Daily Archives: April 26, 2012

First Round Press Conference Transcript

Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 NFL Draft Thursday, April 26 – Saturday, April 28, 2012   Coach Tomlin and Kevin Colbert RE 1st Round Pick David DeCastro   DAVID DECASTRO Offensive Guard/Center – Stanford...

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Draft Day Memories: Cameron Heyward


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Leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft current and former Steelers players and coaches will share their draft day memories. Featured in this segment is defensive end Cameron Heyward.

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2012 NFL Draft Open Thread Part II: Clock Starts Ticking


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With about 90 minutes remaining, final draft speculation flies around as some people file into their respective teams and cities official draft party.

Plenty of people are unable to attend such a party, or live in a place like Baltimore or D.C., and couldn't be financially compensated well enough to ever attend such a party for the local sports collective.

The point is, we're gonna have our own fiesta right here on BTSC. I will be at Vikings Fan Friend Chuck's palatial palace in suburban Minneapolis (hoping for at least half the fun of the 10 minutes after hearing "...The Vikings select....Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State), and I'll be updating the site with comments and as much news as we can find between now and the Steelers pick at No. 24.

Leave your mark here, save it for the record, and discuss any and all things draft over the next few hours. The Steelers future may just depend on it.

Ok, probably not, but it's gonna be fun anyway.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 32 — New York Giants Select Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

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We are done and the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft is in the books! Pittsblitz56 did say he was working on it, but the agreed time came and went so I'm stepping in again here. Next up: the real thing at 8:00 pm EDT!

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It's been Michael Bean's personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-

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First off, I want to say that if VinnySteel had not decided to go for the triple-TE threat for the Patriots, Coby Fleener absolutely would've been the pick here. Right now the New York Giants have got a bunch of guys that seem like they could all be decent role players at the TE position, but Fleener would've instantly upgraded it and given them an ultra-athletic headliner that would've made everyone better.

But no harm, no foul that Vinny picked Fleener ahead of us. We can deal with it and look back at what is still on our draft board and what value stands out.

And as we look at it, one name is standing out right now...

With the 32nd pick in the 2012 BTSC Community Mock Draft, the New York Giants select Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor.

The Giants still need to get younger on their O-line, so someone like Peter Konz was briefly considered here. I also did momentarily consider adding even more strength to the Giants' D-line and taking Chandler Jones, just for the fun of it. They did lose one of their starting CBs, Aaron Ross, in free agency, so Janoris Jenkins was also considered here. And Ross's departure does leave a bigger void than Mario Manningham's departure left at WR (the void that Wright would ostensibly be filling).

But Wright grades out as a better prospect than either Jenkins/Jones/Konz/or anyone else on the board right now.

Linebacker was the only position where I would've considered taking a 1st round-caliber prospect, even if he graded out lower than Wright. I know they traded with the Bengals to acquire Keith Rivers, and that could be all that they needed to shore up the position, but they literally had bums off the street playing there this past season (in late November, they pulled Chase Blackburn away from being a middle school substitute math teacher, but he repaid them by intercepting Tom Brady and being one of their Super Bowl heroes). Though as I wrote last year, with the talent that they've stockpiled on their D-line and in their secondary, they could go with bums off the street again at LB and it still may not matter.

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Indianapolis Colts -- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins -- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns -- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams -- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
  8. Miami Dolphins -- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers -- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  10. Buffalo Bills -- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
  11. Kansas City Chiefs -- Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
  12. Seattle Seahawks -- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
  13. Arizona Cardinals -- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
  14. Dallas Cowboys -- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
  15. Philadelphia Eagles -- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  16. New York Jets -- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
  17. Cincinnati Bengals -- Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
  19. Chicago Bears -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
  20. Tennessee Titans -- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
  21. Cincinnati Bengals -- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
  22. Cleveland Browns -- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions -- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
  25. Denver Broncos -- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  26. Houston Texans -- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
  27. New England Patriots -- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
  28. Green Bay Packers -- Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
  29. Baltimore Ravens -- Devon Still, DT, Penn State
  30. San Francisco 49ers -- Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
  31. New England Patriots -- Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Preview Guide, Draft Tracker & Contributor Mock Drafts

The 2012 NFL Draft is finally here and tonight the Pittsburgh Steelers will add yet another promising young player to their team tonight baring a trade out of the first round. We hope you have enjoyed all of the draft related content we have provided you leading up to the draft and there is much more to come. Per usual we will have player profiles posted up after every draft pick is made by Steelers along with the audio of the press conferences given to the media after each and every selection.

Below is refresher Steelers draft guide that includes everything to get you up to date on the team Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Christmas in April: 2012 NFL Draft Tonight at 8 p.m. ET


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Get the beer on ice, put in an advanced order from your favorite takeout place and make sure you've got '30 Rock' set to record on your DVR, it's Draft Day.

The culmination of several months of preparation comes when Washington goes on the clock with the No. 2 pick in the draft - Indianapolis has already declared Stanford QB Andrew Luck the first choice. The Redskins will probably grandstand for a little bit before selecting Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, putting Minnesota in the limelight for the first intriguing selection of the night.

BTSC is going to post any and all draft-related news of the day heading up to this evening's big event.

To indicate the speciality of the big day, not only are we making up words (there's an angry red line under "speciality"), we're making it a dual-open-thread day. We're going to post one in the morning, then one again an hour or two before the draft begins. Regular bylined stories will appear as merited.

So break out the ibuprofen and ice if your softball season-opening double-header was last night, especially if you more than tripled your total time running in 2012 in an hour and 45 minutes. It's draft day, get set for it with us here on BTSC.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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2012 NFL Draft Open Thread Part I: The Waiting

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There isn't much hard news that's likely to come out of Steelers camp today. It's not exactly the ideal time to work free agents out, and the main points of interest are the players who are likely already awake and pacing around their particular environments.

More than 10 highly skilled athletes will have their rights selected (both drafted and undrafted) by the six-time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers today. Knowing the amount of those players taken isn't much of a trick, but knowing which ones is about as difficult a prediction as one can make in the sports world.

We all know now who the options are. None of us know which ones will actually hold the ceremonial jersey to their chest for the requisite Draft Day Photo.

Last chance to weigh in on who you want, what you feel would be best and which direction you see the Steelers moving in as we conclude our Road to the Draft coverage.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Dont’a Hightower a Fit for the Steelers at 24?


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Walter Football, one of the big Draft sites, has the Steelers taking Dont’a Hightower, the inside linebacker from Alabama. Many feel it’s a fit for the Steelers, as he would take over for released ILB James Farrior.

Pittsburgh needs youth in its front seven, and Hightower has Steelers’ pick written all over him.

At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, Hightower is a physical, in-the-box defender. He regularly beat collegiate offensive linemen without difficulty. The intelligent junior was the signal-caller for the Crimson Tide defense, a complex collegiate scheme. At the Combine, he ran the 40 in 4.62, a good time considering his heavy weight.

Though a season-ending knee injury cost him the majority of the 2009 season, Hightower came back in 2010 to record 69 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss. This season, another year removed from the injury, he looked much better. Hightower was a real force in many games in 2011. He shows the ability to rush the passer well on blitzes and is a tough run defender. Hightower has also demonstrated the ability to move to outside linebacker on passing downs and rush off the edge. Thus, he can be a three-down defender in the NFL.

Hightower had 85 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, four sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and three passes batted away this year. He had a dominant game against Tennessee and played well in both contests versus LSU. Against Georgia Southern, Hightower blocked a field goal and it looked like he was spiking a volleyball. Hightower is a real presence in the tackle box.

Source: Steelers Gab

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Steelers need to draft for need not want

Yesterday Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin held their usual pre-draft presser and Colbert was full of quotes that just don’t make sense for this year’s draft. For him to say that every player drafted outside of the top 10 is just a hopeful dream was a little weird.
There are plenty of guys that will be drafted well into the second round that will make an immediate impact on their new team. Guys like Nick Perry, Coby Fleener and Kevin Zeitler are Day 1 starters but the teams picking in the top 10 are drafting for need. And that’s exactly what the Steelers need to do, no matter what Colbert said yesterday.
Even the newest Steelers fan, that finally got that promotion that enabled him to move from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, can tell you that the Steelers have significant needs heading into Thursday’s selection show.
A franchise inside linebacker is needed to replace James Farrior; the next generation of nose tackle is needed with Casey Hampton coming off yet another knee surgery; and at least one guard is needed since the two starting guards currently on the roster were undrafted backups until they signed their RFA tenders a week ago.
It was kind of weird though to hear Colbert basically say that the Steelers really didn’t need anything though.
“Need is not a good word. It’s ‘want.’ We want players. We don’t necessarily need. We try to add from within.”
Well, if Colbert uses the usual Best Player Available formula this year and the Steelers don’t end up drafting a backer, nose tackle or guard – or at least two of the three – in the first three rounds, the Steelers could be in trouble. It’s fine to want certain players, but this year the Steelers really do NEED certain guys. They don’t have the luxury of taking the BPA this year.
Don’t get me wrong, Colbert has been a great GM since he got the gig 12 years ago, but maybe the fact that the Steelers do have actual needs this year (whether he admits it or not) says something about his recent draft selections. It’s not like Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Farrior got old over night, or that the offensive line hasn’t had problems since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted.
“When you don’t get the first-round guy right, that sets you back for probably four years because that is a slot you are going to try to fill at some point. Yes, we are not big spenders in free agency and we will never be because we want to keep our own. But if we missed on a pick that we would want to be keeping as our own, it will set us back and distract us from what we need to be doing.”
Colbert may not miss on first-rounders but maybe it’s his “hoping” that certain picks pan out that put the Steelers in this pickle. After the Steelers address their three biggest needs this year, they should start addressing needs that aren’t quite as dire…yet.
Receiver, outside linebacker, defensive end and secondary help are all going to be needed as soon as next year. Instead of going with the BPA approach, Colbert just needs to go the Schmiegel route and go after what he needs not wants.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Agree to Disagree – Pre-Draft


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With the 2012 NFL Draft on the immediate horizon, Bob and Mike argue about the direction the Steelers should take during their three days of picking.

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