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hawaiiansteel
04-10-2010, 03:49 PM
Five Players the Pittsburgh Steelers Could Target in the First Round


Teams have savored the tender morsels of free agency and are now in the process of preparing their big boards for that favorite April three-day selection extravaganza: the NFL Draft.

Every team has specific players that they are targeting with their picks and each will keep their fingers crossed that no other team will beat them to the punch.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL Draft is a crucial time, more so than free agency. The Steelers routinely reload and rebuild through the selection of young players and have several needs that must be addressed for the team to return to the Super Bowl in 2010.

Here are five players that the Steelers could be and should be targeting with their first selection (18th overall).


Mike Iupati, OL (Idaho)


Height/Weight: 6'5"/331 lbs ?Position(s): Offensive Guard, Offensive Tackle

Evaluation: ?Iupati is a guard by trade but he has the athleticism to play tackle as well. He's big, but for his size is surprisingly mobile. He's the 17th rated prospect in the draft and the top offensive guard.

For the Steelers, Iupati represents the type of lineman they've liked historically: large, physical, and athletic. His versatility probably raises his stock some as well.

If drafted, I would expect Iupati to slot into the lineup immediately in place of Darnell Stapleton/Trai Essex (RG). He would be in line to take over either of the tackle spots as well if Willie Colon or Max Starks struggles.

Eventually, I see him as a left tackle for the Steelers, protecting Ben Roethlisberger's blind side. His speed (for a big guy) and athleticism would be very valuable in an offense that values making a play over being quick.


Earl Thomas, DB (Texas)

Height/Weight: 5'10"/208 lbs ?Position(s): Safety, Cornerback

Evaluation: ?Thomas is a safety by nature, but he projects well as a corner in the NFL. He's gifted with good speed (4.43 in the 40 yard dash) and hands. He's the second rated cornerback (behind Joe Haden) and the 19th best prospect overall.

For the Steelers, Thomas fills a need. He would be a corner in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers have solidified their safety positions and depth concerns with free agent addition Will Allen and recently resigned Ryan Clark.

The Steelers lack a fast corner with sure hands, both aspects of Thomas' game. If selected, there is every reason to believe he would start immediately and replace William Gay opposite Ike Taylor.

Ideally, Thomas would develop into the corner the Steelers have not had since Rod Woodson's departure. He has the tools to be a star in the NFL, but the Steelers have to consider that he would be switching positions.


Kyle Wilson, CB (Boise State)

Height/Weight: 5'10"/194 lbs ?Position(s): Cornerback

Evaluation: ?Ranked right behind Thomas among corners, Wilson's 40 time is actually slightly better (4.42). The two players are quite similar, although Wilson is a natural corner.

For the Steelers, Wilson might be a bit of a reach at 18. He's the 26th best prospect in the draft pool, so it would make sense to accumulate picks and trade into one of the spots between 23 and 26. They could take him at 18 to prevent him from falling into someone else's hands, however.

Like Thomas, Wilson would likely immediately replace William Gay. Either player has to be considered an immediate upgrade. Wilson's speed and athleticism are both important aspects.

He doesn't have as good of hands as Thomas, but his potential as a natural corner may push him to the top of the board for Pittsburgh. The Steelers need at least two corners in this draft, so it makes sense that one will come early.


Rolando McClain, LB (Alabama)

Height/Weight: 6'4"/258 lbs ?Position(s): Inside Linebacker

Evaluation: ?McClain is a top prospect and could very well be off the board before the 18th pick. He is coveted by several teams short of a linebacker thanks to his versatility, excellent instincts, and coverage skill.

For the Steelers, McClain is their type of linebacker. He blitzes well and has great ball instincts. He's rarely out of place and is adept at making plays.

The Steelers, regardless of adding Larry Foote to the mix this week, are looking for a long term replacement for the aging James Farrior, who regressed slightly last season. McClain represents just that kind of player.

The Steelers do not routinely trade up in the draft, but could make an exception if they feel they can address their more pressing needs in later rounds. If McClain is on the board when they select 18th, they will likely select him as the best player available.


Joe Haden, CB (Florida)

Height/Weight: 5'11"/193 lbs ?Position(s): Corner

Evaluation: ?Haden was rated as the best corner available and was routinely selected in the top 12 of mock drafts until his NFL Combine performance raised concerns. Haden ran only a 4.57 in the 40 yard dash, way below other prospects at his position and far below both expectations and average performance numbers.

For the Steelers, Haden would still likely have to fall pretty far before they could nab him at 18, but he is another corner they likely are considering. Judging by his current numbers, he would not be someone the team would trade up to select, but like McClain, if he fell, he'd be the best player available.

The Steelers need a corner (two would be better) and Haden certainly has the skills to fit that position. He's got excellent awareness, isn't a liability in coverage, and has good hands. Regardless of scouting reports, I'd rank him behind Thomas, however, based solely on what I've seen of both players.


Prediction

With the 18th Pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select:

Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

Why? ?The Steelers aren't likely to undertake a position switch unless they have to. Thomas' stock is also rising, so he may be gone by the 18th pick. Wilson represents the exact type of corner the Steelers want, so he should be the player they select.

But What About? ?Iupati is good, but offensive linemen in the middle of the first round are more of a risk. Wilson is the third best of a very good group of corners. Iupati is the best of a relatively weak group of guards.

Thomas might be gone, but his position as safety could push him behind Wilson on the Steelers' board. McClain will likely be gone and so will Haden, so the Steelers probably won't have them to choose from.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/3643 ... irst-round (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/364377-five-players-the-pittsburgh-steelers-could-target-in-the-first-round)

steeler_george
04-10-2010, 04:11 PM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?

birtikidis
04-10-2010, 04:18 PM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?
i don't think in the first round we'd take a wr...
I wonder why this guy even mentions haden and mclain, it's obvious they wont be there...
also surprised he didn't say anything about pouncey...

SteelAbility
04-10-2010, 04:26 PM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?

I don't discount a WR but I seriously doubt it. Maybe that Dez Bryant guy from OK St(?).
But I thought the Randle El and Battle signings were addressing the WR issues.

SteelAbility
04-10-2010, 04:29 PM
I'd love to see us get McClain. I think he could be productive as a rookie and could open the door for Timmons to play some OLB, a position where many of us have felt he could thrive more. But I really dobut McClain lasts to 18.

frankthetank1
04-10-2010, 06:00 PM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?

I don't discount a WR but I seriously doubt it. Maybe that Dez Bryant guy from OK St(?).
But I thought the Randle El and Battle signings were addressing the WR issues.

ARE and battle are stop gap guys and have nothing to offer for the future. i think the steelers would take dez bryant if he is still there at #18 but i would be shocked if he is still available by then. i would be very happy with kyle wilson, thomas, mclain but i would be ecstatic if we draft spiller or bryant

Shawn
04-10-2010, 07:49 PM
I thought Wilson had some attitude issues. If that is the case mark him off. I believe Haden, McClain and Thomas will be off the boards but agree the Steelers won't pass on those three. So realistically it's Dan Williams, Iupati, Pouncey, Odrick, Weatherspoon and Graham. Of those Pouncey and Iupati fill the greatest need. Iupati probably grades out the highest so he is a real possibility. But, I think the Steelers go with a center this year as they missed out last season. Hopefully, Urbik has come along.

Shawn
04-10-2010, 07:50 PM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?

I don't discount a WR but I seriously doubt it. Maybe that Dez Bryant guy from OK St(?).
But I thought the Randle El and Battle signings were addressing the WR issues.

ARE and battle are stop gap guys and have nothing to offer for the future. i think the steelers would take dez bryant if he is still there at #18 but i would be shocked if he is still available by then. i would be very happy with kyle wilson, thomas, mclain but i would be ecstatic if we draft spiller or bryant

I can almost guarantee we will not draft Dez Bryant. Dez is lazy and immature. He is late for practices and games. He needs a baby sitter. I can't see them trading one headache for another.

frankthetank1
04-10-2010, 09:03 PM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?

I don't discount a WR but I seriously doubt it. Maybe that Dez Bryant guy from OK St(?).
But I thought the Randle El and Battle signings were addressing the WR issues.

ARE and battle are stop gap guys and have nothing to offer for the future. i think the steelers would take dez bryant if he is still there at #18 but i would be shocked if he is still available by then. i would be very happy with kyle wilson, thomas, mclain but i would be ecstatic if we draft spiller or bryant

I can almost guarantee we will not draft Dez Bryant. Dez is lazy and immature. He is late for practices and games. He needs a baby sitter. I can't see them trading one headache for another.

but we should trade for brandon marshall? that doesnt make any sense to me. at least bryant hasnt gotten arrested yet. there is some hope for a young immature player. an older immature player like marshall has less hope of developing a good attitude

pfelix73
04-10-2010, 11:53 PM
I 100% disagree. No way will it be Pouncey or Iupati at 18. That leaves Haden, Thomas, Wilson, Graham, or maybe even Odrick or Williams.

I like the original posters thoughts except for the Iupati part-

It's gonna be Wilson or Graham.
:tt1

Shawn
04-11-2010, 10:55 AM
With all this negative talk of Holmes...could it be a WR?

I don't discount a WR but I seriously doubt it. Maybe that Dez Bryant guy from OK St(?).
But I thought the Randle El and Battle signings were addressing the WR issues.

ARE and battle are stop gap guys and have nothing to offer for the future. i think the steelers would take dez bryant if he is still there at #18 but i would be shocked if he is still available by then. i would be very happy with kyle wilson, thomas, mclain but i would be ecstatic if we draft spiller or bryant

I can almost guarantee we will not draft Dez Bryant. Dez is lazy and immature. He is late for practices and games. He needs a baby sitter. I can't see them trading one headache for another.

but we should trade for brandon marshall? that doesnt make any sense to me. at least bryant hasnt gotten arrested yet. there is some hope for a young immature player. an older immature player like marshall has less hope of developing a good attitude

You might want to read the whole post. I didn't know about his legal history. I said Marshall would be a no go. And Dez will also be ano go.

frankthetank1
04-11-2010, 11:17 AM
in the marshall thread you didnt initally say you didnt know about his legal trouble. i just read it though.

i really hope we dont draft a wr this year. i like dez but he wont be available and #18 is too high to draft a wr with the other glaring needs on the team. i also dont know about where dez's head is at. he very well could be another wr like tone or marshall which we definetly dont need

Steel Life
04-11-2010, 08:57 PM
Here's my five...

1. Earl Thomas, DB (Texas)
2. Sean Weatherspoon, LB (Missouri)
3. Sergio Kindle, OLB (Texas)
4. Brandon Graham, LB (Michigan)
5. Dan Williams, DL (Tennessee)

hawaiiansteel
04-11-2010, 09:01 PM
Here's my five...

1. Earl Thomas, DB (Texas)
2. Sean Weatherspoon, LB (Missouri)
3. Sergio Kindle, OLB (Texas)
4. Brandon Graham, LB (Michigan)
5. Dan Williams, DL (Tennessee)



I love what Brandon Graham brings to a team, he is a relentless pass-rusher.

did you see where Rick Gosselin has him going at #10 to Jacksonville?

Steel Life
04-11-2010, 09:17 PM
Here's my five...

1. Earl Thomas, DB (Texas)
2. Sean Weatherspoon, LB (Missouri)
3. Sergio Kindle, OLB (Texas)
4. Brandon Graham, LB (Michigan)
5. Dan Williams, DL (Tennessee)



I love what Brandon Graham brings to a team, he is a relentless pass-rusher.

did you see where Rick Gosselin has him going at #10 to Jacksonville?
I'd be shocked if he went THAT high.