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View Full Version : Rate the need at this position - Offensive Line



D Rock
03-25-2010, 09:41 PM
Let's put all the individual player pimping aside for a minute and try to take a position by position look at exactly how crucial the need for top talent infusion is at each position.

The Overall Need is on a 10 point scale and represents how essential I feel it is to pick a player at this position in one of the first 2 rounds this year.



OT (Under contract through) Age
Willie Colon (2010) 26
Max Starks (2012) 28
Tony Hills (2010) 25
Ramon Foster (2011) 24
Jonathan Scott (2012?) 27

There a multiple questions here - no long term contracts signed, questionable talent throughout the depth chart, and the experience factor. Starks and Colon appear to be serviceable starters and nothing more. A lot of media outlets talk about Colon being one of the best RTs in the game, but if he's so great why hasn't any team tried to sign him and give up a first round pick for him? A first round compensation for a 26 year old player who is one of the best at his position would be a steal, but it hasn't been done. Starks may be our best lineman, but he's not a threat to overtake any all-pro tackles out there. Hills has shown nothing and very well could be cut in favor of Scott this year. Ramon Foster is a promising young player as a swing tackle/guard for depth, and he could turn into more, but that can't be counted on. Some serious competition is needed here to push Starks and Colon to either improve or be gone after their contracts are up.


Overall Need - 7



OG
Chris Kemoeatu (2013) 27
Trai Essex (2010) 27
Kraig Urbik (2011) 24


Kemoeatu shows signs of dominance mixed with ineptitude. I think with he'll continue to improve and be a quality guard at least until the end of his contract. The left guard spot is set. Essex has provided a few years of good service as a swing lineman on gameday. With his contract ending after this season, that spot will probably be Fosters moving forward. Urbik is a monsterous question mark as he didn't have any chance to show what he's got on gameday, but he was a highly touted 3rd round pick. If he's got what it takes to be a legit starter then this is his year to take control and never look back. I'd have to say the odds are 50/50 because none of us as fans really have any idea what's going on there. Competition is definitely needed, and a top prospect like Iupati would be incredibly tempting picking in the late 20's but it feels like a reach at 18. In the second round it seems like a real good idea if someone is there.

Overall Need - 9

Center
Justin Hartwig (2012) 31
Doug Legursky (2010) 23


Justin Hartwig is signed for a couple more years and has been the starter for a little while now. But that's only because the guy he had to beat out for that job was named Sean Mahan. How did a team with such a historic record at center let the situation get this bad? Legursky was an undrafted depth player who gets some gameday work because he can play guard too. I don't even have much to say here except that an upgrade to a real center was needed as soon as Hartings retired a few years back.

Overall Need - 10



How would you all rate the need at these positions as far as picking them in the first two rounds this year?


http://www.steelers.com/team/roster.html

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2009/12/20 ... -contract/

D Rock
03-25-2010, 09:42 PM
As to the O-Line as a whole unit...I think it says a lot that no one has been signed long term really. None of them are worth the commitment and every player there is more than replaceable if the right player comes along.

Steel Life
03-25-2010, 10:18 PM
As to the O-Line as a whole unit...I think it says a lot that no one has been signed long term really. None of them are worth the commitment and every player there is more than replaceable if the right player comes along.
I agree mostly, although Max has been better than any of thought he would be. I'm really curious though as to what Kugler can do with this group & if they improve with a change in blocking philosophy. I will add that I like Foster & I'm excited to see what can do with some real reps & some fine tuning to his skill-set.

All that said...bring in a C/G prospect & a OT to develop.

steeler_george
03-26-2010, 10:02 AM
I posted something similar in another topic, but it might be better related here.

So far the best move has already been made by Tomlin by getting rid of Larry Zaurlin.

After the coaching, the talent in the interior OL is the weakest link, but was it the lack of coaching in evaluating, developing, and planning the BIGGER culprit, compared to the talent we have on the OL? Could it be, we already have more that half the pieces to be dominate in place?

Let's now see how the new OL coach, Kuglar, evaluates and develops the talent we already have. (rumor has it he did well in Buffalo, considering all the injuries, trades, and how he developed his rookies.)

With the new influence of Kulgar, could he finally place Colon as a Guard ( like some on here say is his best position ). Could he develop our new center...project Essex II, Urbrick, Leguaski (sp)) Could he develop Hill?

I think with the player (supposed) flexibility of our OL the rating of weakest link to be determined by who is available in the 1st round and what direction Kuglar decides to go.

1) Draft a guard such as Iupati....most logical.
Starks-Kemo-Hart.-Iupati-Colon

2) Draft a center such as Pauncey....kind of a reach were we draft.
Starks-Kemo-Pauncey-Essex-Colon

3) Draft a tackle, lots of talent that might drop to us in the 1st.
Starks-Kemo-Hart.-Colon/Essex/Urbick- DRAFT OT

Or miracle due to the new coach

Starks- Kemo-Urbick-Colon-Essex

I think you get the point, maybe OL is not a really desperate need, but we I do agree we need some better talent in the mix.

steelblood
03-26-2010, 10:10 AM
Max's deal was for 4 years and Kemo's for 5, I believe. Those are long term deals.

TACKLE - We need a T that can play either side and probably end up starting on the right.

need - 6

GUARD - We could use an upgrade at RG. But, with Urbik and Foster on the roster already we have two young players with potential. We should only take a guard if one of the top guys is there. We don't need another mid-round guy with potential (we have those).

need - 3

CENTER - Hartwig has been serviceable and is under contract for the next couple of years. An heir apparent/upgrade would be nice. The team likes Legursky as a backup. I don't know if he is going to be able to be a consistent starter in this league though.

need - 6

We have great flexibility here to draft any o-line position. I look for one stud early and a project late.

phillyesq
03-26-2010, 10:23 AM
The Steelers should either go with a stud or do nothing on the offensive line. Especially on the inside, they have plenty of guys who are mediocre, none that really stand out. If they think that somebody can dominate, especially at one of the interior positions, than they should address the position early.

If the Steelers don't take somebody early, they shouldn't do anything at all, except maybe find a developmental tackle prospect late. What we don't need are more 3rd-4th round talent level players.

NW Steeler
03-26-2010, 12:06 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have grown tired of seeing our line blown off the ball, or D-linemen shooting gaps and hitting our RB's before they even get the ball. Our offensive line needs an infusion of early round talent, not a bunch of "developmental" prospects. We have too many of those types already. Like phillyesq said, draft early or forget it.

flippy
03-26-2010, 12:19 PM
As individuals, I like many of these guys.

As a unit, these guys are mediocre at best.

Let's see what Kugler can do with the talent.

And lets draft some big uglies in the later part of the draft to compete for backup spots.

We won a SuperBowl with what we have. I'd rather take a wait and see approach with this group.

Improve the pass rush. That's what's gonna put us back in the SuperBowl.

Steel Life
03-26-2010, 12:27 PM
Just a reminder to those saying that we should go "big ugly" in the 1st...1st round O-linemen can be busts too & we haven't done well with 1st round OL.

RuthlessBurgher
03-26-2010, 12:36 PM
Just a reminder to those saying that we should go "big ugly" in the 1st...1st round O-linemen can be busts too & we haven't done well with 1st round OL.

Jamain Stephens :(

Alan Faneca :D

Kendall Simmons :|

NW Steeler
03-26-2010, 12:37 PM
As individuals, I like many of these guys.

As a unit, these guys are mediocre at best.

Let's see what Kugler can do with the talent.

And lets draft some big uglies in the later part of the draft to compete for backup spots.

We won a SuperBowl with what we have. I'd rather take a wait and see approach with this group.

Improve the pass rush. That's what's gonna put us back in the SuperBowl.

You may be right, but a better running game and a ball control offense makes our D better, which also can put us back in the dance.

flippy
03-26-2010, 12:41 PM
As individuals, I like many of these guys.

As a unit, these guys are mediocre at best.

Let's see what Kugler can do with the talent.

And lets draft some big uglies in the later part of the draft to compete for backup spots.

We won a SuperBowl with what we have. I'd rather take a wait and see approach with this group.

Improve the pass rush. That's what's gonna put us back in the SuperBowl.

You may be right, but a better running game and a ball control offense makes our D better, which also can put us back in the dance.

Good point - gotta help the defense.

But I think we can do ok running Mendy from 3 WR sets and using play calling to take pressure off the running game.

But the more I think about this, I keep coming back to our individual linemen are good players that just don't perform as well as they should together.

I think this unit needs coaching more than talent.

NW Steeler
03-26-2010, 12:46 PM
They definitely had moments where they looked very good as a unit...Denver, San Diego...but also had some where they looked very poor as well. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks what the organization thinks about all of this.

DHSF
03-26-2010, 12:49 PM
Unless Hayden drops to 18, I think the Steelers should draft BPA from OT, G or C at 18.

phillyesq
03-26-2010, 12:57 PM
As individuals, I like many of these guys.

As a unit, these guys are mediocre at best.

Let's see what Kugler can do with the talent.

And lets draft some big uglies in the later part of the draft to compete for backup spots.

We won a SuperBowl with what we have. I'd rather take a wait and see approach with this group.

Improve the pass rush. That's what's gonna put us back in the SuperBowl.

You may be right, but a better running game and a ball control offense makes our D better, which also can put us back in the dance.

Good point - gotta help the defense.

But I think we can do ok running Mendy from 3 WR sets and using play calling to take pressure off the running game.

But the more I think about this, I keep coming back to our individual linemen are good players that just don't perform as well as they should together.

I think this unit needs coaching more than talent.

The offensive line needs both talent and coaching, IMO.

Starks - has performed better than most of us expected at LT. Doesn't have quick feet, can struggle with edge rushers. Not as dominant run blocking as somebody his size should be.

Kemo - great pulling guard. Not nearly as dominant off the ball as somebody his size should be. Mediocre in pass protection.

Hartwig - mediocre all around.

Essex - mediocre, at best.

Colon - improved a lot last year, still has some mental lapses. Good run blocker.

None of these guys are pro-bowl caliber, or close to it. If Hartwig and/or Essex were replaced with a premium talent, that would go a long way towards improving the line.

BURGH86STEEL
03-26-2010, 01:04 PM
As individuals, I like many of these guys.

As a unit, these guys are mediocre at best.

Let's see what Kugler can do with the talent.

And lets draft some big uglies in the later part of the draft to compete for backup spots.

We won a SuperBowl with what we have. I'd rather take a wait and see approach with this group.

Improve the pass rush. That's what's gonna put us back in the SuperBowl.

You may be right, but a better running game and a ball control offense makes our D better, which also can put us back in the dance.

I am not so sure that is true. If the defense has "it", they have "it". Unfortunately, they did not have "it" when it counted at the end of several games in 09 season season. The offense had "it" at the end of several games in the 2008 season.

I surely don't believe that there are many teams if any teams that run out the clock consistently at the end of games. I just feel like the team needs to do whatever takes to win games. Could be making a defensive stop, offensive score, run/pass out the clock, special teams score/stop, or any number of ways it takes to win games.

ramblinjim
03-26-2010, 01:15 PM
I would love to see us have all first and second round hot shots along our o-line, have a Gerheart type back, along with Mendy and just shove the ball down everyone's throat. Then hit Santonio and Wallace on the play action. Alas....that just doesn't seem to be the plan.

NW Steeler
03-26-2010, 01:37 PM
I'm not calling for the return of "3 yards and a cloud of dust" offense. But I sorely miss the days when we lined up and said "we are going to run the ball" and most teams still couldn't stop us. It would be nice to just simply physically dominate the other team.

ikestops85
03-26-2010, 01:46 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have grown tired of seeing our line blown off the ball, or D-linemen shooting gaps and hitting our RB's before they even get the ball. Our offensive line needs an infusion of early round talent, not a bunch of "developmental" prospects. We have too many of those types already. Like phillyesq said, draft early or forget it.

I agree 100%.

I know these guys got better last year but in short yardage situations there always seems to be a breakdown somewhere on the line. I do think center is the position we need to upgrade the most. Unfortunately this year doesn't seem to have many good prospects at that position. It was a shame one of the highly rated centers didn't fall to us last year because I think they were going to pull the trigger on that position.

pfelix73
03-26-2010, 01:58 PM
OL is not as dire as some of you make it out to be. We have a lot of guys who will get the chance to compete at both G and C. Most of the OL is pretty young too.

:tt1