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Old 11-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default Higher Draft Pick Not On Steelers Minds

Higher Draft Pick Not On Their Minds

By Ed Bouchette Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Good morning,

No matter what happens over the course of the second half of the season you can be assured of two things, the Steelers will not try to tank it to get higher draft picks, nor will Mike Tomlin begin experimenting with players or schemes to look ahead toward 2014.

Fans and media can debate those points, as they already have begun to do so, and urge them to do one or the other, but itís not going to happen.

Iíve covered many a losing team, including that worst one since the 1970 NFL merger with the AFL, the 5-11 Steelers of 1988, and Iíve never seen any of their three coaches under my watch even hint of trying to get a better draft choice.

The 2014 draft is on no oneís radar at the Steelers except their scouts and general manager. The coaches, the president of the team, the PR guys, the chairman of the team all expect their team to win. They could give a hoot about whether they will draft 25th or 5th next season.

Again, you can say they should but they do not. In 1988, even with Chuck Nollís future and that of his coaches in doubt, the Steelers won three of their final four games just to go 5-11. In 2003, the Steelers split their final eight games just to go 6-10 after a 2-6 start. In 2006, Bill Cowherís last team went 6-2 in its final eight games after starting 2-6.

So here they are, 2-6 for the worst start under Mike Tomlin. We get a chance to see now how he reacts to it, just as we did Noll and Cowher. Donít expect much different approach by Tomlin. He will try to win every game he can, right up to the end, even if the No. 1 overall draft pick is on the line.

Picking higher in the draft does not guarantee better draft picks either. After that woeful 1988 season, the Steelers had the seventh overall choice. They picked Tim Worley. Look him up. He was not successful. With a high pick in the third round, they drafted Derek Hill. He was even less successful. They drafted four players that year who helped them for any appreciable amount: Safety Carnell Lake in the second round, cornerback D.J. Johnson in the seventh round, linebacker Jerry Olsavsky in the 10th round and future guard Carlton Haselrig in the 12th round.

Picking high in the draft had nothing to do with any of those, except perhaps Lake. In the greatest draft in NFL history, in which the Steelers chose four future Hall of Famers in 1974, they had the 21st overall pick.

So, enjoy or ignore the 2013 season for what it is as the second half unfolds. But be assured there will be no maneuvering for draft position no matter what happens.

Onto some stuff:

--- While they will not try to get a higher pick in this draft, they could have had a whole bunch of them in 2014 had they played their cards right. They should get a gaggle of compensatory picks thanks to the many free agent defections who are starting elsewhere and landed good contracts, led by Mike Wallace and Keenan Lewis. But they traded away one third-round pick in order to draft 5-foot-9 safety Shamarko Thomas in the fourth round. Four spots later, they drafted a quarterback who is not Ben Roethlisbergerís heir apparent. Perhaps they could have saved that third-round pick in 2014 they used on Thomas and maybe drafted him four spots later with the one they used to take the quarterback.

Also, they turned down a third-round pick from the New England Patriots to match the one-year contract Emmanuel Sanders signed with them as a RFA. They might have been able to go 2-6 even without Sanders this season and they would have had a third-round pick next year as a bonus. Do you think this team could have used two more third-round draft choices in 2014?

--- As with the 2008 draft class, soon the Steelers will be without their entire 2009 draft class. The only ones left are Ziggy Hood and David Johnson. Hood isnít likely to return when he becomes a free agent after this season and Johnson is on the injured reserve list for the second straight season.

--- According to the web site www.makeNFLplayoffs.com the Steelers would have a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs -- if they win their remaining eight games. If they go 7-1, those chances drop to 75.8 percent and if they go 6-2 to finish 8-8, their chances droop to 18.6 percent. Overall, as they sit now at 2-6, the site figures their chances of making the playoffs are slightly under 5 percent.

http://sportsblogs.post-gazette.com/...s/201311060001
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Higher Draft Pick Not On Steelers Minds

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Halfway through the misery

By big_jay71 on Nov 7 2013



6. Pittsburgh Steelers - Taylor Lewan OT, Michigan

2014 team needs: DE/CB/S/OT

There are no long speeches or descriptions needed, simply put the Steelers need offensive tackle help. If they are picking the top 10, and so far all signs point to them doing just that, everyone in Steelers Nation needs to keep their fingers crossed and collectively hope and pray that either Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan are available. And while you're doing all that hoping and praying make sure to start rooting for the Giants, Falcons, and Rams to start winning because those are the teams who are a threat to draft a tackle before the Steelers get the chance.

Dreaming of adding a pass-rusher of the likes of Clowney or even Anthony Barr might be enticing, as is the thought of adding a wide receiver with size like Mike Evans, but none of that means anything if the Steelers can't protect Big Ben or get the running game going because of poor tackle play.

Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan are the cream of the crop when it comes to tackle prospects in 2014. Both of them are complete prospects with virtually no holes in their game and are both on a tier above the likes of Cyrus Kouandjio, Antonio Richardson, and James Hurst. Trading back to collect more picks while hoping to draft one of the latter would be a poor game plan as would be waiting until another round to address the issue.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...014-mock-draft
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