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|04-28-2008, 08:38 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2006
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Steelers focus on 'D' on Day 2
Steelers focus on 'D' on Day 2
By Scott Brown
Monday, April 28, 2008
A pass-rusher that's expected to provide depth at outside linebacker, an offensive tackle that could be the eventual successor to Marvel Smith and a local kid that will push for a roster spot were among the five players the Steelers selected Sunday.
By the end of the two-day NFL Draft, the Steelers were more than happy with their haul, even though it didn't include a much-needed defensive end.
"It broke pretty well for us. We didn't feel we reached for any positions," director of football operations Kevin Colbert said. "I would have loved to get a player at every spot, but really, that's unrealistic. Are there defensive linemen available in free agency? We hope so."
The Steelers used three of the five picks they made yesterday on defensive players.
They took Bruce Davis, who had 24 1/2 sacks his final two seasons at UCLA, in the third-round, and they plan on moving the 6-2 1/2, 252-pounder from defensive end to outside linebacker.
They added more depth at linebacker and a possible special teams standout in the fifth round, taking Iowa's Mike Humpal. A round later, the Steelers selected free safety Ryan Mundy, a Woodland Hills graduate.
The Steelers took skill players (running back Rashard Mendenhall and wide receiver Limas Sweed) with their first two picks Saturday, and they added to their offense yesterday with the selections of Texas offensive tackle Tony Hills and Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon.
Neither is 100 percent.
Hills still is recovering from a broken leg, and Dixon is working his way back from a torn ACL that ended his Heisman Trophy campaign last season.
Meanwhile, concerns over a nagging wrist injury that limited Sweed to six games last season may have caused the Texas wide receiver to drop into the second round and into the Steelers' lap.
The Steelers were satisfied after doing extensive medical checks on Sweed, Hills and Dixon that the risk in drafting them would be minimal.
"All signs indicate that these players will be healthy and ready for training camp," Colbert said. "Quite honestly, had some of those kids not gotten injured, we probably wouldn't have had a chance at them."
The Steelers added an extra pick yesterday, swapping positions with the Giants in the fourth round in exchange for one of New York's picks in the sixth round.
They used the extra pick on Mundy, making him the first WPIAL player the Steelers have drafted since Freeport's Eric Ravotti in 1994.
Mundy didn't get invited to the NFL scouting combine, but the Steelers saw enough in the 6-1, 215-pounder to add him to the mix at free safety.
Mundy, heavily recruited coming out of Woodland Hills, played at Michigan from 2003-06. He transferred to West Virginia for the 2007 season, taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allowed a player to go somewhere else if he already had earned his degree and had eligibility remaining.
Mundy started 13 games at free safety for the Mountaineers last season. He had 45 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
"I have definitely come full circle," Mundy said of his return to Pittsburgh. "I really couldn't ask for a better place than to come home and play for the Steelers."
|04-28-2008, 12:40 PM||#2|
The Virginia Hillbilly
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Galax Va
Member Number: 3287
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Re: Steelers focus on 'D' on Day 2
I hope all these players pan out but I am sure we will have 1 or 2 that will be busts.
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