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Old 05-03-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

Steelers' Depth at Wide Receiver Still Lacking After Draft

by Neal Coolong on May 2, 2012

The consensus opinion of the Pittsburgh Steelers' draft in 2012 was they made out very well. It's tough to argue a world-beating David DeCastro at one of the team's biggest needs, a potentially outstanding offensive tackle in the second round, or a future starting nose tackle in the fourth. Add in an all-purpose machine like Chris Rainey in the fifth, and they walked away with stronger pieces than what they had to start.

The one issue remaining mostly unresolved is at wide receiver.

There is some excitement brewing about seventh round pick Toney Clemons, a good size-and-speed combo receiver from Colorado who came on strong at the end of last season. Even if he does pan out (statistically, odds of a seventh round pick making a pro roster are slim, to say the least), that would mean the Steelers, as it sits right now, would be giving him the 5th receiver position with no competition.

There isn't anyone else on the roster.

The Steelers signed WR Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year deal, and WR Mike Wallace has said he isn't going to sign his one-year restricted free agency contract "until he has to." WRs Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are both in the final years of their rookie deals, and both are eligible for restricted free agency next year.

Simply put, the Steelers do not currently have a receiver who will be under contract after the 2013 season.

That isn't a reason to panic, or to suggest SNAFU in regards to the position. It just means the Steelers are likely to continue exploring depth options at receiver.

Texans WR Jacoby Jones was released Tuesday after Houston drafted DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. Jones struggled mightily last season filling in for WR Andre Johnson, who missed much of the year with a hamstring injury. His fumble early in Houston's 20-13 loss at Baltimore in the playoffs is something the Texans won't forget any time soon. But his five years in the league, kick return ability and strong probability he could not ask for more than a veteran minimum contract could make him an enticing reclamation project for Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and receivers coach Scottie Montgomery.

There are also other intriguing options still available on the free agency wire. Jerheme Urban, a Todd Haley pupil in Kansas City from 2010-11, and in Arizona from 2007-08 (Urban stayed with the Cardinals in 2009 before signing as a free agent with the Chiefs in 2010).

He's a blue-collar, tough and physical receiver who may not have big career numbers (91 catches, 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns in seven playing seasons), but bringing in a veteran who understands Haley and the offense can help push the younger receivers for playing time. Plus, given the fact none of the Steelers' top three receivers - Wallace, Brown and Sanders - have a contract after next year, and salary cap limitations being what they are, putting in some continuity now for what appears nearly certain one of those three will be gone after 2012, isn't a bad idea.

Former Jacksonville receiver Kassim Osgood, a special teams standout (three-time Pro Bowl selection with San Diego), fits the Arnaz Battle mold as a 5th receiver who will contribute on kick coverage. Battle is still available in free agency after Pittsburgh released him this offseason.

The Steelers likely aren't looking for a guy to compete for 70 catches this season, but rather, an experienced, low-priced veteran who can step in when needed, even if the situation won't be good if they receive dozens of snaps each game. Jacoby, Urban and Osgood bring different elements to their game (returns and experience) than just simply their receiving talents, and could be guys the Steelers talk to before or during training camp.

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2 trades: our 1(22) to Dallas for 1(27) and 3(91), then our 2(56) and 3(87) to NY Giants for 2(40)

1(27) Kevin Johnson CB Wake Forest
2(40) Eli Harold OLB Virginia
3(91) Eric Rowe CB/FS Utah
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5(160) Sean Hickey OG/OT Syracuse
6(199) Titus Davis WR C Michigan
6(212) Kyle Emanuel DE/OLB N Dakota St
7(239) Cameron Clear TE/OT Texas A&M
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

I think our biggest need now is at cornerback and an extra reliable safety......Hope some of the guys step up........Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

I really have no problem with the WR depth at all. Toney Clemons has great potential and will probably see like 15 non-special teams snaps during the season anyway, if that.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

I guess I don't see the wr position having any more or less depth than any other position on the Steelers right now. In fact, I think you could easily argue other areas, such as their defensive line, and secondary are bigger question marks at this moment in time.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

neal and i were discussing this on twitter the day jacoby was released. i think we should bring him in. i also thought it would be worth kicking the tires on jabbar gaffney but the patriots have already swooped in and signed him for a 2 year deal. theyre freaking hoarding wr's!
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

Quality wise, it may be the deepest position.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

Our depth at WR is lacking? Only if we continue to run Arians' 5-receiver sets 50% of the time. Even then, what's wrong with Toney as the 5th? We have four seasoned, quality veterans and a promising draft pick. I'm sorry, but this article strikes me as pure fluff and filler. Slow news day in Pittsburgh land. That, or someone is pissed we didn't trade up for Kendall Wright or whoever.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

Tomlin and Colbert were asked about receiver depth and why they waited until the 7th to address it. I remeber Tomlin adding at the end as kind of a throw in comment that they are also not done exploring free agents even until the end of camp. I'm paraphrasing of course but that was the gist of it.

I can see the Steelers waiting to see how camp goes with Clemons and even Marquis Maze then deciding late to sign a released veteran WR if needed. (Plaxico is still out there...) But that would mean Clemons or even Marquis Maze did not impress and I'm hoping they both do.

And the Patriots depth? Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Deon Branch, Anthony Gonzalez, Ochocinco, Donte Stallworth, Julian Edelman, and draft picks.. plus two pretty good TEs.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Depth at WR Still Lacking After Draft

we could always give limas sweed a call lol
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