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costanza2k1
03-12-2009, 03:16 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Lots of change in updated mock draft
By Mel Kiper and Todd McShay
ESPN.com

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Whom will your favorite NFL team select in the first round of the upcoming draft? Where will your favorite college players land? Mel and Todd have the answers in their updated mock drafts. To see these and all the best NFL draft coverage online, become an ESPN Insider. Insider

The free-agent frenzy in the NFL has died down, and team needs are becoming clearer all the time. Many teams filled pressing needs with established, big-name pros, but many still are shopping and no doubt will turn to the draft to find the missing pieces on their rosters.

Below is a look at how ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay see the first round shaking out at this point in the predraft process. On-campus pro day workouts and individual workouts with NFL teams no doubt will change things in the coming weeks, but here is how our experts see things right now.

1. Detroit Lions (Record: 0-16)

Kiper pick: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia -- Stafford is worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick, thanks to his overall skill set.
McShay pick: Stafford -- It appears the No. 1 pick is Stafford's to lose. The gun-slinging quarterback can seal the deal if he overwhelms the Lions during upcoming individual workouts, film sessions and interviews.

2. St. Louis Rams (2-14)

Kiper pick: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor -- The OT spot is strong at the top with Smith, a former tight end who is supremely athletic and exactly what you want in a left tackle: someone you can count on to protect the blind side of your quarterback.
McShay pick: Smith -- Smith has emerged as the top offensive lineman in the 2009 class. He possesses the agility, power and work ethic to solidify the left tackle spot for years to come in St. Louis.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)

Kiper pick: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest -- He's a complete OLB with great character and work ethic, which is why it was no surprise when he nailed his combine workout.
McShay pick: Curry -- The Chiefs choosing to beef up the defensive or offensive line isn't out of the question here, but Curry is the best defensive player in this year's draft and displays the versatility new GM Scott Pioli looks for in a draft pick.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-12)

Kiper pick: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia -- Monroe is just a shade below Jason Smith in my opinion but is a legit top-five pick.
McShay pick: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College -- The Seahawks taking an offensive tackle is a strong possibility here, especially with their recent addition of free-agent DT Colin Cole. However, Raji is the only elite defensive tackle in this class, and the Seahawks, who finished 30th in total defense this past season, must think long and hard before passing on him.

5. Cleveland Browns (4-12)

Kiper pick: B.J. Raji -- Raji is the top defensive tackle in this draft. McShay pick: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas -- Orakpo left the combine as the top hybrid DE/OLB in the 2009 class. His pass-rushing skills would be a welcome addition to a Cleveland defense that notched just 17 sacks in 2008.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1)

Kiper pick: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech -- The stress fracture in his left foot shouldn't affect his draft status. He's a big-time player who should have a Larry Fitzgerald-type career in the NFL.
McShay pick: Eugene Monroe -- Crabtree certainly is a possibility here, but the Bengals need to solidify their offensive line, and Monroe clearly is the next-best option at offensive tackle. He's not a classic mauler by any means, but he is a fluid athlete for his size and would do an excellent job of protecting QB Carson Palmer.

7. Oakland Raiders (5-11)

Kiper pick: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri -- Maclin will have to adjust to an NFL offense, but I really like his big-play capability and the fact that he's much more explosive with the pads on than his 4.46-second clocking in the 40-yard dash at the combine would lead you to believe.
McShay pick: Maclin -- Speed will rule in the Oakland draft room as long as owner Al Davis is calling the shots.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

Kiper pick: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC -- Sanchez definitely is one of the top five-to-eight players available in this draft, and getting him here would be a bit of a steal, because had he returned to USC for his senior season, he likely would have been the No. 1 overall pick.
McShay pick: Michael Crabtree -- The team has pressed all the wrong buttons at wide receiver for years now, but taking Crabtree would be a no-brainer.

9. Green Bay Packers (6-10)

Kiper pick: Brian Orakpo -- I view Orakpo as a 4-3 end with the ability to also play on his feet in a 3-4 as an attacking outside linebacker. He is super athletic and incredibly strong, but there is concern about his durability.
McShay pick: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State -- The Packers could use a young pass-rusher like Maybin to complement Aaron Kampman at outside linebacker in Dom Capers' newly implemented 3-4 scheme.

10. San Francisco 49ers (7-9)

Kiper pick: Aaron Maybin -- Maybin is another combo type who is explosive out of the blocks and relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback.
McShay pick: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama -- Smith's underwhelming pro day performance hardly shifted his negative momentum, but you can't overlook his combination of size and feet. The 49ers could use his services opposite LOT Joe Staley, especially as the offense transitions to a more physical, run-oriented scheme, and if anyone can keep Smith's fire lit, it is 49ers coach Mike Singletary.

11. Buffalo Bills (7-9)

Kiper pick: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State -- Pettigrew remains the No. 1 tight end on the board and would be a boost to the Buffalo passing attack.
McShay pick: Everette Brown, DE, Florida State -- Brown is undersized and might fit best as a strongside linebacker, which could work for the Bills. Whether he lands at defensive end or outside linebacker, the bottom line is that Brown knows how to get heat on opposing quarterbacks, and the Bills definitely are in the market for that kind of player.

12. Denver Broncos (8-8)

Kiper pick: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU -- Jackson would be ideal in a 3-4, thanks to his ability to shift inside in passing situations.
McShay pick: Jackson -- The Broncos need to bulk up along the defensive front in order to make a smooth transition to the 3-4 scheme. They could use this pick on a linebacker, but Jackson is the only elite five-technique in this draft class and would fit well in Denver.

13. Washington Redskins (8-8)

Kiper pick: Andre Smith -- Smith has to manage his weight in order to remain on the left side. If he doesn't, he's a mauler at right tackle who could really assist the running game and do the job at that spot in pass protection. Hopefully, he'll maximize his skills in the NFL by paying more attention to detail. If he doesn't, you are looking at a major bust.
McShay pick: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi -- The Redskins' offensive line is aging in a hurry, and offensive tackles who move like Oher do not last long on draft day, which is why it won't shock us if he's gone in the first half of the first round. Oher is inconsistent but extremely talented.

14. New Orleans Saints (8-8)

Kiper pick: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia -- There isn't anything remotely close to the talent and depth at running back available in the draft last year, but Moreno is a good fit for the Saints at this spot.
McShay pick: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State -- Jenkins could fall out of the top 10 following his subpar showing at the combine. He's an outstanding all-around defensive back, but his below-average speed and questionable burst out of his pedal might make him a better fit at free safety. However, the Saints will welcome his playmaking skills at either position if he falls in their laps.

15. Houston Texans (8-8)

Kiper pick: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC -- Cushing's ability to fit both inside and outside is the reason I've always viewed him as a surefire first-rounder.
McShay pick: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee -- Many think Knowshon Moreno or Chris "Beanie" Wells could be the choice here, but will coach Gary Kubiak really spend the 15th overall pick on a running back? It just doesn't fit his profile. Ayers is a one-hit wonder, but his upside is outstanding, and he could play a situational role early in his career on a young-but-talented Texans defensive line.

16. San Diego Chargers (8-8)

Kiper pick: Malcolm Jenkins -- Jenkins has all the qualities you look for, with the exception of top-flight recovery speed, which is an obvious concern. Even so, he's too good an overall performer to pass up in the middle of the first round.
McShay pick: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC -- Maualuga's draft stock could hinge on the severity of the hamstring injury he suffered at the combine and how it affects his individual workouts. Regardless, he's a ferocious hitter with enormous potential. Maualuga's size and explosiveness would make him a great fit at inside linebacker in the Chargers' 3-4 defense.

17. New York Jets (9-7)

Kiper pick: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida -- Harvin reminds me of the Reggie Bush we now see with the Saints. You can utilize Harvin in a number of ways, and, like Bush, he's a scoreboard-changer. However, he also carries the same durability concerns as Bush.
McShay pick: Mark Sanchez -- Sanchez should come off the board earlier than this, but it's difficult to pinpoint the exact spot right now. The Jags are a possibility at No. 7, but they certainly have more pressing needs. We don't expect the 49ers to use the 10th pick on a quarterback, either. If Sanchez does slip this far, the Jets should jump at the chance and cash in on their good fortune.

18. Chicago Bears (9-7)

Kiper pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland -- Heyward-Bey's awesome size-speed ratio should win out here and give the Bears the kind of wideout they need to open up the passing game.
McShay pick: Heyward-Bey -- The Bears need a receiver capable of stretching the field vertically. Heyward-Bey's combine-best 40 time (4.30 seconds) is all you need to know right here.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)

Kiper pick: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State -- Freeman is an interesting prospect because he throws a great ball and has imposing size at nearly 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds. However, his inconsistent play puts him in the boom-or-bust category.
McShay pick: Freeman -- New coach Raheem Morris has a first-hand perspective on Freeman's enormous potential, having coached him at Kansas State in 2006. Freeman is a project, but the Bucs have time to develop him properly during their rebuilding phase.

20. Detroit Lions (from 9-7 DAL) (0-16)

Kiper pick: Robert Ayers -- Ayers enjoyed a solid season in the SEC and then was one of the standouts during Senior Bowl week. He ran the 40 in 4.80 at the combine, though, which could give some teams pause.
McShay pick: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi -- Jerry has the quick first step and upper-body power to provide the Lions with some much-needed playmaking skills along their defensive front.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1)

Kiper pick: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut -- Brown could end up being one of the more productive rookie backs in 2009 because of his all-around skills and tremendous character.
McShay pick: Knowshon Moreno -- Chris Wells would be a better complement to Brian Westbrook in the short term, but Moreno's versatility makes him a better fit to ultimately succeed Westbrook in the Eagles' pass-happy system. In the meantime, Moreno is fully capable of taking some of the load off Westbrook's shoulders.

22. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

Kiper pick: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina -- Nicks won't wow you in a workout, but on game day, he makes the tough catches and is the type of player who wants the ball thrown his way in clutch situations.
McShay pick: Percy Harvin -- The Vikings have proved they will take the best available athlete. Harvin fits that description, and his game-breaking ability would be a nice addition to a passing attack that ranked 25th in the league in 2008.

23. New England Patriots (11-5)

Kiper pick: Clay Matthews, OLB, USC -- Matthews has enjoyed a monumental rise up the draft board since August. He is versatile and productive, has tremendous bloodlines and came through with an impressive showing at the combine.
McShay pick: Matthews -- Matthews has a non-stop motor, exceptional versatility and an NFL pedigree. Need we say more?

24. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)

Kiper pick: Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech -- Johnson is an enigma. He's blessed with a ton of ability and huge pass-rush potential, but he didn't come through with anything close to the dominating senior season most expected. If he steps up the intensity and plays a more physical brand of football, you could be looking at one heck of a player in the NFL.
McShay pick: Brandon Pettigrew -- Pettigrew isn't a burner, which is why he could slip. However, he is the most complete tight end in this class and would be a big, reliable target over the middle for QB Matt Ryan. If Pettigrew is off the board at this point, the Falcons could use this pick on a front-seven defender or even a safety like Western Michigan's Louis Delmas.

25. Miami Dolphins (11-5)

Kiper pick: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois -- Davis is an impressive physical specimen, but he lacked consistency with the Illini, not always performing at the elite level you would expect from a player with his natural talent and ability. He'll be a gamble.
McShay pick: Brian Cushing -- Miami has more pressing needs at cornerback and wide receiver, but Cushing is a steal this late in the first round and he fits well in the Dolphins' flexible scheme.

26. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

Kiper pick: Rey Maualuga -- Maualuga is capable of becoming a quality "Mike" linebacker in the NFL but needs to use his hands better to ward off blocks and must be more consistent from week to week.
McShay pick: Vontae Davis -- Davis hasn't won over many scouts with his footwork or his attention to detail. Still, he's a talented cover corner with playmaking instincts. The Ravens certainly could use his services, should he slip this far.

27. Indianapolis Colts (12-4)

Kiper pick: Peria Jerry -- Jerry is a very underrated prospect and would be a good fit in the Indianapolis scheme.
McShay pick: Evander Hood, DT, Missouri -- Hood is a classic 3-technique with the quickness and athleticism to disrupt plays in the backfield. The Colts' defensive scheme would be a great match for the fast-rising prospect.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from 12-4 CAR) (9-6-1)

Kiper pick: Michael Oher -- Oher is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He is loaded with talent and can dominate the defense he's working against, but he also seems to have lapses in concentration when he struggles to keep his opponents at bay.
McShay pick: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona -- Britton has surprisingly quick feet for his size (6-foot-6, 309 pounds) and ultimately could develop into a better option than Winston Justice at the left tackle position vacated by Tre Thomas, who signed with the Jaguars.

29. New York Giants (12-4)

Kiper pick: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers -- Britt has a ton of talent and is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
McShay pick: James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State -- Laurinaitis has too many physical limitations to go in the first half of the first round, but he would be a solid value at this point.

30. Tennessee Titans (13-3)

Kiper pick: Everette Brown -- Brown should do well in the Tennessee defensive rotation because of his strong skill set.
McShay pick: Hakeem Nicks -- I think Nicks ultimately will emerge as the second- or third-best receiver from the 2009 class. Nicks does not have blazing speed, but he did run the 40 in the 4.4 range, and he's a sturdy pass-catcher with exceptional hands.

31. Arizona Cardinals (9-7)

Kiper pick: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State -- Wells is the second-best back in this draft behind Knowshon Moreno and could be a nice pickup for the Cardinals, who might lose Edgerrin James this offseason. McShay pick: Wells -- The Cardinals will be targeting a pass-rusher with this pick, but they won't be able to pass on the most naturally gifted back in the 2009 class.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

Kiper pick: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut -- Butler might not be as good as Vontae Davis or Malcolm Jenkins, but he should be a good fit for the defending champs.
McShay pick: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest -- Offensive line no longer is the pressing need it once was for the Steelers, so they can address other needs. Smith lacks ideal size and elite top-end speed, but he's a physical corner with excellent instincts and ball skills.

Todd McShay is the director of college football scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998.

mshifko
03-12-2009, 03:17 PM
mcshay's my man! alphonso smith to the burgh baby

RuthlessBurgher
03-12-2009, 03:55 PM
I don't understand how McShay could say "Offensive line no longer is the pressing need it once was for the Steelers, so they can address other needs." At CB, even though BMac is gone, we still have Ike, Gay, Deshea, and Roy Lewis.

Sure, they re-signed a few o-lineman, but Starks, Colon, and Hartwing have contracts that are set to expire at the end of the season. And, who exactly are the back-ups along the o-line? The answer is that there really aren't any. You've got '08 4th rounder Tony Hills, and then undrafted free agents in Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky (all three of which were cut by this team last year before being brought back only because injuries hit).

O-line is a much bigger need than CB. D-line is a much bigger need than CB too. If they want to use a 3rd rounder on a CB, that is fine. But both of these mocks had Alex Mack available. Both mocks at William Beatty available. Kiper's mock had Eben Britton available too. I like all of those guys better than a CB. Kiper's draft had Oher lasting until pick #28 (if that happened, I would have certainly traded up to get him). But it will never happen, because Kiper lives in a dream world.

phillyesq
03-12-2009, 04:25 PM
If Mack is still available, I think that he almost has to be the pick. I'd much rather have somebody who projects as the best player at their position than a corner. I'm fine with a corner, depending on bpa and how the draft shakes out, but if Mack is available, I think that you take him and deal with corner later.

I think the Steelers could certainly use another corner, and one with return ability would be great, but my preference (depending on how things play out) would be to focus on the trenches.

feltdizz
03-12-2009, 04:28 PM
I don't understand how McShay could say "Offensive line no longer is the pressing need it once was for the Steelers, so they can address other needs." At CB, even though BMac is gone, we still have Ike, Gay, Deshea, and Roy Lewis.

Sure, they re-signed a few o-lineman, but Starks, Colon, and Hartwing have contracts that are set to expire at the end of the season. And, who exactly are the back-ups along the o-line? The answer is that there really aren't any. You've got '08 4th rounder Tony Hills, and then undrafted free agents in Capizzi, Parquet, and Legursky (all three of which were cut by this team last year before being brought back only because injuries hit).

O-line is a much bigger need than CB. D-line is a much bigger need than CB too. If they want to use a 3rd rounder on a CB, that is fine. But both of these mocks had Alex Mack available. Both mocks at William Beatty available. Kiper's mock had Eben Britton available too. I like all of those guys better than a CB. Kiper's draft had Oher lasting until pick #28 (if that happened, I would have certainly traded up to get him). But it will never happen, because Kiper lives in a dream world.

I agree with them, get bodies in later rounds unless BPA is the OL in round 1.

I really can't say our OL is so bad we can't win another SB with the guys we have..

Lebsteel
03-12-2009, 04:41 PM
In both mocks, Alex Mack is the BPA. I don't have a problem with a CB, but definitely not either one of those guys at 32, they simply are not BPA. Ruthless is correct in calling out those two when they say our OL is not the concern it once was. Do they really know what they are talking about? I think it is CRUCIAL that we get at least two good OL and DL this draft along with a decent CB and WR. Of course, if we sign Chris Carr or J. Galloway, then our need diminishes further for CB and WR.

grotonsteel
03-12-2009, 05:00 PM
Michael Oher at 28??? hmm....Steelers should jump to get him...

SteelerOfDeVille
03-12-2009, 05:18 PM
Michael Oher at 28??? hmm....Steelers should jump to get him...
Honestly - in that draft, i'd trade up to 26 and get Maauleuga...

Simply BPA at that point...

grotonsteel
03-12-2009, 05:18 PM
In both mocks, Alex Mack is the BPA. I don't have a problem with a CB, but definitely not either one of those guys at 32, they simply are not BPA. Ruthless is correct in calling out those two when they say our OL is not the concern it once was. Do they really know what they are talking about? I think it is CRUCIAL that we get at least two good OL and DL this draft along with a decent CB and WR. Of course, if we sign Chris Carr or J. Galloway, then our need diminishes further for CB and WR.

Can Alex Mack play Guard in NFL? I think OG is the position currently open on O-line.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
03-12-2009, 06:03 PM
Alex Mack starts at RG as a rookie and replaces Hartwig in 2010. If the Steelers draft a CB in Rd 1 it better be because Davis falls to #32. I don't like Butler or Smith at #32. I don't know if it could happen but the Steelers should look to trade back 5-10 spots because there are about 10 players right in that area that will be there that grades out at their need. I think Mack could still be picked in the #33-#40 range. An extra 3rd or 4th could get them back up in the 2nd for maybe Gilbert.

phillyesq
03-12-2009, 06:25 PM
In both mocks, Alex Mack is the BPA. I don't have a problem with a CB, but definitely not either one of those guys at 32, they simply are not BPA. Ruthless is correct in calling out those two when they say our OL is not the concern it once was. Do they really know what they are talking about? I think it is CRUCIAL that we get at least two good OL and DL this draft along with a decent CB and WR. Of course, if we sign Chris Carr or J. Galloway, then our need diminishes further for CB and WR.

Can Alex Mack play Guard in NFL? I think OG is the position currently open on O-line.

I believe I've read that he can play guard. Even if he plays G as a rookie, Hartwig is in the last year of his deal, and is no better than mediocre, so Mack would be the starting C by 2010 at latest.

MaxAMillion
03-12-2009, 06:25 PM
There is a reason why most teams pass on taking interior linemen in the first round. Tackles are the OL that are taken in round 1 because those players are the hardest to find. There are several center prospects that the Steelers can take in round 2 or even round 3 who project as solid starters. Same is true about OG. I hope the Steelers take Britton if he is available. If not, I hope the Steelers take a corner.

Discipline of Steel
03-12-2009, 08:47 PM
What about mortgaging a 3rd round pick next year with one of our extra 3rds this year to get an extra 2nd round pick? I would love to come out with a CB, OL, and DL on the first day.

RuthlessBurgher
03-12-2009, 08:51 PM
What about mortgaging a 3rd round pick next year with one of our extra 3rds this year to get an extra 2nd round pick? I would love to come out with a CB, OL, and DL on the first day.

I can't recall the Steelers every trading away picks in future years as part of a draft day deal. Mortgaging the future for the sake of right now has never been the Steeler way.

steelz09
03-12-2009, 09:20 PM
This is why it was a horrible move not to match the Cardinals mediocre offer for BMAC.

I hope both Kiper and McShay are wrong and they probably are. Their mock drafts are normally not close.

I will be seriously pissed if they go CB in the first round because there's a very good chance that's not BPA.

We need OL / DL in a very bad way. I'm a little worried about this team after next year to be honest.

The d-line is getting very old with no depth and Big Snack probably wil not be returning after next year.

While young, the o-line is severely lacking quality talent. To make matters worse, Hartwig, Colon, and Starks are UFA after next year.

steelcityrules!!
03-12-2009, 09:33 PM
These comments are really interesting. The more i see the argument for C or DL or CB, the more it seems to me that the steelers win out big if we stand pat and let one of the potential mid-late first round talents fall into our laps.

I can guarantee that one of the following will be available at #32, and if guys like davis or jackson are there in the mid-twenties... we should pounce:

vontae davis
eben britton
alex mack
Andre smith
william beatty
duke robinson
tyson jackson
alphonso smith
phil loadholt

phillyesq
03-12-2009, 09:43 PM
There is a reason why most teams pass on taking interior linemen in the first round. Tackles are the OL that are taken in round 1 because those players are the hardest to find. There are several center prospects that the Steelers can take in round 2 or even round 3 who project as solid starters. Same is true about OG. I hope the Steelers take Britton if he is available. If not, I hope the Steelers take a corner.

If the Steelers can grab a center who will anchor the offensive line for the next ten years (and I don't know enough about Mack to say he is that guy, but a lot of what I've read suggests he could be), they should do it. If the first round options are an elite center or a capable/above average player at another position, I think the Steelers need to take the elite player.

If this year is like last year, any worthwhile tackle will be long gone before 32, likely with lots of reaches. The corners at 32 look ok, but no better than that. The Steelers usually stay very true to BPA, and if Mack is that guy, he'll be the pick.

Now, if Mack is off the board, and the option is somebody like Unger, I think the Steelers look to another position at that point.

steelz09
03-12-2009, 09:46 PM
:Agree

I also think that a Beatty or Loadholt may fall to within our reach in the 2nd round. If a Woodley or Sweed can fall to the 2nd then certainly those 2 guys can.

Plus, so many tackles will be taken in the first that most likely all the teams that need tackles will have already chosen one at that point.

RuthlessBurgher
03-12-2009, 10:03 PM
:Agree

I also think that a Beatty or Loadholt may fall to within our reach in the 2nd round. If a Woodley or Sweed can fall to the 2nd then certainly those 2 guys can.

Plus, so many tackles will be taken in the first that most likely all the teams that need tackles will have already chosen one at that point.

Loadholdt will likely be a 2nd rounder, but I doubt that Beatty is available at 1.32, never mind 2.64.

Discipline of Steel
03-12-2009, 10:09 PM
It may not be the Steelers way but I threw it out there for the sake of arguement. We need to get some young guys in house now so they are primed to produce next year. In a way, we could spend a pick next year to get an extra guy we need now, so he will be able to play next year. Our needs are not RB who can jump into the lineup on day one. We are likely to get some more comp picks next year anyway. I would think that are needs are not many but they are severe. Concentrate our extra picks into a higher quality draft is my idea.

calmkiller
03-12-2009, 11:11 PM
The Steelers won't trade a next years pick. They have stated before that they don't know what the value of that pick will be the next year so they will not use it in a trade, because they could not get proper value for it. I honestly don't want to see it happen. Look at Cleveland and Washington, they do this kinda thing and it never really works out.

buckeyehoppy
03-13-2009, 12:20 AM
This is why it was a horrible move not to match the Cardinals mediocre offer for BMAC.

I hope both Kiper and McShay are wrong and they probably are. Their mock drafts are normally not close.

I will be seriously pissed if they go CB in the first round because there's a very good chance that's not BPA.

We need OL / DL in a very bad way. I'm a little worried about this team after next year to be honest.

The d-line is getting very old with no depth and Big Snack probably wil not be returning after next year.

While young, the o-line is severely lacking quality talent. To make matters worse, Hartwig, Colon, and Starks are UFA after next year.

McShay and Kiper are doinks! Whatever they are smoking they are bogarting. F---ing dumbf---s.

Can anyone name for me a single OL player currently on the Steelers who has been or ever will be an All-Pro?

Alex Mack will start immediately for the Steelers, will be the BPA at 1.32 and has a good choice of fulfilling the Steelers pedigree at C in the future.

There is zero chance that the BPA at 1.32 in this draft will be at CB, a position where the Steelers have no immediate need and is populated by guys who are mostly late draft picks and are still more than functional players on the #1 defense in the league.

I'm convinced if the Steelers can pick up a Mickens or Underwood later in the draft that either will compete for playing time almost immediately, even on this D. Either one would be a good new player add in rounds 3 or 4. Maybe not starters, but we wouldn't need them to be and they would still get a chance for PT in their rookie years.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
03-13-2009, 09:05 AM
Alex Mack will start immediately for the Steelers, will be the BPA at 1.32 and has a good choice of fulfilling the Steelers pedigree at C in the future.

Without having seen the players, I do agree with the philosophy here. It is true that the Steelers don't look to the draft for their immediate starters, they look for players who will be able to fill those spots in the future. However, every indication is that Mack can be both - an '09 starting guard and our future starting C.

Consider the following:

- The one key area of our team in need of the greatest upgrades is the OL.

- This is a team with a rich history of long term starting Cs until recently. The same way that the team does not like to change coaches, they also like to know that the center position is locked down. For two years we have received average to below average center play.

- Our current starting C is only under contract through this year and is not young enough to be considered a long term answer.

- Up until recently this team was known for their OL and running game. A pulling C was always a key in the running game.


Unless the team met with him and found something about him that they do not like, I would be happy with this pick if he is available at 1.32.

steelblood
03-13-2009, 09:36 AM
There is a reason why most teams pass on taking interior linemen in the first round. Tackles are the OL that are taken in round 1 because those players are the hardest to find. There are several center prospects that the Steelers can take in round 2 or even round 3 who project as solid starters. Same is true about OG. I hope the Steelers take Britton if he is available. If not, I hope the Steelers take a corner.

I totally disagree about centers being available to us in round 2 or 3. Mack, Unger, and quite possibly Eric Wood could be gone by our pick at 64. They are the only centers that I think could be good starters for the Steelers. Luigs and Caldwell are not strong/stout enough to handle huge nose tackles like Rogers twice, Ngata twice, Jamaal Williams, etc. That leaves us with an undersized Shipley who would also struggle, but probably would fare a little better. Shipley is not a great center prospect though. He projects as a backup or average starter given his small body and really short arms. I'm tired of average. We have enough average players on this line. If you want Ron Brace or one of the better centers, we'll have to bite the bullet and overdraft them in the first round. Now, if we could trade back about 10 spots and take one of these guys, that would be ideal.

Ozey74
03-13-2009, 10:03 AM
I once thought OL was the most pressing need, but the most pressing need is DL. Our DL is great now, they are on the downslope of their careers. If their is a good value at #32 for a DL, the Steelers need to pull the trigger. I also would be all for moving up 7-8 spots and grabbing a D-lineman.



:tt2

RuthlessBurgher
03-13-2009, 10:09 AM
I once thought OL was the most pressing need, but the most pressing need is DL. Our DL is great now, they are on the downslope of their careers. If their is a good value at #32 for a DL, the Steelers need to pull the trigger. I also would be all for moving up 7-8 spots and grabbing a D-lineman.



:tt2

I agree that d-line is a big need, but who is that guy who might be available in the late first, though? B.J. Raji and Tyson Jackson will likely be out of reach. Ron Brace and Jarron Gilbert are 2nd round prospects, in my opinion.

pfelix73
03-13-2009, 10:11 AM
"I don't understand how McShay could say "Offensive line no longer is the pressing need it once was for the Steelers, so they can address other needs.""

Some folks on here are so brain-washed in thinking that we have to use every pick towards the OL or DL. You may be letting yourselves in for a let down on draft day.

How do you folks know where the Steelers have their boards set at? As far as BPA? What if Butler or Smith are ranked way ahead of Mack or Unger on their boards? They just might be.

IMO- The OL isn't a big need either going into the draft now. Sure, I could us taking a OT and a G/C in this draft but that's it.

We do need a few DL and that's where someone like a Ron Brace comes in. He would be the hier apparent to Hampton down the road.

IF we don't sign a CB in FA, I would be expecting a CB to be taken in first few rounds. You can never have enough depth at corner....

RuthlessBurgher
03-13-2009, 10:25 AM
"I don't understand how McShay could say "Offensive line no longer is the pressing need it once was for the Steelers, so they can address other needs.""

Some folks on here are so brain-washed in thinking that we have to use every pick towards the OL or DL. You may be letting yourselves in for a let down on draft day.

How do you folks know where the Steelers have their boards set at? As far as BPA? What if Butler or Smith are ranked way ahead of Mack or Unger on their boards? They just might be.

IMO- The OL isn't a big need either going into the draft now. Sure, I could us taking a OT and a G/C in this draft but that's it.

We do need a few DL and that's where someone like a Ron Brace comes in. He would be the hier apparent to Hampton down the road.

IF we don't sign a CB in FA, I would be expecting a CB to be taken in first few rounds. You can never have enough depth at corner....

Right now, at CB, we have a solid #1 CB (Ike), a young guy with some starting experience (Gay), a veteran (Deshea), and an intriguing prospect (Lewis). Sure, we can add another CB to that group via the draft, but it is not nearly as pressing as o-line.

What happens if Starks or Colon get hurt? Are you comfortable with Hills or Capizzi starting at tackle? I'm not. What happens if Kemoeatu or Stapleton get hurt? Are you comfortable with Parquet starting at guard? I'm not. What happens if Hartwig gets hurt? Are you comfortable with Legursky starting at center? I'm not.

Last season, we were lucky to have only 2 injuries on the o-line. If we had 2 injuries to our current starting o-lineman, that could be disaster. That is why getting quality reinforcements here should be our top priority.

And what happens if we don't re-sign Starks, Colon, or Hartwig beyond this, the last season of their respective contracts? Isn't it better to have potential 2010 replacements with a year of pro ball under their belts than going after rookie starters next year?

pfelix73
03-13-2009, 10:31 AM
Ron Brace and Jarron Gilbert are 2nd round prospects, in my opinion.

Where do you think we are picking? 32 is virtually a second round pick......

RuthlessBurgher
03-13-2009, 12:15 PM
Ron Brace and Jarron Gilbert are 2nd round prospects, in my opinion.

Where do you think we are picking? 32 is virtually a second round pick......

Okay, then...they are mid-to-late round 2nd round picks then. The last time we picked #32, we moved up and got an impact player in Santonio, the best WR in the draft. Before that, when we picked at #30, we got an impact player in Heath Miller, the best TE in the draft. This year, I would like us to get an impact player in Alex Mack, the best center in the draft. I'm not hating on the other guys...I just don't think they provide value with our 1st round pick. In my first mock, I projected Gilbert to us a #64 since he looks like an athletic freak, but is somewhat of a project transitioning to our 3-4 scheme.

pfelix73
03-13-2009, 09:27 PM
I'll come right back at you- what happens IF Ike goes down in week 1? We have an aging Townsend and William Gay who has virtually no starting experience at all.

We need to sign a FA with some experience to take over for BMac that left. It would also be nice to draft another CB somewhere in this draft. Maybe not at 32, but soon right after that.

Furthermore, why couldn't the Steelers have someone like a Ron Brace (or someone else that that the so-called experts have rated much lower) rated like 20th on their depth chart? Remember Casey? Everyone thought he went way too high when we chose him, and I'd say he has had a pretty good career. Don't you think?

Oviedo is correct in saying that the NT's in the 3-4 base defenses are hard to come by. More so now than ever before. It's pretty much the most important position on the 3-4 Defense. It's soon time for another Steed/ Hampton. The Center of the Defense.

You want a C on O, I say we can wait for Shipley from PSU, but we can't wait on a NT.

Just a matter of opinion- and ours really don't matter.. Just don't be so surprised if we don't pick that many Olinemen in the draft.

:tt1

Chadman
03-13-2009, 10:07 PM
Ruthless, Pfelix, etc....here is something Chadman put together in a (far better) thread ( :tt1 ) that seems pertinent to the arguement going on here about which direction the Steelers might look at #32...


For those of you trying to put together a Steelers draft- here's a couple of things to ponder:

Since being hired in 2000, Kevin Colbert has had 1 OL player drafted in Round 1 (Kendall Simmons 2002). 1 2nd round pick was used on OL (Marvel Smith (2000). 2 3rd round picks have been spent on OT's (Starks & Essex), 3 4th rounders were spent on OL (Hills, Colon, Nkwenti) & 7 picks spent on OL players beyond the 5th round (Only Kemoeatu & Okobi of any real note). What does it mean? Probably nothing. But it seems that Colbert run organisations place OL value in the middle rounds instead of the high rounds.

You think that this trend only began once he joined the Steelers? He was at the Lions before that- Jeff Hartings being the only 1st round OL & Aaron Gibson the only 2nd round OL to be picked on his watch.

Since 2000, 10 'skill' players (RB's, WR's, DB's & QB's) have been selected in the first 2 rounds. In only 2 years since 2000 have the Steelers NOT spent a top 2 round pick on a 'skill' position.

Since 2000, 11 LB's have been selected by the Steelers. Only in 1 year was no LB selected (2006).

Since 2000 only 3 players have been selected on Day 1 (first 3 rounds) that was not from a good sized foot ball program- Trai Essex (Northwestern), Ben (Miami OH), Ricardo Colclough (Tusculum). (Forgive Chadman if his knowledge of BIG & SMALL schools is skewed- he is from Australia after all..). Conversly- 5 FLORIDA STATE players have been selected in the top 3 rounds in that time frame (The highest of all schools for the Steelers). FLORIDA STATE & GEORGIA are the two schools to have the most players selected by the Steelers since 2000 with 5 a piece. TEXAS is 3rd with 3. (This DOES NOT INCLUDE UDFA).

Since 2000 only 2 DL's have been selected in the first 3 rounds- Casey Hampton in 2001 & Kendrick Clancy in 2000. 9 DL's have been selected in Colbert's reign. The latest 2- Ryan McBean in 2007 & Orien Harris in 2006 were both 4th round selections. (To balance this- the DL has been set for the Steelers for some time).

THE BREAKDOWN
Since 2000

QB- 5 selected- 1 1st round pick & 4 5th round picks.

RB- 5 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 5th round pick & 3 7th round picks.

WR- 9 selected- 2 1st round picks, 2 2nd round picks, 1 3rd round pick, 2 4th round picks, 1 6th round pick & 1 7th round pick.

TE- 5 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 3rd round pick, 1 5th round pick & 2 6th round picks.

OT- 7 selected- 1 2nd round pick, 2 3rd round picks, 3 4th round picks, 1 6th round pick.

OG- 3 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 5th round pick, 1 6th round pick.

C- 3 selected- 1 5th round pick & 2 6th round picks.

DT- 3 selected- 1 1st round pick, 1 3rd round pick, 1 7th round pick (Please note- Casey Hampton, selected in 2001, has started for 8 years with Chris Hoke his back-up most of that time- no real 'need' for this position).

DE- 6 selected- 2 4th round picks, 2 6th round picks, 2 7th round picks.

OLB- 7 selected- 1 1st round pick, 2 2nd round picks, 1 3rd round pick, 2 5th round picks & 1 6th round pick.

ILB- 4 selected- 1 2nd round pick, 1 4th round pick, 1 5th round pick, 1 6th round pick.

CB- 6 selected- 2 2nd round picks, 1 3rd round pick, 1 4th round pick, 1 5th round pick, 1 7th round pick.

S- 4 selected- 1 1st round pick, 2 3rd round picks & 1 6th round pick.

ST- 1 selected- 1 4th round pick

By Round-
1st round- 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR's, 1 TE, 1 OG, 1 DT, 1 OLB, 1 S (6 'skill', 3 'non-skill')

2nd Round- 2 WR's, 1 OT, 2 OLB's, 1 ILB, 2 CB's (4 'skill', 4 'non-skill')

3rd Round- 1 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT's, 1 DT, 1 OLB, 1 CB, 2 S's (5 'skill', 4 'non-skill')

4th Round- 2 WR's, 3 OT's, 2 DE's, 1 ILB, 1 CB, 1 P (3 'skill', 7 'non-skill')

5th Round- 4 QB's, 1 RB, 1 TE, 1 OG, 1 C, 2 OLB's, 1 ILB, 1 CB (7 'skill', 5 'non-skill')

6th Round- 1 WR, 2 TE, 1 OT, 1 OG, 2 C's, 2 DE's, 1 OLB, 1 ILB, 1 CB (4 'skill', 8 'non-skill')

7th Round- 3 RB's, 1 WR, 1 DT, 2 DE's (4 'skill', 3 'non-skill')


You will notice a heavier weighting on 'skilled' players in the first 3 rounds, while there is a heavier weighting on the 'non-skill' players in the middle rounds.

Round 5 is weird- 4 QB's?? It would seem that Colbert uses Round 5 to grab the 'BPA' more often than not, while leaning towards playmakers early & 'grunts' in the middle.


This might all mean nothing. After all, the Steelers have been set in many positions that appear to be 'negleted' for a number of years (Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Marvel Smith, Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Alan Faneca, Kendall Simmons, Jeff Hartings, etc)

But then again, if it's used as a guide to Colbert's 'draft weighting', we might find our guessing to be a little less 'random'...

Steel Life
03-14-2009, 01:18 PM
If Mack is still available, I think that he almost has to be the pick. I'd much rather have somebody who projects as the best player at their position than a corner. I'm fine with a corner, depending on bpa and how the draft shakes out, but if Mack is available, I think that you take him and deal with corner later.

I think the Steelers could certainly use another corner, and one with return ability would be great, but my preference (depending on how things play out) would be to focus on the trenches.
Ding, ding! - Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

grotonsteel
03-14-2009, 09:30 PM
Steelers need to go for trenches in this draft. I like Mike Tomlin's thinking of going young and strong in trenches.

1 - Alex Mack -- OC/OG
2 - Jamon Meredith -- OT
3a - Mike Mickens -- CB
3b - Terrence Taylor -- DT
4 - Vance Walker -- DE
5 - Mike Wallace - WR
6 - Jasper Brinkley - ILB
7 - Lyndon Murtha - OT

Oviedo
03-15-2009, 08:45 AM
Steelers need to go for trenches in this draft. I like Mike Tomlin's thinking of going young and strong in trenches.

1 - Alex Mack -- OC/OG
2 - Jamon Meredith -- OT
3a - Mike Mickens -- CB
3b - Terrence Taylor -- DT
4 - Vance Walker -- DE
5 - Mike Wallace - WR
6 - Jasper Brinkley - ILB
7 - Lyndon Murtha - OT

This would not be bad although I would go DL a little earlier. I'm just concerned about Taylor ability to add more weight and maintain it throughout the season. If he could get up to about 320-330 then he could be solid because he is very strong and plays with great leverage.

I'd also look at Keenan Lewis over Mike Mickens at CB.

I would take Zach Potter over vance Walker. Potter has more prototypical height for a 3-4 DE.

Round 5 is a good WR round for us. Add Mike Thomas, Deon Butler, Quan Cosby and Austin Collie to consideration for that round. Austin Collie may be a great potential slot.