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hawaiiansteel
04-29-2011, 03:04 AM
Steelers Right to Take Heyward, Must Go CB in Round 2

Posted on April 29, 2011 by ted


The Steelers desperately need upgrades at No. 2 and No. 3 cornerback even if veteran free agent Ike Taylor is re-signed. As usual, however, the Steelers made the correct call in selecting Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward with the 31st pick, easily the best player left in the draft, instead of reaching for Texas CB Aaron Williams or undersized Miami CB Brandon Harris.

Among the four Steelers’ 7-round mock drafts I posted Thursday, Heyward was my first-round pick in the version that called for the Steelers to take the best player available (BPA). Here was my reasoning and I think the Steelers’ front office agreed:

1. DE Cameron Heyward, 6-5, 295, Ohio State: The Steelers appear to be in good shape at defensive end for 2011. Brett Keisel is coming off his first Pro Bowl selection, Ziggy Hood is maturing into a fine NFL player after he started the second-half of the season in his second year, and veteran standout Aaron Smith is saying he would like to play two more seasons. However, five of the Steelers’ six defensive linemen from last season are at least 30, and two could be free agents this offseason (Chris Hoke and Nick Eason). In addition, Smith has missed significant portions of three of the last four seasons with injuries, and this draft is absolutely loaded with quality defensive ends in the first round. Heyward would be a top-15 selection in most years and is clearly a better prospect than any cornerback or offensive tackle who may be available to the Steelers at this spot.

Hypothetically, let’s say a top-25 cornerback prospect was on the board when the Steelers picked in the first round. Then, I think you bypass the BPA philosophy and address your major need. But as noted above, this draft may have had the best first round ever for defensive ends, both 4-3 and 3-4. Heyward would have been a top-15 pick in almost any other year. He is proven college player from a big-time program, with upside off the charts. Moreover, he is a perfect for the Steelers’ scheme.

In contrast, Williams and Harris are not top-40 picks in some years, when there is better depth at cornerback. You just cannot reach that far for need in the first round, and that is why the Steelers have not had a pure first-round bust (although Kendall Simmons came close due injuries) since reaching for Troy Edwards with the 13th overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.

As loaded as this draft is at defensive end, the depth at that spot will dwindle considerably among 3-4 ends by the time the Steelers pick in the second round this evening. Pittsburgh should still be able to get a decent cornerback prospect in round No. 2, however. Ideally that choice will be Texas cornerback Curtis Brown, who right now is a better coverage corner than his college teammate, Aaron Williams, although Williams is bigger and faster.

However, the Steelers absolutely now must address cornerback in round No. 2. Then they can return to the BPA philosophy while also factoring in remaining positional and future needs. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has repeatedly said that quality depth in this draft is lacking at cornerback and will fall off badly in the third round.

That means that even if Pittsburgh has a player it likes more at another spot Friday, the front office should select a cornerback unless the difference on their board is pronounced (e.g., a top 35 player at another position but no corneracks left among the team’s top 70 overall prospects). Sadly, that could actually turn out to be the case if there is a run on cornerbacks in round 2 before the Steelers select.

The Steelers have no other major immediate needs, including on the offensive line, where the Steelers are deep for 2011 but may need a right tackle for 2012. Thus, the team should consider trading its third-round pick to move up to the middle of the second round if Harris is still on the board.

Harris is probably the third best coverage corner in this draft behind Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara, who I would have tried to trade up for (offering first, second and fourth round picks this year) after he fell to No. 19 overall in this draft. Maybe the Steelers did, though, and simply did not have enough ammunition to move up.

Regardless, as is usually the case, Kevin Colbert made an astute and safe pick in the first round and got a great player with All-Pro upside in Heyward. Looking ahead, in addition to taking Brown or a trade-up for Harris or Williams, other second-round cornerback possibilities include Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling (who would also likely require a trade-up), Clemson’s Marcus Gilchrist, Louisville’s Johnny Patrick and New Mexico State’s Davon House.

Regardless, the Steelers should now focus on re-signing Ike Taylor as their top priority. Add Brown or Harris and ink Taylor, and the Steelers are a strong Super Bowl contender next fall.

http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/04/s ... ward-cb-2/ (http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/04/steelers-correct-pick-heyward-cb-2/)

Chadman
04-29-2011, 09:49 AM
Don't just draft a CB simply because the Steelers 'need' one- pick value first. If it happens that a CB is available around there- very good- 2 birds, one stone.


Rahim Moore or Quinton Carter could do the same job for the Steelers as some of the late 2nd Round-type CB's...

RuthlessBurgher
04-29-2011, 10:15 AM
Don't just draft a CB simply because the Steelers 'need' one- pick value first. If it happens that a CB is available around there- very good- 2 birds, one stone.

:Agree

If there is a run on corners before we pick, and strong prospects still available elsewhere (like, for instance, OG Rodney Hudson or NT Kenrick Ellis), go ahead another big ugly as the best player available in round 2 before ultimately addressing CB in round 3 (let's say, Curtis Marsh) and then maybe another CB shortly thereafter (someone like Cortez Allen in round 5, for example).

papillon
04-29-2011, 10:25 AM
Don't just draft a CB simply because the Steelers 'need' one- pick value first. If it happens that a CB is available around there- very good- 2 birds, one stone.


Rahim Moore or Quinton Carter could do the same job for the Steelers as some of the late 2nd Round-type CB's...

I'm hoping that Moore is their target with 2.63; he's the number one rated safety in this draft (I think). I would love to see someone back there that can make a play on a pass once in awhile.

Pappy

steelblood
04-29-2011, 11:42 AM
Don't just draft a CB simply because the Steelers 'need' one- pick value first. If it happens that a CB is available around there- very good- 2 birds, one stone.


Rahim Moore or Quinton Carter could do the same job for the Steelers as some of the late 2nd Round-type CB's...

I'm hoping that Moore is their target with 2.63; he's the number one rated safety in this draft (I think). I would love to see someone back there that can make a play on a pass once in awhile.

Pappy

Moore at 63 would be a steal. He will upgrade our pass d immediately because he can play nickel corner and is a great ballhawk.

insanesteelersfan
04-29-2011, 11:51 AM
Moore would be a GREAT steal at 63. But lets be honest, he won't last that long. I highly doubt he last through the first 10 picks in round 2. But with that said, I also like the OU kid Carter. He too is a good Ball-Hawk with great run defending skills. He can be had I think in round 3. The BEST Value at 63 would be the Villinova kid, B.Ijalana. Dude was a Monster, and if it weren't for off-season Hernia surgery, and he could have participated at the Combine and senior Bowl, he would have easily been gone in round 1.


If the other league GM's are too stupid to see that his surgery will have no effect on him, and they let him fall to us at 63,,,,well Colbert had BETTER draft him. Or he'd better HOPE I never make it to Pittsburgh with my Rifle :D

papillon
04-29-2011, 11:58 AM
I doubt that Moore makes it to 2.63 as well, but remember the early run on quarterbacks has thrown the draft into disarray a bit; so, some teams that may have been targeting Moore may see another player they have rated higher still available.

It would be amazing to see him fall that far, but you never know, some teams panic and reach with regularity.

Pappy

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
04-29-2011, 12:03 PM
Moore would be a GREAT steal at 63. But lets be honest, he won't last that long. I highly doubt he last through the first 10 picks in round 2. But with that said, I also like the OU kid Carter. He too is a good Ball-Hawk with great run defending skills. He can be had I think in round 3. The BEST Value at 63 would be the Villinova kid, B.Ijalana. Dude was a Monster, and if it weren't for off-season Hernia surgery, and he could have participated at the Combine and senior Bowl, he would have easily been gone in round 1.


If the other league GM's are too stupid to see that his surgery will have no effect on him, and they let him fall to us at 63,,,,well Colbert had BETTER draft him. Or he'd better HOPE I never make it to Pittsburgh with my Rifle :D
You and I like the same player???? No way! :wink: I am Ijalana fan too. I would be extremely surprised if he made it to #63 but I would have been extremely surprised if Carpenter went before Carimi. I believe the furthest he drops is the Giants they are very high on him.

steelz09
04-29-2011, 12:23 PM
Moore would be a GREAT steal at 63. But lets be honest, he won't last that long. I highly doubt he last through the first 10 picks in round 2. But with that said, I also like the OU kid Carter. He too is a good Ball-Hawk with great run defending skills. He can be had I think in round 3. The BEST Value at 63 would be the Villinova kid, B.Ijalana. Dude was a Monster, and if it weren't for off-season Hernia surgery, and he could have participated at the Combine and senior Bowl, he would have easily been gone in round 1.


If the other league GM's are too stupid to see that his surgery will have no effect on him, and they let him fall to us at 63,,,,well Colbert had BETTER draft him. Or he'd better HOPE I never make it to Pittsburgh with my Rifle :D

Haven't we learned yet to NOT say "He won't last that long"? :)

Fairly won't last that long (he did)
Prince won't last that long (he did)
Bowers won't last that long (he did)
Ingram won't last that long (he did)
...
..
..

insanesteelersfan
04-29-2011, 12:23 PM
Moore would be a GREAT steal at 63. But lets be honest, he won't last that long. I highly doubt he last through the first 10 picks in round 2. But with that said, I also like the OU kid Carter. He too is a good Ball-Hawk with great run defending skills. He can be had I think in round 3. The BEST Value at 63 would be the Villinova kid, B.Ijalana. Dude was a Monster, and if it weren't for off-season Hernia surgery, and he could have participated at the Combine and senior Bowl, he would have easily been gone in round 1.


If the other league GM's are too stupid to see that his surgery will have no effect on him, and they let him fall to us at 63,,,,well Colbert had BETTER draft him. Or he'd better HOPE I never make it to Pittsburgh with my Rifle :D
You and I like the same player???? No way! :wink: I am Ijalana fan too. I would be extremely surprised if he made it to #63 but I would have been extremely surprised if Carpenter went before Carimi. I believe the furthest he drops is the Giants they are very high on him.



You may be absolutely right, and the Giants may select him at 52, or he may be gone before that. But, as my link showed, it said alot of league GM's are starting to sour on Ijalana because he didn't work out because of his injury, and he didn't play against what they call PRIME Div-1 defensive talent. GOOD! I hope they all think that, and he continues to fall. Just like I do for FSU's Rodney Hudson who I KNOW the steelers Love. But truth be told, I think as a " Drive Blocker " and as a guy who can step in and play Tackle, Ijalana is better suited for us. But that is not to suggest that Hudson can't get it done as a Guard for ANY team. Not to mention at Center as well. But here's HOPING that Ijalana makes it to 63. Even if it is an extreme longshot.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
04-29-2011, 01:03 PM
Moore would be a GREAT steal at 63. But lets be honest, he won't last that long. I highly doubt he last through the first 10 picks in round 2. But with that said, I also like the OU kid Carter. He too is a good Ball-Hawk with great run defending skills. He can be had I think in round 3. The BEST Value at 63 would be the Villinova kid, B.Ijalana. Dude was a Monster, and if it weren't for off-season Hernia surgery, and he could have participated at the Combine and senior Bowl, he would have easily been gone in round 1.


If the other league GM's are too stupid to see that his surgery will have no effect on him, and they let him fall to us at 63,,,,well Colbert had BETTER draft him. Or he'd better HOPE I never make it to Pittsburgh with my Rifle :D
You and I like the same player???? No way! :wink: I am Ijalana fan too. I would be extremely surprised if he made it to #63 but I would have been extremely surprised if Carpenter went before Carimi. I believe the furthest he drops is the Giants they are very high on him.



You may be absolutely right, and the Giants may select him at 52, or he may be gone before that. But, as my link showed, it said alot of league GM's are starting to sour on Ijalana because he didn't work out because of his injury, and he didn't play against what they call PRIME Div-1 defensive talent. GOOD! I hope they all think that, and he continues to fall. Just like I do for FSU's Rodney Hudson who I KNOW the steelers Love. But truth be told, I think as a " Drive Blocker " and as a guy who can step in and play Tackle, Ijalana is better suited for us. But that is not to suggest that Hudson can't get it done as a Guard for ANY team. Not to mention at Center as well. But here's HOPING that Ijalana makes it to 63. Even if it is an extreme longshot.

I hope he falls. He put up solid numbers at his Proday and looked good in positions drills. He didn't bench because of the surgery but he shows good strength on film. I would have liked to have seen him at an All Star game because that would have really projected him. He did dominate at his level and like Mayock said, you rarely see him get beat. Regardless of the competition, I'm impresses with his play on film. He has good feet, 36" arms, and looks to have good ability on the 2nd level when he was asked to get a LB...So he looks to have flexibilty if needed to kick inside to G. He will need coaching on discipline because his technique is "lazy" because he was able to physically overwhelm and always had enough athletic ability to to recover. You get his knee bend & kickslide where it should be, you could have something special at LT in a couple of years.

hawaiiansteel
04-29-2011, 01:54 PM
Friday, April 29, 2011

Heyward Selection Was Classic Best Player Available That Met A Need


If the selection of Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward by the Steelers in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft surprised you, it shouldn't have. As I mentioned in my post way back in mid-March, I pointed out the Kevin Colbert drafting style in relation to best player available and warned those that were locked into the Steelers drafting a cornerback or tackle to be prepared.

As the draft unfolded Thursday night you could see that indeed there was a run on quarterbacks along with several trades and a reach. In addition, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers fell right down the board because of a bone on bone issue. The run on quarterbacks allowed players like Gabe Carimi, Muhammad Wilkerson, Derek Sherrod and Heyward to fall to the bottom of the round. Carimi and Wilkerson were selected with the 29th and 30th overall selections and the Steelers were left with Sherrod, Heyward and Texas cornerback Aaron Williams as possible selections. While cornerback is certainly a need for the Steelers in this draft, Williams is really more of a second round talent as I concluded in my final mock draft.

Heyward is a high character guy, has a solid NFL bloodline and fits another need the Steelers had coming into the draft, defensive end. If not for the elbow injury he suffered against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, Heyward would likely have been a top 20 selection. He was not able to work at the combine because he was still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but did participate at his Pro Day and passed the entire medical test according to Colbert.

The Steelers could of selected Sherrod, but there seems to be quality tackles to be had in the 3rd and 4th rounds, while 5 technique defensive ends drop off quick. Sherrod likely would have been the pick had Heyward also been off the board and the Steelers stayed put with the pick. Drafting Williams or Miami cornerback Brandon Harris would have been a reach and Colbert knew it.

The Steelers needed depth on the defensive line even though they drafted Ziggy Hood in the first round two years ago. Left defensive end Aaron Smith will likely return for his final year under contract, but he has problems staying healthy. Right defensive end Brett Keisel is 32 and missed 4 games due to quad and hamstring problems last season as well. Backup defensive end Nick Eason is a free agent and likely will not be back in 2011 and backup nose tackle Chris Hoke, who can also play outside in a limited role, is also a free agent. While Hoke likely will be resigned, he is 35 years old and merely a spot duty defensive lineman. The recent drafting of Hood and Heyward now secures the future at the defensive end spot in the Dick LeBeau 3-4 defense.

The Steelers will almost certainly address the cornerback position in round 2 on Friday and there is still plenty of talent to likely be had when the Steelers are scheduled to pick, especially now that Williams and Harris went undrafted in the 1st round. The Steelers brought in several cornerbacks during pre draft visits and it would not surprise me if the pick was one of those that visited. I have Curtis Brown from Texas in my mock draft and it is looking good that he will be on the board. If not, I guarantee it will be the best cornerback available. It will not be a surprise. In Colbert We Trust!

Readers Notes:

1. I love that they stayed true to their board and took the BPA rather than “reaching” for the more urgent need at CB. I still remember passing on Jevon Kearse to take Troy Edwards when WR was a “need”. Obviously, Colbert/Tomlin had Heyward higher on their board than Derek Sherrod or Aaron Williams or Brandon Harris. Based on track record, I trust they get these decisions right more often than not. I’m guessing Heyward was one of the 20 “special” players Colbert talked about pre-draft.

2. I still wouldn’t have minded a trade down, but it’s pretty obvious there wasn’t a whole lot of interest from anyone in moving up. The Packers worked the phones for the whole 10 minutes and found no takers for pick 32. It will be interesting to see where Aaron Williams and Brandon Harris end up. (It will aggravate me to no end if the Pats end up with a 2012 first rounder in exchange for pick 33!)

3. Best case now would be Ras-I Dowling or Curtis Brown in round 2. I’m a little worried about a “run” on CBs before our pick 63….hopefully someone falls. I’m a big BPA guy but I’d hate to come out of today without a CB.

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/04/he ... et-a-need/ (http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/04/heyward-selection-was-classic-best-player-available-that-met-a-need/)