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costanza2k1
03-15-2009, 02:59 PM
On The Clock: Pittsburgh Steelers
March 15, 2009 9:30 AM
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Team needs: Offensive linemen, defensive linemen, cornerback



The Steelers would be thrilled if Cal center Alex Mack dropped to them at the end of the first round.
http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0312/nfl_g_amack1_300.jpg

Dream scenario: An ideal scenario for the Steelers would be for them to have a smorgasbord of offensive linemen available with the final pick in the first round (No. 32 overall). The NFL draft tends to have teams make a run at certain positions in spurts. But if linemen such as Cal center Alex Mack, Oregon center Max Unger or a quality tackle such as Michael Oher of Mississippi somehow make it through the entire first round, Pittsburgh would have a happy war room right off the bat. The Steelers retained their entire front five from February's Super Bowl 43 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, which has drawn some jeers in Pittsburgh. But depth is sorely needed as the Steelers let go of veteran linemen Kendall Simmons and Marvel Smith. There is very little competition behind the starters and that position always faces the uncertain prospect of injuries.
Plan B: The second step wouldn't necessarily be a bad one: Pittsburgh can simply take the best available player. The Steelers have done it many times before, drafting players they don't need right away but will later develop into solid players. It would help the most of Pittsburgh did so on the defensive line, which is aging but still has quality starters such as Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton. Cornerback may also be a sleeper position to take on the first day after the loss of starter Bryant McFadden. Pittsburgh is confident in William Gay but certainly needs additional corners behind him and the aging Deshea Townsend to serve as backups and play on obvious passing situations.

Scouts Inc.'s take: "If I was a betting man, I would say the Steelers are going to go with an interior offensive lineman. But it certainly wouldn't shock me if they went with a defensive lineman. If you look at their defensive line, they're all 30-plus. And it takes those guys with the 'five technique' time to learn. None of them ever do it in college. So it takes a couple years of grooming. If you look at how successful they've been, I think Brett Keisel was a seventh-round pick and Aaron Smith was a fourth. So they didn't come in the league right away and handle that job. It's time to get young blood in to learn from the guys, rotate in and take snaps here and there. Two years ago when Aaron Smith went down, their season completely crumbled. So that position might be their No. 1 need. If they can find a legit d-end to teach, that would be ideal. But those guys don't grow on trees. -- Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.

Who has final say: General manager Kevin Colbert makes the final calls on Pittsburgh's 53-man roster and will do so during the draft on April 25-26. But there will be group input from head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff as well.

[espn:czq8ggnt]3976437[/espn:czq8ggnt]

NKySteeler
03-15-2009, 03:07 PM
I saw this as well... It may not be the "glory" pick, but I think we gotta go OL if worthy with our first pick.... They mentioned centers, and I also found this:

Top 5 Centers in the NFL Draft...
Sporting News

1. Alex Mack, California (6-3 7/8, 311)
Standing head and shoulders above all the center prospects is Mack. He has the strength, flexibility and athleticism to be a mainstay in the NFL for a long time. At the Senior Bowl, Mack was dominant and showed why he has a real shot at being a first-round pick. On film, his athleticism jumps out and grabs your attention. He struggled against top competition as a junior, getting overpowered too often for a player of his caliber, but he played with much more consistency against good teams as a senior. Mack has nearly all the traits to become a Pro Bowl center, but to reach that elite level he must improve his overall strength and avoid lapses in technique.

2. Eric Wood, Louisville (6-3 7/8, 310)
Wood has tremendous potential--he shows more agility and mobility than many centers. He's not right for every NFL team, though, because he wouldn't be effective in a zone-blocking scheme. Look for Wood to be picked in the second or third round and to become a good NFL starter at center or guard.

3. Antoine Caldwell, Alabama (6-3 1/4, 309)
Caldwell is one of the best centers in this year's draft, but he didn't play like it at the Senior Bowl, which may have NFL teams concerned. However, there's no denying he has the size, athleticism, intelligence and strength to be a versatile offensive lineman; he should be able to start at center or guard in the NFL. He was solid but not special at the Combine, and he should be a second- or third-round pick.

4. Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas (6-3 3/4, 300)
Luigs was the leader for one of the best running teams in college football, and he works hard on every play. If he gains some strength in his base, he'll become a dominant blocker. He should get an opportunity to start immediately and has the potential to anchor an offensive line for the next 10 years.

5. Edwin Williams, Maryland (6-2 1/4, 308)
Williams is something of a boom-or-bust prospect. He grabbed our attention early in the evaluation process because few centers are as effective in getting into the open field and blocking on the move. But there is certainly room for improvement--Williams must become a lot stronger and more aggressive. For a season or two, he could be groomed in a backup role, and if he bulks up and gets stronger, he'll develop into a good starting center; if not, he'll struggle to carve out much of an NFL career.

costanza2k1
03-15-2009, 03:18 PM
I'm not much of a college talent guy like the rest of the folks on boards but I think the ideal situation for us would be to come away with a C/G and a OT that has to the potential to start this year or next year at the latest.

NKySteeler
03-15-2009, 03:21 PM
I'm not much of a college talent guy like the rest of the folks on boards but I think the ideal situation for us would be to come away with a C/G and a OT that has to the potential to start this year or next year at the latest.

I agree completely... I'm just not sure what type of quality OL that is worthy of immediately starting will be left by the time we pick... Unless we trade up.

Ozey74
03-15-2009, 03:46 PM
I don't know as much as most about college players, but I do like what I hear about A. Mack. Sounds like a high character guy with a ton of smarts. Sounds like he'd be a great future team leader to whatever team he goes to.


:tt2

WoodleyofTroy
03-15-2009, 04:04 PM
Well, it's no surprise that Alex Mack is shaping up to be this year's Heath Miller.

He's a top 10 talent (I guarantee he'll have a better pro career than at least 20 out of 31 other players that go before him), and I would take him over half the first round prospects, including an Andre Smith. And more I think about it, I'd rather stay put and get Mack oppose to trading up for a Michael Oher who is not as safe, and give up picks.

I think we'd be pretty fortunate to be at #32 this year, getting a #1 guy. One of those picks that fans around the league say, "sh*t, how did the Steelers get him?" with envy.

Jooser
03-15-2009, 04:29 PM
Can Pat White play center? :stirpot :lol:

WoodleyofTroy
03-15-2009, 04:50 PM
Can Pat White play center? :stirpot :lol:

Hopefully, because he can't play Quarterback in this league.

Jooser
03-15-2009, 06:15 PM
Can Pat White play center? :stirpot :lol:

Hopefully, because he can't play Quarterback in this league.

uncalled for.

WoodleyofTroy
03-15-2009, 08:11 PM
Can Pat White play center? :stirpot :lol:

Hopefully, because he can't play Quarterback in this league.

uncalled for.

lol you left it open...

RuthlessBurgher
03-15-2009, 09:56 PM
Well, it's no surprise that Alex Mack is shaping up to be this year's Heath Miller.

He's a top 10 talent (I guarantee he'll have a better pro career than at least 20 out of 31 other players that go before him), and I would take him over half the first round prospects, including an Andre Smith. And more I think about it, I'd rather stay put and get Mack oppose to trading up for a Michael Oher who is not as safe, and give up picks.

I think we'd be pretty fortunate to be at #32 this year, getting a #1 guy. One of those picks that fans around the league say, "sh*t, how did the Steelers get him?" with envy.

In the two mocks I have done, I had us taking Mack if we stayed at #32 and taking Oher if he fell and we were able to trade up for him, so I would obviously be amenable to either scenario. The reason that I suggested a trade-up for a top tackle in my second mock is because quality starting tackles are so much harder to find than centers or guards. But if we stay put and go with an interior lineman, Mack is the one I want.

buckeyehoppy
03-15-2009, 10:45 PM
Well, it's no surprise that Alex Mack is shaping up to be this year's Heath Miller.

He's a top 10 talent (I guarantee he'll have a better pro career than at least 20 out of 31 other players that go before him), and I would take him over half the first round prospects, including an Andre Smith. And more I think about it, I'd rather stay put and get Mack oppose to trading up for a Michael Oher who is not as safe, and give up picks.

I think we'd be pretty fortunate to be at #32 this year, getting a #1 guy. One of those picks that fans around the league say, "sh*t, how did the Steelers get him?" with envy.

In the two mocks I have done, I had us taking Mack if we stayed at #32 and taking Oher if he fell and we were able to trade up for him, so I would obviously be amenable to either scenario. The reason that I suggested a trade-up for a top tackle in my second mock is because quality starting tackles are so much harder to find than centers or guards. But if we stay put and go with an interior lineman, Mack is the one I want.

Mack and Oher are almost the only two guys I'm even considering with the Steelers first pick. I'm still thinking Robinson, too. But Mack is the best player at his position in the draft and it is a position that we, ironically enough, need. When there is a best player at position (BPAP) at 1.32 and you need that position, you take that player. It can't be any simpler than that.

WoodleyofTroy
03-15-2009, 10:58 PM
Well, it's no surprise that Alex Mack is shaping up to be this year's Heath Miller.

He's a top 10 talent (I guarantee he'll have a better pro career than at least 20 out of 31 other players that go before him), and I would take him over half the first round prospects, including an Andre Smith. And more I think about it, I'd rather stay put and get Mack oppose to trading up for a Michael Oher who is not as safe, and give up picks.

I think we'd be pretty fortunate to be at #32 this year, getting a #1 guy. One of those picks that fans around the league say, "sh*t, how did the Steelers get him?" with envy.

In the two mocks I have done, I had us taking Mack if we stayed at #32 and taking Oher if he fell and we were able to trade up for him, so I would obviously be amenable to either scenario. The reason that I suggested a trade-up for a top tackle in my second mock is because quality starting tackles are so much harder to find than centers or guards. But if we stay put and go with an interior lineman, Mack is the one I want.

I like Oher, but you never know what you're gonna get with Tackles. Are they lazy, become overweight, or smart and play with a desire?

Guys like Alex Mack come around, and you just know the "it" is there.

steelblood
03-16-2009, 02:47 PM
Well, it's no surprise that Alex Mack is shaping up to be this year's Heath Miller.

He's a top 10 talent (I guarantee he'll have a better pro career than at least 20 out of 31 other players that go before him), and I would take him over half the first round prospects, including an Andre Smith. And more I think about it, I'd rather stay put and get Mack oppose to trading up for a Michael Oher who is not as safe, and give up picks.

I think we'd be pretty fortunate to be at #32 this year, getting a #1 guy. One of those picks that fans around the league say, "sh*t, how did the Steelers get him?" with envy.

10 ten talent? Wow. I think you are on your own in that assessment. He might be one of the safer picks, but there are at least 30 guys that are more talented. Still, I like the pick.

Jigawatts
03-16-2009, 03:06 PM
Can Pat White play center? :stirpot :lol:

Hopefully, because he can't play Quarterback in this league.

uncalled for.

That was definitely called for. :stirpot

SteelerOfDeVille
03-16-2009, 05:24 PM
Mack and Oher are almost the only two guys I'm even considering with the Steelers first pick. I'm still thinking Robinson, too. But Mack is the best player at his position in the draft and it is a position that we, ironically enough, need. When there is a best player at position (BPAP) at 1.32 and you need that position, you take that player. It can't be any simpler than that.
Mack, Oher, Robinson were my top 3.. with B-Mac leaving, you better believe that CB is very high priority... and D-line has a solid priority on it as well, as far as needs go... i'd be surprised to see the 1st round pick be other than one of these 3 positions. i wouldn't be surprised if it was ANY of them, depending on who was there.

a deeper question, who is better at his respective position... the best guard (robinson) versus best center(mack)

I know many read what they read and pretend to be the expert based on that. but, the so-called experts said Will Gay would be nothing more than a camp body. So, based on what *I've* seen, I'm not sure I know the answer, and I watch a LOT of college football. i'm just not convinced that Mack is a better center than Robinson is a guard. They're both good at what they do...


The spin that nobody is looking at: I am convinced that this is a really good center class, where we could actually get really good one later in the draft and not have a huge drop off. In other words, because the center class is good, the dropoff from 1-to-5 isn't that bad. i don't believe i can say the same thing for the guard position.

Honestly, if we had Robinson in the 1st and Luigs in the 3rd...
I don't believe you could find me a guard in the 3rd that would be a better tandem.

RuthlessBurgher
03-16-2009, 07:19 PM
Mack and Oher are almost the only two guys I'm even considering with the Steelers first pick. I'm still thinking Robinson, too. But Mack is the best player at his position in the draft and it is a position that we, ironically enough, need. When there is a best player at position (BPAP) at 1.32 and you need that position, you take that player. It can't be any simpler than that.
Mack, Oher, Robinson were my top 3.. with B-Mac leaving, you better believe that CB is very high priority... and D-line has a solid priority on it as well, as far as needs go... i'd be surprised to see the 1st round pick be other than one of these 3 positions. i wouldn't be surprised if it was ANY of them, depending on who was there.

a deeper question, who is better at his respective position... the best guard (robinson) versus best center(mack)

I know many read what they read and pretend to be the expert based on that. but, the so-called experts said Will Gay would be nothing more than a camp body. So, based on what *I've* seen, I'm not sure I know the answer, and I watch a LOT of college football. i'm just not convinced that Mack is a better center than Robinson is a guard. They're both good at what they do...


The spin that nobody is looking at: I am convinced that this is a really good center class, where we could actually get really good one later in the draft and not have a huge drop off. In other words, because the center class is good, the dropoff from 1-to-5 isn't that bad. i don't believe i can say the same thing for the guard position.

Honestly, if we had Robinson in the 1st and Luigs in the 3rd...
I don't believe you could find me a guard in the 3rd that would be a better tandem.

Talentwise, you can make a case for Robinson. But when you look at things like leadership, smarts, not taking plays off, and other intangibles, Mack just seems more like a Steeler to me than Duke. And Mack could play RG as a rookie in place of Stapleton before moving over to center in 2010 (when Hartwig's contract expires).

WoodleyofTroy
03-16-2009, 08:00 PM
Well, it's no surprise that Alex Mack is shaping up to be this year's Heath Miller.

He's a top 10 talent (I guarantee he'll have a better pro career than at least 20 out of 31 other players that go before him), and I would take him over half the first round prospects, including an Andre Smith. And more I think about it, I'd rather stay put and get Mack oppose to trading up for a Michael Oher who is not as safe, and give up picks.

I think we'd be pretty fortunate to be at #32 this year, getting a #1 guy. One of those picks that fans around the league say, "sh*t, how did the Steelers get him?" with envy.

10 ten talent? Wow. I think you are on your own in that assessment. He might be one of the safer picks, but there are at least 30 guys that are more talented. Still, I like the pick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fipQisc68dQ

buckeyehoppy
03-16-2009, 08:59 PM
Mack and Oher are almost the only two guys I'm even considering with the Steelers first pick. I'm still thinking Robinson, too. But Mack is the best player at his position in the draft and it is a position that we, ironically enough, need. When there is a best player at position (BPAP) at 1.32 and you need that position, you take that player. It can't be any simpler than that.
Mack, Oher, Robinson were my top 3.. with B-Mac leaving, you better believe that CB is very high priority... and D-line has a solid priority on it as well, as far as needs go... i'd be surprised to see the 1st round pick be other than one of these 3 positions. i wouldn't be surprised if it was ANY of them, depending on who was there.

a deeper question, who is better at his respective position... the best guard (robinson) versus best center(mack)

I know many read what they read and pretend to be the expert based on that. but, the so-called experts said Will Gay would be nothing more than a camp body. So, based on what *I've* seen, I'm not sure I know the answer, and I watch a LOT of college football. i'm just not convinced that Mack is a better center than Robinson is a guard. They're both good at what they do...


The spin that nobody is looking at: I am convinced that this is a really good center class, where we could actually get really good one later in the draft and not have a huge drop off. In other words, because the center class is good, the dropoff from 1-to-5 isn't that bad. i don't believe i can say the same thing for the guard position.

Honestly, if we had Robinson in the 1st and Luigs in the 3rd...
I don't believe you could find me a guard in the 3rd that would be a better tandem.

Talentwise, you can make a case for Robinson. But when you look at things like leadership, smarts, not taking plays off, and other intangibles, Mack just seems more like a Steeler to me than Duke. And Mack could play RG as a rookie in place of Stapleton before moving over to center in 2010 (when Hartwig's contract expires).

If Robinson is the guy selected, I think he will push Kemo for the starting gig at LG and he will eventually get it. That would be nice as well. Lots of people on here have been down on Kemo. I have, too, but probably not as much as some others. I still feel that Kemo will develop to be a pretty serviceable G on either side of the line. If Robinson becomes a Steeler in the draft that would be great because the person who will probably benefit the most from his selection (or, for that matter, Mack's) would be Kemo. I feel like Kemo wil improve as the quality of the players he is surrounded by improves.

Mack, however, will start from Day 1 if he is selected. He will at least start at RG next season and will take the C starting slot at some point no later than the start of the 2010 season.

It is doubtful that any CB selected could do the same and may end up languishing behind Ike and Deshea, especially if Townsend keeps plugging away and doing what he is doing. From what I have seen, Deshea really is showing signs of slowing. If he was, perhaps the Steelers make a harder play for BMac who was, incidentally, never able to wrest the starting job from him.