View Full Version : Pittsburgh Steelers: Free Agency Needs Post-NFL Draft

05-22-2011, 08:16 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers: Free Agency Needs Post-NFL Draft
Saturday, May 21, 2011
http://www.nationalfootballauthority.co ... needs.html (http://www.nationalfootballauthority.com/2011/05/pittsburgh-steelers-free-agency-needs.html)

By Bob Evans
Senior Writer

When it comes to building and managing an NFL roster, let’s just say the Pittsburgh Steelers are on a different level than the majority of the league.

Coming into the 2011 offseason of uncertainty, and a loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, it seemed like the Steelers were going to go into panic mode to address their needs in the NFL Draft.

There were rumors the team was going to trade up in the first round to draft Maurkice Pouncey’s younger brother Mike, in order to solidify their offensive line, but that idea was quickly nixed when the Steelers realized they would have to give up the majority of their draft to do so.

Instead of trading or panicking, the Steelers did what they always do—sit back and meticulously chisel away at their team needs one draft pick at a time. There were opportunities for the Steelers to move up to get a guy that some analysts felt was the right fit for them, but just like they always do—the Steelers drafted their way.

The team addressed major areas of need with their first two picks by selecting Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward in the first, and Florida offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert in the second. The team then quickly turned their sights on a secondary, which was torched by Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, by selecting Curtis Brown from Texas and Cortez Allen from The Citadel.

It did not seem like the Steelers draft could get any better, but then they landed a player whom many people felt should have been a second or third round pick in linebacker Chris Carter from Fresno State. Carter is an explosive linebacker who has experience playing defensive end, and will fit nicely into the many looks of the Steelers' defensive scheme.

Later in the draft, the team addressed depth needs at offensive guard by selecting Keith Williams from Nebraska and running back Baron Butch from Texas Tech.

For those of you who are paying close attention, the Steelers addressed five out of their top six needs going into the off-season in the draft alone. However, there is still free agency, and the Steelers need to address the following areas in order to remain the class of the AFC North in 2011.

Offensive Line

In free agency, the team will still have to address depth issues and a potential need for a starting guard if Trai Essex does not resign with the team.

The first person I would look at is Justin Blalock of the Atlanta Falcons.

Protecting Ben Roethlisberger is priority No. 1 for the Steelers, and with starting guard Trai Essex a free agent, it only makes sense for the team to go out and get his replacement in Blalock.

He is a fundamentally solid guard who can play either side of the line, and while things in Atlanta are going great, he may decide to leave for a team that is always in championship contention.


With former starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William Gay both free agents, the Steelers will likely look to add a veteran cornerback through free agency to bridge the gap until their rookies are ready. A guy who fits their immediate need for a starter is Chris Carr of the Baltimore Ravens.

The 27-year-old Carr is coming off a season in which he ascended to starting cornerback for the Ravens. The team drafted Jimmy Smith from Colorado in the first round, which means Carr’s days in Baltimore are likely over.

His knowledge of the AFC North and impressive play make him a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not to mention the team is in desperate need of an upgrade in their secondary.

Defensive Tackle

The Steelers addressed a major need on their defensive line by snagging Ohio State's Cameron Heyward, but they forgot to add depth at the defensive tackle position.

However, they will not need to look any further than the New York Giants' Barry Cofield to find their much needed depth.

Cofield is an excellent interior lineman who can pressure the quarterback or stuff the run. With back-up tackle Chris Hoke a free agent this year, the Steelers should look to Cofield to provide them with depth and a force to be reckoned with on their defensive line.

05-22-2011, 11:17 AM
I'd look to add a CB or 2, but we've got a lot of bodies on the lines.

Discipline of Steel
05-22-2011, 05:13 PM
I agree with you but an upgrade at starting RG wouldnt be a terrible idea since no one has really seized that position. Depends on if Tomlin n Kuggs think we have that player on the roster right now.

05-22-2011, 08:10 PM
Justin Blalock will be too expensive, Chris Carr sucks, and Barry Cofield is a solid starting 4-3 DT in this league, not a backup 3-4 NT.

05-22-2011, 11:01 PM
I'm not interested in Chris Carr...

But, I would definitely take a hard look at Josh Wilson from the Ravens...

05-22-2011, 11:10 PM
Justin Blalock will be too expensive, Chris Carr sucks, and Barry Cofield is a solid starting 4-3 DT in this league, not a backup 3-4 NT.

I agree. Those signings aren't likely to happen.

05-23-2011, 07:51 AM
Justin Blaylock is terrible. He is decent in pass pro, but he is not a good run blocker and therefore not a good fit for RG in our system.

Chris Carr would be the sort of player that we sign if we are unable to sign Ike. If we go with Carr instead of Ike, it will be a very long year.

Cofield is interesting as a nickel pass rusher. But, I don't really think it would be worth teaching a vet like that an entirely new position that he may not have the skill set for. I think Hoke will return.

05-23-2011, 08:26 AM
Sign our own and extend Troy and Timmons. That's all.