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supersteeler
04-05-2013, 08:09 PM
With the 2013 NFL Draft approaching, Around the League will examine one big question facing all 32 teams. Next up: The Pittsburgh Steelers.


Can the Steelers afford to remain so patient?


Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has his own way of doing things. It's served him very well over the last 13 years, running one of the most talent-rich teams in the league. A great recent example was in 2007. Linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley were taken in the first two rounds of the draft, but despite being healthy all season, neither player started a single game as a rookie.



They entered the starting lineup in 2008 and have been there ever since.

That patient approach has worked for the Steelers over the years. They groom players on the bench and get them ready to take on big roles when asked. The problem: The players haven't been ready lately.

Pittsburgh hasn't received enough production from picks like Ziggy Hood, Jason Worilds and Cameron Heyward. Last year's first-round pick David DeCastro didn't get his apprenticeship under his belt because of injury. The Steelers' depth chart is far thinner than usual. They aren't a team that likes to spend money in free agency, and they didn't have the cap space for it anyway this year. In short: They can only get help from within and by adding talent in the draft.

Colbert really could use a productive draft class that makes an instant impact. This especially is true at running back, where Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman sit atop the depth chart. The Steelers ideally would draft a back that will be in the mix, if not start. They also could use immediate contributions in the defensive front seven, with outside linebacker a particular sore spot.

The Steelers used to do a terrific job drafting and developing. That reputation has taken a hit over the last four years. Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin won't want to test the Rooneys' patience with another lackluster season. They need to find some difference-makers.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

Chadman
04-05-2013, 08:21 PM
This sort of reporting is annoying.

Ziggy Hood has been a 3 year starter on one of the most successful defences in the NFL over that period. Worilds has been planted behind Harrison & Woodley- how much contribution was Worilds expected to make in that time? And Heyward is sitting behind Keisel- not like he has been beaten out by Nick Eason. Every one of those players is trotted out as a bad draft pick because they are not starting yet, but these reports are inaccurate, and fail to acknowledge that the Steelers do a good job of understanding their own philosophy of giving rookies an orientation period, unlike other successful franchises like the Browns who get to start nearly all their rookies...

SteelerMaine83
04-05-2013, 08:39 PM
This sort of reporting is annoying.

Ziggy Hood has been a 3 year starter on one of the most successful defences in the NFL over that period. Worilds has been planted behind Harrison & Woodley- how much contribution was Worilds expected to make in that time? And Heyward is sitting behind Keisel- not like he has been beaten out by Nick Eason. Every one of those players is trotted out as a bad draft pick because they are not starting yet, but these reports are inaccurate, and fail to acknowledge that the Steelers do a good job of understanding their own philosophy of giving rookies an orientation period, unlike other successful franchises like the Browns who get to start nearly all their rookies...

Well said. :Clap

Mister Pittsburgh
04-05-2013, 09:00 PM
I wouldn't necessarily say the players we picked are horrible. I think the positions we picked were wrong. As I have said many times, drafting 3-4 DE in the first round is stupid.

steelerkeylargo
04-05-2013, 09:07 PM
I wouldn't necessarily say the players we picked are horrible. I think the positions we picked were wrong. As I have said many times, drafting 3-4 DE in the first round is stupid.

Was drafting JJ Watt in the first round stupid?

Keyplay1
04-06-2013, 01:21 PM
This sort of reporting is annoying.

Ziggy Hood has been a 3 year starter on one of the most successful defences in the NFL over that period. Worilds has been planted behind Harrison & Woodley- how much contribution was Worilds expected to make in that time? And Heyward is sitting behind Keisel- not like he has been beaten out by Nick Eason. Every one of those players is trotted out as a bad draft pick because they are not starting yet, but these reports are inaccurate, and fail to acknowledge that the Steelers do a good job of understanding their own philosophy of giving rookies an orientation period, unlike other successful franchises like the Browns who get to start nearly all their rookies...

Yeah, they get to start another bunch of rookies regularly since the last bunch busts out. But then they get high marks in drafting when the standard used to rank the drafts is the number of starters drafted. LMAO

But I am also going to agree partially with the article if he is saying that TS have not been up to their usual standards in acquiring replacement players. That will be water under the bridge come Apr 25. A lot of solid choices out there to pick up.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-06-2013, 05:03 PM
Was drafting JJ Watt in the first round stupid?

Can you in good conscience sit there and compare Hood, Heyward, and JJ Watt?

hawaiiansteel
04-06-2013, 11:44 PM
Can you in good conscience sit there and compare Hood, Heyward, and JJ Watt?

sure, that's easy...

JJ Watt is way better. ;)

Shoe
04-07-2013, 12:23 AM
sure, that's easy...

JJ Watt is way better. ;)

Yeah, but to be fair, there is a distinction between guys picked where Watt was (borderline Top 10) and guys like Hood and Heyward (bottom of 1st round). I mean, it would be much more fair to compare Cam Jordan (came out same year as Heyward), to Watt. The Steelers surely would've picked Watt if they could.

The problem I have with Hood/Heyward was that they were always just what they were... They never slipped down the board (e.g. DeCastro). They were ham & eggers, and everyone knew it. That's why they were picked where they were.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-07-2013, 10:08 AM
Our 3-4 DE's in the Cowher - Colbert era were late round picks and a cheap free agent. Under Tomlin we drop first rounders on them.

NorthCoast
04-07-2013, 10:34 AM
I seem to recall Colbert stating at one time that there are only perhaps 12-15 "sure picks" in any NFL draft. After that, most teams are projecting talent to the NFL level. Since the Steelers of the past have drafted so low and for them to find a pro-bowler or two at those positions, tells me either they know what they are doing, or other teams don't have a clue on talent evaluation. The fact that the last 3 or 4 yrs have been a dearth for the Steelers seems to indicate that talent evaluation on other teams has greatly improved, leaving the Steelers without those hidden gems when it comes time for their pick.

squidkid
04-07-2013, 11:31 AM
any correlation between how poor our draft picks have become the last 4 years with how much more involved tomlin is in making drafting decisions?

Mister Pittsburgh
04-07-2013, 11:36 AM
any correlation between how poor our draft picks have become the last 4 years with how much more involved tomlin is in making drafting decisions?

Tough to say the two don't go somewhat hand in hand. I would site that, and signing old vets to contracts they normally wouldn't have and pushing money into the future to create cap space to do so.

birtikidis
04-07-2013, 12:24 PM
Cowher waited until the later part of the draft for de and lb's and instead reached on highly ineffective offensive lineman and wide outs. There's even speculation that Cowher would rather have had Andrews than Ben. Today is much different than when Cowher coached. in his day there were only 1-2 teams playing the three four, so those tweeners fell. Now almost every team is running a variation of it. it's hard to find talent when everyone is looking for the same thing.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-07-2013, 12:49 PM
The mid to late round picks Tomlin has hit in....WR's and CB's, the two positions he knows. One from being a position coach, the other from playing the position.

thor75
04-07-2013, 01:10 PM
This video is along the same lines. Seems like a lot of people are questioning the player development lately.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/75176/on-the-clock-are-steelers-still-relevant