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|04-23-2010, 11:43 PM||#1|
A Son of Martha
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Steelers able to boost special teams on Day 2
Steelers able to boost special teams on Day 2
By Scott Brown
Saturday, April 24, 2010
After using their first pick in the NFL Draft on a player that could challenge for a starting job, the Steelers bolstered their depth at outside linebacker and wide receiver Friday night.
If the selections of Virginia Tech pass rusher Jason Worilds and SMU wide receiver/punt returner Emmanuel Sanders fail to excite Steelers fans, it is understandable.
Neither is likely to make much of an impact beyond special teams in 2010.
The Steelers, meanwhile, go into the fourth round — and final day — of the draft having yet to address several positions where they are perceived to have needs, most notably at cornerback.
They selected Worilds with their second-round pick last night even though they have Pro Bowlers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley at his position.
The Steelers took the 6-1, 254-pound Worilds because they are convinced he has the speed and athleticism to make the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Also, Worilds played special teams at Virginia Tech, and the Steelers are trying to upgrade their play in that phase after giving up four kickoff returns for touchdowns in 2009.
"Coming from Virginia Tech, we put a premium on special teams," Worilds said. "For them to give me an opportunity to compete at any position is an honor."
The Steelers bypassed Sean Lee, a local product they liked, for Worilds.
Lee, an Upper St. Clair and Penn State graduate, is an inside linebacker, and the Steelers are set there for the upcoming season with starters James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons and reserves Larry Foote and Keyaron Fox.
The Cowboys took Lee three picks after the Steelers passed on him, and they traded up to get him.
The Steelers are hoping Worilds can provide quality depth behindr Harrison and Woodley, something 2008 third-round pick Bruce Davis couldn't do.
"I especially liked Sean Lee," Steelers limebackers coach Keith Butler said. "But we need some depth at outside linebacker, and we need better special teams."
The speedy Sanders could also help on special teams after averaging almost 14 yards per punt return last season. Just as impressive was his production as a wide receiver as Sanders caught 98 passes for 1,339 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Steelers have depth at wide receiver but the position became an area of need following the recent trade of Santonio Holmes. Also, Hines Ward is going into his 13th NFL season.
"I feel like I can learn under Hines Ward and become a good receiver there," Sanders said. "I'm a very elusive player. Off the ball, I'm very quick."
Sanders missed two games his junior season because of a team suspension. The 5-11, 180-pounder said the punishment stemmed from his arriving late for two study hall sessions as well as a practice.
"My coach had implemented a three-strike policy," Sanders said. "Regardless of what you did, it was three strikes and you got a suspension."
Steelers wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery said the team didn't have any concerns in regard to Sanders' character. The Steelers met with Sanders several times and hosted him for a visit earlier this month.
"I think he is an unbelievable person," Montgomery said. "Mentally, he's as strong as a lot of guys that I had a chance to be around during this draft process."
The Steelers have had success with drafting wide receivers in the third round.
They took Ward in 1998 and Mike Wallace last year.
"I think he's coming into a great situation," Montgomery said of Sanders. "He's going to be around one of the greatest receivers of all time (Ward)."
Steelers draft picks: Day 2
JASON WORILDS — Second round
Height: 6-1; Weight: 254
Position: Outside linebacker
College (class): Virginia Tech (junior)
By the numbers: 49 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 32 hurries in 2009
Notable: A gifted athlete with an explosive burst, the second-team all-ACC selection should make a seamless switch to outside linebacker after playing rush end for the Hokies. ... He started 25 games at Virginia Tech, finishing with 132 tackles, 15 sacks and 34 tackles for loss for his career. ... As a sophomore, he had 18 1/2 tackles for loss and eight sacks and made former Pitt lineman and ESPN analyst Mark May's "All May Day" team, as one of the 22 toughest players in the nation.
EMMANUEL SANDERS — Third round
Height: 5-11; Weight: 186
Position: Wide receiver
College (class): Southern Methodist (senior)
By the numbers: 98 rec. 1,339 yards, 7 TDs in 2009
Notable: The quick Texan holds virtually every receiving record at SMU, catching 285 passes for 3,791 yards and 34 touchdowns in his career. ...Visited the Steelers on April 10. ...Earned first-team all-Conference USA honors. Runs a 4.4 along with a 10-6 broad jump and a 39.5-inch vertical jump. ... Showed resolve as SMU went 1-11 in his first two seasons before leading Mustangs to their first bowl game in 25 years as a senior.
NFL Draft: Day 2 selections
33. St. Louis, Rodger Saffold, ot, Indiana.
34. Minnesota (from Detroit), Chris Cook, db, Virginia.
35. Tampa Bay, Brian Price, dt, UCLA.
36. Kansas City, Dexter McCluster, rb, Mississippi.
37. Philadelphia (from Washington), Nate Allen, db, South Florida.
38. Cleveland, T.J. Ward, db, Oregon.
39. Tampa Bay (from Oakland), Arrelious Benn, wr, Illinois.
40. Miami (from Seattle through San Diego), Koa Misi, lb, Utah.
41. Buffalo, Torell Troup, dt, UCF.
42. New England (from Chicago through Tampa Bay and Oakland), Rob Gronkowski, te, Arizona.
43. Baltimore (from Miami through Denver), Sergio Kindle, lb, Texas.
44. Oakland (from Jacksonville through New England), Lamarr Houston, dt, Texas.
45. Denver, Zane Beadles, ot, Utah.
46. New York Giants, Linval Joseph, dt, East Carolina.
47. Arizona (from Tennessee through New England), Daryl Washington, lb, TCU.
48. Carolina, Jimmy Clausen, qb, Notre Dame.
49. San Francisco, Taylor Mays, db, Southern Cal.
50. Kansas City (from Atlanta), Javier Arenas, db, Alabama.
51. Minnesota (from Houston), Toby Gerhart, rb, Stanford.
52. Pittsburgh, Jason Worilds, lb, Virginia Tech.
53. New England, Jermaine Cunningham, de, Florida.
54. Cincinnati, Carlos Dunlap, de, Florida.
55. Dallas (from Philadelphia), Sean Lee, lb, Penn State.
56. Green Bay, Mike Neal, de, Purdue.
57. Baltimore, Terrence Cody, dt, Alabama.
58. Houston (from Arizona through New England), Ben Tate, rb, Auburn.
59. Cleveland (from Dallas through Philadelphia), Montario Hardesty, rb, Tennessee.
60. Seattle (from San Diego), Golden Tate, wr, Notre Dame.
61. New York Jets, Vladimir Ducasse, ot, Massachusetts.
62. New England (from Minnesota through Houston), Brandon Spikes, lb, Florida.
63. Indianapolis, Pat Angerer, lb, Iowa.
64. New Orleans, Charles Brown, ot, Southern Cal.
65. St. Louis, Jerome Murphy, db, South Florida.
66. Detroit, Amari Spievey, db, Iowa.
67. Tampa Bay, Myron Lewis, db, Vanderbilt.
Washington (Exercised in Supplemental Draft)
68. Kansas City, Jon Asamoah, g, Illinois.
69. Oakland, Jared Veldheer, ot, Hillsdale.
70. Baltimore (from Seattle through Philadelphia and Denver), Ed Dixon, te, Oregon.
71. Green Bay (from Cleveland through Philadelphia), Morgan Burnett, db, Georgia Tech.
72. Buffalo, Alex Carrington, de, Arkansas State.
73. Miami, John Jerry, g, Mississippi.
74. Jacksonville, D'Anthony Smith, dt, Louisiana Tech.
75. Chicago, Major Wright, db, Florida.
76. New York Giants, Chad Jones, db, LSU.
77. Tennessee, Damian Williams, wr, Southern Cal.
78. Carolina, Brandon LaFell, wr, LSU.
79. San Diego (from San Francisco), Donald Butler, lb, Washington.
80. Denver, J.D. Walton, c, Baylor.
81. Houston, Earl Mitchell, dt, Arizona.
82. Pittsburgh, Emmanuel Sanders, wr, SMU.
83. Atlanta, Corey Peters, dt, Kentucky.
84. Cincinnati, Jordan Shipley, wr, Texas.
85. Cleveland (from New England through Oakland), Colt McCoy, qb, Texas.
86. Philadelphia (from Green Bay), Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, de, Washington.
87. Denver (from Philadelphia), Eric Decker, wr, Minnesota.
88. Arizona (from Baltimore), Andre Roberts, wr, The Citadel.
89. Carolina (from Arizona through New England), Armanti Edwards, wr, Appalachian State.
90. New England (from Dallas), Taylor Price, wr, Ohio.
91. San Francisco (from San Diego), Navorro Bowman, lb, Penn State.
92. Cleveland (from New York Jets), Shawn Lauvao, g, Arizona State.
93. Kansas City (from Minnesota through Houston), Tony Moeaki, te, Iowa.
94. Indianapolis, Kevin Thomas, db, Southern Cal.
95. New Orleans, Jimmy Graham, te, Miami.
96. x-Cincinnati, Brandon Ghee, db, Wake Forest.
97. x-Tennessee, Rennie Curran, lb, Georgia.
98. x-Atlanta, Mike Johnson, g, Alabama.
Scott Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-481-5432.
|04-23-2010, 11:47 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2010
Member Number: 16095
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Re: Steelers able to boost special teams on Day 2
"Lee, an Upper St. Clair and Penn State graduate, is an inside linebacker, and the Steelers are set there for the upcoming season with starters James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons and reserves Larry Foote and Keyaron Fox."
And we're not set this year with Harrison and Woodley at OLB???? I mean we're talking about grooming this Worilds to take Harrison's position because he's 31...Farrior is 35 for christs sake. Lee would of been a much better pick to replace Farrior when he's gone.
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