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Old 03-21-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
teegre
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Default Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

Everyone keeps talking about how the Steelers can wait until the later rounds to draft a safety, because there are so many in this draft. And, indeed there will be about fifteen safeties drafted.

But, I would like to counter this philosophy (of waiting) by saying that it's not necessarily the amount of players at the position; it's finding the "right" player.

I've been thinking about the following for a while.

This draft could be labeled "the safety draft." And, it reminds me eerily of the 1997 draft: "the cornerback draft."

In 1997, six cornerbacks were taken in the first round, followed by five more on the second round, and then Ronde Barber early in round three. In other words, of the first sixty-six picks, twelve were cornerbacks.

And, in the middle of the pack, the Steelers selected Chad Scott.

Good cornerbacks were taken before Scott (Shawn Springs) and good cornerbacks were taken afterwards (Ronde Barber, Sam Madison, Kim Herring). So, again, the successfulness of drafting a cornerback wasn't a matter of which round, but a matter of which player.

Likewise, in this upcoming draft, it's not just the fact that there are a ton of good safeties; it's finding the "right" safety that is imperative. Whether it's Kenny Vaccaro in R1... or Matt Elam in R2... or DJ Swearinger in R3... if the player fits into Pittsburgh's system, then they should take that player ASAP, regardless of how many safeties are still available in later rounds.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

I wanted Reshad Jones from Georgia a few years ago and he was available until the 5th with Kam Chancellor... that was a good safety draft.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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I wanted Reshad Jones from Georgia a few years ago and he was available until the 5th with Kam Chancellor... that was a good safety draft.
Damn I wish we had Kam
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

Safety is the most important position on this defense to get it to work the way it should. You aren't going to get the same output from the defense as a whole with a mid-tier safety are you are a top tier, and not even necessarily a top tier either. You need someone with the athletic ability and the smarts to make the defense go.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

Amen!!!

Pittsburgh's offense has been dominant when it's had an elite safety (or tandem of safeties).

Shell & Wagner
Lake & Perry
Polamalu & Hope/Clark

A good example of getting "almost" the right guy is Lee Flowers. Flowers was really good, and the defense was really good, but his flaw (unable to play the pass) kept that defense from being elite.

SUMMATION:
I'm hoping to get the next Lake... because, there are a lot of Flowers in this draft.

Now... which is which?
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

Reminds me of 10 years ago when there were a lot of quality safetys in the draft like:

-Polamalu
-Ken Hamlin
-Mike Doss
-Terrence Keil
- Bryan Scott

I thought we wasted a pick by trading up for Polamalu when there were other prospects at Safety and we really needed a CB rather than living with Chad Scott, Dewayne Washington and DeShea Townsend. Of course I was wrong.

I dont think any of these guys are special like Polamalu, but we may have to pull the trigger early to get a guy that will start in 2 years.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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Originally Posted by teegre View Post
Likewise, in this upcoming draft, it's not just the fact that there are a ton of good safeties; it's finding the "right" safety that is imperative. Whether it's Kenny Vaccaro in R1... or Matt Elam in R2... or DJ Swearinger in R3... if the player fits into Pittsburgh's system, then they should take that player ASAP, regardless of how many safeties are still available in later rounds.
You make some excellent points.

If Troy and Ryan Clark are healthy, no draft pick is going to play all that much I wouldn't think. A big "if" of course, and one very important to the Steelers success this coming season. Rather than taking one of the guys you mention in the first 3 rounds, I'm leaning toward choosing one of all those guys who will be available in the 5th round, the "right" guy of course.

Similar story with running back. A bunch of guys available in the 4th and 5th rounds. It's a matter of finding the "right" guy like Alfred Morris in the 6th last year.

In my opinion, the Steelers 1st pick should be WR or TE, and the 3rd pick should be TE or WR, depending on Pick 1. If Elam falls to the Steelers in R2, okay, I can see taking him. Otherwise, I would postpone S to R5 and take an OLB in R2. Then you have RB in R4.

You'll love this. I was reading the Bleacher Report 7-round mock last night while I was watching my bracket disintegrate. They got Elam falling to the 3rd round.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Reminds me of 10 years ago when there were a lot of quality safetys in the draft like:

-Polamalu
-Ken Hamlin
-Mike Doss
-Terrence Keil
- Bryan Scott

I thought we wasted a pick by trading up for Polamalu when there were other prospects at Safety and we really needed a CB rather than living with Chad Scott, Dewayne Washington and DeShea Townsend. Of course I was wrong.

I dont think any of these guys are special like Polamalu, but we may have to pull the trigger early to get a guy that will start in 2 years.
I remember the exact moment that Troy was picked. My best friend is a Chargers fan, and I was on the phone with him when the Chargers were right about to get "on the clock." My friend asks me, "Okay... who's the pick?" And, I calmly reply, "Troy."

About two minutes later, the pick was indeed Troy Polamalu... except, he went to the Steelers.

My friend yells into the phone, "F*ck!!! Why do the Steelers get EVERYBODY!?!" ...and he hangs up the phone.

In all honesty, I was as shocked as he was that the Steelers traded up. I was figuring that they'd draft Asomugha (to play FS, not CB). Regardless, obviously, living in SoCal, I was ecstatic about getting #43. (And, my friend has never forgiven me.)
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

That's a dang funny story about Troy, teegre.

I wonder who in the Steelers organization was most responsible for taking Troy.

Carnell Lake has only been our defensive backs coach for a couple years, so it wasn't him. I wonder what Carnell is doing today. Unlike me who will be watching March Madness and drinking beer, I hope he is watching tape on all these safeties and figuring out who the Steelers should take, and in what round, so he can give LeBeau the scoop, and LeBeau can give it to Tomlin and Colbert. If Carnell is not watching tape, he should be at somebody's pro day.

And if Carnell doesn't come up with the "right" guy, he should be fired. Same with all these other position coaches.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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Originally Posted by JackH View Post
You make some excellent points.

If Troy and Ryan Clark are healthy, no draft pick is going to play all that much I wouldn't think. A big "if" of course, and one very important to the Steelers success this coming season. Rather than taking one of the guys you mention in the first 3 rounds, I'm leaning toward choosing one of all those guys who will be available in the 5th round, the "right" guy of course.

Similar story with running back. A bunch of guys available in the 4th and 5th rounds. It's a matter of finding the "right" guy like Alfred Morris in the 6th last year.

In my opinion, the Steelers 1st pick should be WR or TE, and the 3rd pick should be TE or WR, depending on Pick 1. If Elam falls to the Steelers in R2, okay, I can see taking him. Otherwise, I would postpone S to R5 and take an OLB in R2. Then you have RB in R4.

You'll love this. I was reading the Bleacher Report 7-round mock last night while I was watching my bracket disintegrate. They got Elam falling to the 3rd round.
Elam in R3!?! Now, THAT would be the STEAL of the decade!!!

Beyond my top three (Vaccaro, Elam, Swearinger), I don't see many other safeties that I think are elite.

Philip Thomas is a ball hawk; Cyprien looked good at the Senior Bowl. But, those two just seem to be on a slightly lower tier than those first three.

After those five, it's a lot of Lee Flower-esque type of players: Rambo, both Williams, McDonald, Reid, Shamarko Thomas, Lester...

Now, mind you, those "Flowers-like" players can be the next Ryan Clark, which is also essential to the defense (a good "complimentary" safety to the "star" safety). Thus, I'd like to get one of the top three... followed by someone like McDonald in R5. In turn, the Steelers would have a young tandem to develop together over the next decade. (Note: I think Robert Golden could be the next Brent Alexander: a darn good FS, to go along with whichever "elite" SS is drafted this year.)

PASS CATCHER
I see one pass catcher (TE or WR) being drafted in the first three rounds, with the other two positions being S and OLB. (Let's assume that it's a TE.)

Eiffert, OLB/S, OLB/S
OLB/S, Ertz, OLB/S
OLB/S, OLB/S, Escobar

I think it's going to be TE over WR, because I think that AB, Sanders, & Cotchery are a good "top three"... and, Plax adds depth. Thus, I don't see a WR being a pressing need... although, one will be added in R4 or R5: Swope, Dobson, Hamilton, Wheaton, et cetera.

If Sanders leaves, then WR becomes a need... but, I still think that the Steelers won't go WR early (unless it's Austin, who is also an incredible return threat). They'll simply use that newly-acquired R3 to replace Sanders.
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