The Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams are also big on Alston.

Linebackers James Farrior and Joey Porter aren?t getting any younger. The Steelers are linked with Bobby Carpenter, Ohio State. Carpenter could play inside or outside and LeBeau seemed quite interested in Buckeye linebackers, such as Anthony Schlegel. Powerhouse DE Mike Kudla is a tweener type whom LeBeau views as an OLB project.

If a blue chip linebacker happens to fall in the first round (see Chad Greenway), the Steelers could pull the trigger. However, the Steelers could strike gold later during Day 1 and even on Day 2. DE Brandon Guillory, like Kudla, projects as an outside linebacker. The Steelers sent at least one scout to the University of Louisiana-Monroe for the pro day, but Guillory pulled up lame with a hamstring injury during the 40-yard dash.

Cowher and the Steelers love to draft offensive linemen. OT Willie Colon (Hofstra) is a relative unknown, but he is on the Steelers? radar. OT Ryan O'Callaghan (California) claims that the Steelers were one four teams most interested in him during the Senior Bowl and NFL Draft Combine. OG Davin Joseph was another Senior Bowl target for the Steelers.

When Antwaan Randle El signed with the Washington Redskins, wide receiver became another need. Penn State QB Michael Robinson would seem to be the new slash. Cowher spoke about Robinson at the combine and he made an appearance at the Penn State pro day. Other prospects include Brandon Williams (Wisconsin) and Miles Austin (Monmouth). The Steelers don?t appear overly concerned with the top talent at wide receiver.

The last glaring need is at running back. Most intriguing is the diminutive Maurice Drew, from UCLA. Drew has plenty of suitors given his gamebreaking speed and excellent value as a returner. Drew?s lack of height clouds where he would go on Day 1, but that the Steelers would be interested in a running back during the first three rounds is news.

Better yet is RB Wali Lundy (Virginia). Lundy brings size and great hands to the position, making him a great fit for third-down back if the Steelers don?t re-sign Verron Haynes.

Anything other than a safety, linebacker, running back, and wide receiver on Day 1 would be a bit of surprise. Never count out another offensive lineman either. The Steelers have almost all of their starters signed through 2007, so Colbert can think mainly about restocking special teams and projects for the future.

BB2W 03-18-2006 12:15 AM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
Good info... :cool:


drizze99 03-18-2006 09:41 AM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
thanks for posting that!

ohio's #1 steelers chick 03-18-2006 11:33 AM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
good news thanks for that!!!

TasmanianTroy271 03-18-2006 12:25 PM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
Very interesting, So, it's looking like in the first round we'll either see LB or DB, and then second round either WR or RB. I'd think it'll be LB then WR, just because Carpenter will be availible, then hopefully we'll be able to pick up Martin Nance. I need to make a mock draft of my own...

Sharkissle29 03-18-2006 01:39 PM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
good info, i guess nance , moss, and white are out of the question?

Dook 03-18-2006 02:51 PM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
Take the best talent available as long as it fills some current or near future need.

I would still like to see improvement at the WR position so that's where I'm leaning in the draft but if the top 3 WR's are gone and one of the top 3 RB's fall to us or top 2 LB's, then that's what we should get.

As far as getting a safety, depends on whether we lose Ike.

SteelerMurf 03-18-2006 02:53 PM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
I like the depth in the draft and I think we will get a baragin at 32. With the extra draft picks with get this year thru comp. Maybe we can trade up in round 2.

steel-EERS 03-18-2006 05:52 PM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
surprised kudla would be considered an OLB, though he is a freak of nature.

Suitanim 03-18-2006 06:35 PM

Re: Kevin Colbert?s draft board.......
Nice article, but just goes to show that nobody really knows anything. Dulac reported in the Spothing News that the Steelers were targeting Moss with their #32 pick.

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