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August 9th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 04-14-2014, 03:43 PM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat transcript: 04.14.14

1:17


Comment From Pistol
What round do you feel like the Steelers will address ILB?? I think Zumwalt would be a tremendous fit/value.


1:18


Ray Fittipaldo:
Zumwalt, from UCLA, is projected in the middle to later rounds. The knock against him is speed. He only ran a 4.76 in the 40-yard dash at the combine. So he'd be a possibility round 4 and after in my estimation. I don't think he'd go in the top three rounds.


1:19


Comment From Touchdown Joey
Help me understand the hype on Dennard. He's an average athlete who's ceiling is decent starter. However good his tape is, it was against lousy competition. Not good value at 15.


1:21


Ray Fittipaldo:
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. There are plenty of draft evaluators who have him as their top corner. And if he's not No. 1 on their lists he most certainly is No. 2 or at worst No. 3. He played against the competition that was presented to him. It's not his fault the Big Ten lacks the speedy receivers that played in other conferences.


1:21


Comment From Pistol
Who are the best Steeler fits for Wr in rounds 2-3 in your opinion??? I personally like Mathews and Moncrief.


1:25


Ray Fittipaldo:
Dante Moncrief of Ole Miss was in for a visit with the Steelers last week or the week before. Jordan Matthews from Vanderbilt had a very good combine. He is projected as second- or third-round pick. Moncrief is graded in about the same area. Matthews is the taller of the two at 6 feet 2 but speed is not his strength. We've talked a lot about the depth of this receiving class for a long time now. These guys who are rated as second- or third-rounders this year might have been first-rounders in other years. So there is really good value if you take one of these guys after round 1 provided they live up to their billing. Allen Robinson of PSU is another second-round possibility who has received some good pub lately after a strong pro day. He was so-so at the combine.


1:26


Comment From Touchdown Joey
Is Allen Robinson in Round 2 wishful thinking now after his strong Pro Day performance?


1:27


Ray Fittipaldo:
Maybe, but NFL personnel people are now in the long and drawn out process of evaluating players and I'm not sure how much stock is put into one pro day. Before that there was the combine workout, all-star games, tapes of his games from the past three seasons...The good showing gave him a boost, but I'm not sure if you can go from a mid-second round pick into the first round based on one really good day. We'll see what happens.


1:28


Comment From Troy B
Is the drop off in Cornerback talent huge from round 1 to round 2? Seems receivers are to be had anytime. Smart to grab a corner in 1 and hope for the best in round 2?


1:30


Ray Fittipaldo:
This is a deep draft for corners as well. Not as deep as receiver, though, which is your point. I think you might be right. I guess it all depends on how many teams select a corner in the first round, too. NFL teams are trying to load up on players who can help limit passing offenses. So if five corners are gone in round 1 I think your point is well taken.


1:30


Comment From Zack
Which combo do you like better brown and Wheaton or brown and Moore


1:31


Ray Fittipaldo:
Too early to tell. Moore is a veteran and has had success in the league. Wheaton is a former third-round pick with a lot of upside potential. I think the ideal scenario for them would be for Moore to work in the slot, where he has been most successful, and for Wheaton or a high pick in the draft to nail down the No. 2 WR spot opposite Antonio Brown.


1:33


Ray Fittipaldo:
I think they've only done that once -- in 1987 -- when Rod Woodson and Delton Hall were taken in rounds 1 and 2. With so many other needs I don't think they would do that this year, but you never know. I would not be surprised if they took two corners, though. Maybe one in the first and another in the third, fourth or fifth.


1:33


Comment From Zack
Could you see the steelers go cornerback in rounds1and 2


1:34


Ray Fittipaldo:
Posted answer before question


1:34


Comment From Troy B
Another chat means we are one week closer to the draft! Any change to your projections on who the Steelers may take in round 1?


1:35


Ray Fittipaldo:
Not really. I still think they go for a corner or receiver in the first round. The way their roster is set up right now it almost dictates they do one or the other.


1:35


Comment From Wild Bill
The Steelers tried it a few years ago with Santonio and the Eagles tried it recently with DeSean but both were picked up (traded for) quickly with another team. Will the NFL ever be able to weed out troublemakers and get to the levels of a professional work place environment that Goodell talks about?


1:37


Ray Fittipaldo:
No because NFL teams are in the business of winning and those players you mentioned, even with their warts, helped their teams wins. Santonio Holmes helped the Steelers win a Super Bowl before they cut him loose. Plus, it owuld not be fair for NFL teams to cast a wide net on players who had problems in college off the field. Players grow up and mature at different rates. Some do and some don't. It's why personnel decisions are so important.


1:37


Comment From Eugene Mannarino
Ray I was wondering even if the Steelers do draft a DE are the chances that they will Resign Keisel after June 2 to have a veteran Influence and mentor Alfredt and Williams


1:38


Ray Fittipaldo:
I'm not closing the door on that possibility, but remember Keisel's agent has been on the record saying he won't play for minimum wage and I'm not sure how much above minimum wage the Steelers are willing to offer someone who is 36.


1:39


Comment From Troy B
Any chance the Steelers take a late round flyer on a QB? Maybe a guy like Conner Shaw from South Carolina. Not a prototypical QB, but he is a winner. His hard nosed style of play just oozes Pittsburgh football


1:40


Ray Fittipaldo:
I don't see it this year, not after they invested a fourth-round pick on a QB last year. They have many other needs that can be addressed in this draft. Ben has multiple years left and it's hard to see another developmental QB fitting on the roster in 2014.


1:40


Comment From Peeps
I truly think they ought to let somebody else give Pouncey top center money. You don't need the best center in the league (even if he didn't have the injury track record) and serviceable guys can be found. The money would be better spent in other areas. Thoughts?


1:43


Ray Fittipaldo:
Centers and left tackles are considered the two most important positions on an offensive line and center in the zone blocking scheme is actually really important if you have a good one. In the zone scheme the center has to be smart to recognize defensive alignments. Pouncey is smart in addition to being a terrific athlete. And in the zone scheme athletic centers are coveted because they are capable of moving around and giving RBs a seam. I understand the worry of paying someone who is coming off a major injury, and I understand why Pouncey is criticized sometimes. He is not the perfect player. But for the system they want to run and the potential he has it might be worth a calculated gamble to extend him, especially if Mike Munchak is convinced in of his talents. And that's all that really matters. We'll find out about that soon enough.


1:43


Comment From Eugene Mannarino
Ray do you see the Steelers bringing back LSH or using a later roound Draft pick on a Scatback.


1:44


Ray Fittipaldo:
Yes and most likely a middle to later round pick. I just haven't heard much chatter about LSH returning.


1:44


Comment From Eugene Mannarino
Ray in your Opinion what are the 3 top needs for the steelers in the 1st 3 rounds of the Draft.


1:45


Ray Fittipaldo:
1a. Cornerback
1b. Receiver
3. Defensive line
4. Linebacker (inside and outside)


1:45


Comment From Zack
Any updates and any talks between the steelers and Brett Keisel or will it happen after June 1


1:47


Ray Fittipaldo:
Nix would not fall to the Steelers in the first round. He is projected as late first- or second-round pick. The Steelers draft at No. 15. If anything, Nix might fall to them in the second round. Mosley has a first-round grade, but it's hard for me to see them going with an ILB in round 1 when there are more glaring needs at CB and WR.


1:47


Comment From JamesinNYC
If say Mosely or Nix falls do you think the Steelers would stray from their perceived plan of CB/WR in rounds 1/2?


1:47


Ray Fittipaldo:
Oops. Posted the wrong question. He is the question for the answer above.


1:48


Comment From Uncle Gregg
Hi, Ray, thanks for the chat. I've heard talk about possible reunions with Harrison and the Beard after the draft. Is such a deal with Larry Foote unrealistic. He was a great teammate last year after bring injured. Is he too old/slow/whatever for the Steelers to consider bringing him back?


1:49


Ray Fittipaldo:
They have younger guys they think they can the job as well he did.



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Old 04-14-2014, 03:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat transcript: 04.14.14

Comment From Nate
Ray, a hypothetical question: if you were a betting man and the Steelers drafted either Dennard or Gilbert, would you bet that either would start immediately?


1:51


Ray Fittipaldo:
My gut reaction when they restructured Ike Taylor's contract was that he would be passing the baton to a high draft pick at some point during the 2014 season. I imagine a scenario where Taylor is the starter early and the new guy transitions in during a bye week. We'll have to wait and see how things play out.


1:51


Comment From Go Steelers!
Ray, based on prospect visits can we assume the Steelers will take a WR relatively early but will be heavy on defensive players until the late rounds?


1:55


Ray Fittipaldo:
So far, lots of corners, LBs, DEs and WRs so yes it seems like their visits are geared toward their draft needs, which makes sense. But don't put too much stock into the predraft visits. 30 guys are coming in and maybe four or five will be drafted by the Steelers. Maybe.


1:55


Comment From paul
I would like them to take OT Matthews in round 1 and a CB in RD 2,Great value your thoughts?


1:56


Ray Fittipaldo:
Jake Matthews in all likelihood will be gone by No. 15. He is a top 10 pick and could go in the top 5.


1:56


Comment From Joe Joe
Ray did the Mack signing screw up things for a Pouncey extension? Seems like a heck of a lot of money for a center.


1:59


Ray Fittipaldo:
That is a lot of money for a center. I read some pieces on the contract and how it can be voided after two years. I think I read where $26 million is guaranteed. The Steelers have never been an organization that overreacts to what other organizations are doing with their contracts. They'll offer Pouncey what they feel he is worth. I don't think the Browns and Jaguars are setting the market for the Steelers to that much of extent. Did the price go up? Sure. But he was going to command a pretty penny whichever way you want ti slice it.


1:59


Comment From Zack B
How about a cb in rd 1, and Nix (if he falls) in rd 2. McClendon could move to DE and Cam Thomas can backup Nix? That is ideal for me (barring a trade down). We can grab a wr in rd 3.


2:00


Ray Fittipaldo:
Not a bad plan. It would be intriguing if Nix is there in the middle of the second round. I don't think they're counting on that happening, though.


2:00


Comment From Guest
what positions do you see them picking up in the later rounds?


2:00


Ray Fittipaldo:
RB, ILB, maybe S and OL


2:01


Comment From Richy
Which positions on offense and defense allow/lend themselves for a rookie to come in and contribute right away?


2:03


Ray Fittipaldo:
Depends on the scheme. For the Steelers, a nose tackle can step in and play right away. Casey Hampton did in 2000 when he was the first-round pick. I can see a CB coming in and playing early. I think running backs can contribute early on as you saw with le'Veon bell last year. Receivers can do it, too. The Steelers might be counting on a WR to come in and if not start then play right off the bat this year. It's harder for offensive linemen to do it traditionally but the trend lately has been to throw those guys into the fire. In Pittsburgh, Pouncey earned a starting job right away and DeCastro would have if he hadn't been injured.


2:03


Comment From Troy B
I see a lot of people say Jarvis is better suited to play ILB. What's the thought process in that? He was an OLB in college and drafted to be an OLB in the NFL.


2:04


Ray Fittipaldo:
I don't know. I see the question in my chats and Ed's chats. I've never heard any rumblings within the Steelers that they're looking at that.


2:04


Comment From Cheese
Lets say the Steelers value a WR like Odell Beckham (5'10) more than a tall WR like Kelvin Benjamin. Do you see them passing on Beckham to appease Ben and taking Benjamin? (Assuming its down to those two)


2:05


Ray Fittipaldo:
No, they'll take the best player available at the position. They have a draft board and will follow it.


2:06


Comment From Pistol
Do you see them drafting multiple Wr's and Lb's??


2:06


Ray Fittipaldo:
I would not be surprised if they took two corners and two WRs.


2:06


Comment From Mark
Any shot the Steelers seriously consider Ebron from NC.....big, tall and fast and creates major match up problems for defenses.....look at the success the Pats have had with Gronk while not having great receivers....Steelers could kill two birds with one stone....get that big tall receiver Ben craves and groom the next Heath......thoughts?


2:07


Ray Fittipaldo:
You've been reading my chats. I've been on record saying the same thing. The problem is, Ebron could be gone by the time the Steelers draft at No. 15.


2:08


Comment From Wild Bill
Is the year we see if the Steelers truly pick the best player available? Many mocks now have Evans, Ebron, Gilbert and Dennard gone. Should the Steelers reach for Kyle Fuller or Odell Beckham or take the best player if Anthony Barr (OLB) or Mosley (ILB) are there?


2:09


Ray Fittipaldo:
Your scenario would not be the end of the world because this draft is deep at CB and WR. I just think with the number of teams in need of QBs and OTs in the top 10 that one of those four will be at No. 15.


2:10


Comment From Clark, The
Any chance that Nix will be available in round 2?


2:10


Ray Fittipaldo:
Would be fortuitous. Not a high chance at the moment.


2:10


Comment From TD
Shouldn't the Steelers start to be weary of players that "fall" to them? Mendenhall, DeCastro, and Jones, are all very good players but none are/were dominating.


2:11


Ray Fittipaldo:
Mendenhall was a serviceable player when he was healthy. And it's way too early to tell on DeCastro and Jones. DeCastro could wind up being a future All-Pro type of player.


2:11


Comment From Chris
There is no way I'd spend 10 mil a year on a position like C!


2:12


Ray Fittipaldo:
With the way the salary cap is going up $10 million a year might not sound so bad five years from now...


2:12


Comment From Chris
Would you draft a DE in the first two rounds considering our best 3/4 DE ever was a 4th rounder?


2:13


Ray Fittipaldo:
Yeah but you can't count on getting guys like Aaron Smith that late. They were fortunate they did. I think you can get good defensive linemen after round 1 this year by the way.


2:13


Comment From Peeps
There has been a lot of talk about the impact Munchak will make. But I doubt the guy is going to be around more than a year, two tops. You can't figure he's going to be happy as an O-Line coach and if he does have anywhere near the predicted impact, he'll get attention for better jobs.


2:14


Ray Fittipaldo:
He was an offensive line coach for his entire career before becoming a head coach in 2011. How do you know he's not more comfortable as an offensive line coach?


2:14


Comment From Nick
Would Shamarko receive a 3rd round grade in this draft?


2:15


Ray Fittipaldo:
That's a good question. But to be fair to the Steelers they could not have known 12 months ahead of time how many quality underclassmen would enter the draft. You can say they should have seen the trend coming, but I don't know if you can plan like that.


2:16


Comment From Cheese
Do you believe the Tom Savage hype?


2:19


Ray Fittipaldo:
No. I addressed this on the blog this morning. I watched almost every Pitt game this year. Never did I say to myself that Savage was anything more than a late-round possibility or free agent. I understand he has a big arm and his offensive line was bad. But he is a statue and the last time I checked immobile QBs weren't populating starting lineups around the NFL. And those that are play behind very good offensive lines. So to recap, Savage would have to go to a perfect situation and even then it's no sure thing. This talk of him being a second-rounder is really surprising to me. I wish the guy luck and everything, but I don't envision him as a starting-caliber player in the NFL. Maybe I'll be proven wrong.


2:19


Comment From JamesinNYC
I cannot see both corners, Ebron and Evans all gone. Someone good would be falling and while last year QBs fell everyone jumped on Tackles.


2:20


Ray Fittipaldo:
Agree. Four QBs and three OTs could go before 15. That's seven players right there and then you'd have Watkins, Gilbert and others still in play...


2:20


Comment From JamesinNYC
Wasn't MT. Cody projected into round one when he came out....and proceded to fall till the second round due to weight? Same could happen with Nix with Knee.


2:21


Ray Fittipaldo:
If that happened I think the Steelers would consider him in the middle of the second round. He has a late first-round value according to most evaluators.


2:21


Comment From Troy B
Any update on the Steelers and Hard Knocks? That time is drawing all too nigh.


2:21


Ray Fittipaldo:
It usually comes out in May or June which team will take part in Hard Knocks.


2:23


Ray Fittipaldo:
Thanks for all the questions this week. My chat will return in two weeks. I am on vacation next week
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat transcript: 04.14.14

Disagree that Dennard is not a great athlete. Kid has size too. He would be a great fit at 15!
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