One of a Few Reports I've Read About Steelers Moving Up...
Steelers report: Inside slant
April 15, 2006
The Sports Xchange
It's likely the Steelers will move up in either the first or second round -- or at least try to -- rather than sit at the bottom of each during the draft.
Pittsburgh has 10 draft picks after picking up three compensatory picks, and while they cannot trade any of them, they can use their own picks in the third and/or fourth round to go after a need position.
A big safety, a big running back and a speed wide receiver now seem to be their priorities, at least early in the draft. They've had or will have safeties Donte Whitner of Ohio State, Darnell Bing of Southern Cal and Daniel Bullocks of Nebraska in for visits. They are looking for someone to compete at free safety, where Chris Hope started the past two years. Hope signed with Tennessee as a free agent.
The Steelers signed Ryan Clark from the Redskins as a free agent, ostensibly to replace Hope. But they would prefer someone bigger, at least someone who might take over in his second year. At 6-2, 225, Bing might fill that bill and he also might be in the range where they could either grab him at No. 32 or move up anywhere into the 20s to get him.
The problem with getting a big back is that LenDale White, Bing's USC teammate, is one of the few in this draft. The fact he has grown bigger since the end of the season and had a poor workout at USC has NFL teams backing off. The Steelers will take a closer look at him in Pittsburgh.
The group of wide receivers is not strong this year and it is further weakened by the Steelers' requirement for one -- big and fast. They're not likely to get Santonio Holmes or Chad Jackson and would not be interested in Sinorice Moss.
Might as well throw this one in as well:
Steelers report: Strategy and personnel
April 15, 2006
The Sports Xchange
WR Walter Young, who is on the Steelers' roster, caught two touchdown passes as the Frankfurt Galaxy beat the Cologne Centurions, 21-14, in an NFL Europe game last week. Young, caught five passes for 70 yards in the game, will compete for a roster spot this summer. TEAM NEEDS
1. Wide receiver: The Steelers have Hines Ward and Cedrick Wilson. They lost Antwaan Randle El. Undrafted Nate Washington could become a factor if he develops quickly in his second season. Quincy Morgan and Lee Mays will be in the mix. They need someone over 6 feet who can run.
2. Safety: After Troy Polamalu, the Steelers don't have much. Chris Hope left as a free agent. They signed Redskins free agent Ryan Clark, but he's not as big as they'd prefer. Mike Logan and Russell Stuvaints, both coming off knee surgery, were released. Tyrone Carter played well in the dime defense and he could be a factor.
3. Running back: Willie Parker led the Steelers in rushing and showed in the Super Bowl that he can break a long one at any time, but he's not a bruiser inside. Duce Staley will try to fill the role that Jerome Bettis held last year as a backup and short-yardage runner. Verron Haynes re-signed as a third-down back. Pittsburgh needs a dependable, young, big back.
Re: One of a Few Reports I've Read About Steelers Moving Up...
I completely agree with this article.
My biggest personal concern at this time is running back. Duce can fill the void.......but ONLY if he remains healthy. He has been with us for two years. He has had injuries for most of those two years. He is one heckuva back....when he is healthy.
It is the Pittsburgh way to pound, pound, pound the ball in once we get them off-balance, or tired, or both. To stick with our typical plan, which has worked for many seasons, we need the big, pounding, mudder-type back to fill in for short yardage situations and when we just need to eat up the clock.
We can fill the other spots, no matter where we fall in the draft...but we need to move up to get a mudder!
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