Well the draft is over and the Pittsburgh Steelers made a move and took some picks (some questioned), but all in all it was a good day to be from the black and gold. Before we talk about any of the picks lets take a look who exactly the Steelers took in the 75th NFL draft in New York.
Round (overall number) - Player, position, school
1(18) - Maurkice Pouncey, C, Floirda
2(52) - Jason Worilds, OLB, Virginia Tech
3(82) - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Southen Methodist
4(116) - Thaddeus Gibson, OLB, Ohio State
5(151) - Chris Scott, OG, Tennessee
5(164) - Crezdon Butler, DB, Clemson
5(166) - Stevenson Sylvester, OLB, Utah
6(188) - Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
6(195) - Antonio Brown, WR, Central Michigan
7(242) - Doug Worthington, DE, Ohio State
Most people had the Steelers projected to take Pouncey in the first round and it wasn't much of a dilemma when it came down to it. Pouncey is very athletic and I really wouldn't be surprised, based on all the talk, if he is in the starting lineup in week one of the season. Pouncey will not be the starting center, the Steelers have already said they are going to move him to a guard position to start the season. This would be a great way to get him into the game. The center position is very demanding with all the line calls and everything that he will have to do. This will be a learning experience to get in there and play guard, see what goes on and learn and when Hartwig is gone after this year or next them Pouncey can move over to center and be there for the long hall. The scouts rave about his foot agility and general athletic ability so it should be exciting to see him play.
The next couple of rounds the Steelers went in another direction than most of us who follow the Steelers closely thought they would go. In the second round they went with the the outside linebacker from Virginia Tech, Jason Worilds. The Steelers also grabbed OLB help in the fourth and fifth round. Now everyone knows that the Steelers have two Pro Bowlers in Lamarr Woodley and James Harrison so why even think about spending so many picks when there were other needs (defensive back) that the Steelers needed? Although Woodley is young, and a freak, Harrison is no spring chicken and behind them is really nobody outside of Fox who saw some limited time. My thoughts on this was that the Steelers were doing a good thing here. Sure we have a ton of pass rusheres now but brining in good talent can never hurt. Players that come in and can push to play are only going to make the players around them better. It will make our offensive line better (by going against good second team talent) and it will really give the Steelers some much needed depth in the lineback core. Last year depth was a really big problems with linebackers and Kevin Colbert is making sure that is not going to be an issue getting some young talent in there.
Now around the fifth round people were wondering what the hell were the Steelers goign to do in their defensive backfield. The corners last year were the biggest liability that the Steelers had and without Ben for at least four games, maybe more, the Steelers defense was going to have to step up. Signing back Larry Foote was going to help, but he couldn't go out on an island and cover WR's. That is when it happened. Kevin Colbert struck.
The Steelers traded away their fifth round pick (155th overall) to the Arizona Cardinals for Bryant McFadden and the Cardinals sixth round pick. Wow. McFadden is a former Steeler and left the team to sign with the Arizona Cardinals when the Steelers couldn't pay him. Bryant failed to pick off a pass in his one year in Arizona in 16 games and was picked on a good bit and didn't have a steller year. No clue as to why the Cardinals go him, but he was not going to be a starter for them next year. He is due $5 million and the Cardinals did not want to pay that to a nickle back.
Reading over some Cardinals message boards they are pretty happy to see BMac gone. They claim he just couldn't cover anyone and was a liablility on the field. From waht I can remember when he was with us he was a great compliment to Ike Taylor and can more than hold up his end of the bargin in the secondary. He is an immediate upgreade to a secondary that was about as effective as squirt gun in World War II. Granted, McFadden isn't a shut down corner, and he might have played bad in Arizone but I feel that with a healthy Troy and Ike Taylor on the other side of the field that he will be a very key player for us. Troy and Ike make Bryant 10 times better than he is.
The rest of the draft brought us a WR in the third round in Emmanuel Sanders. Not really sure about this pick. Sanders is a slot receiver with speed to burn. He is under 6'0 (as is half the Steelers WR) and can really stretch the field. We will see if guys like this and the Steelers sixth round pick, Antonio Brown, spell the end for Limas Sweed.
The Steelers also went with another lineman in the fifth round, Chris Scott from Tennessee. Scott is big, 6'5, 350 and from what I have been reading is really strong. People are talking that the Steelers made a really nice selection here and that he can be moved into the interior and make a difference for the Steelers down the road.
One of the last picks that the Steelers made was for Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer was picked by some to go in the second to third round range and slipped all the way to pick 188 in the sixth round. Dwyer is a big back that is known for punishing defenders and runs between the tackles. For the value this might be one of the best picks for the Steelers in this years draft. There was concern over Dwyers fitness at the combine, which was partially the reason for him falling so far off the board.
Overall I really like the Steelers three days here, especially after the trade for McFadden. The Steelers had a lot of picks to use this year and Cobert knew he could go out and get BMac so he didn't need to waste those early picks and reach for conerbacks. What he did was get some young depth in the linebacker core and in special teams. What hasn't been said yet is that the Steelers special teams were dreadful last season. They gave up big play after big play and for these drafted players to make it they are first goign to have to work on speical teams and show the coaches they have what it takes. Like I said the competition will make them better and in turn really help out the Steelers struggling special teams unit.
In Colbert we trust.