Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Steelers hope for fast learners from draft class

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hawaii 5-0
    Posts
    14,771

    Steelers hope for fast learners from draft class

    Steelers hope for fast learners from draft class

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013



    Former Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell figures to get plenty of carries during his rookie season with the Steelers.

    The Steelers will bring in their newly assembled rookie class for an orientation session this weekend, and it might be the only time some of them feel like brand-new NFL players.

    The Class of '13 likely will be asked to do more, and do it earlier, than any other class in Mike Tomlin's reign as coach. And maybe back into Bill Cowher's tenure, too.

    The Steelers are a team in need, and it is already being reflected in their depth chart.

    Though he won't be listed as such on the official team-issued depth chart, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, the first-round pick, likely will go into training camp in late July as a starter in waiting. His camp will determine how long that wait is. The same goes for running back Le'Veon Bell, the second-rounder, who will go up against a lot of bodies in camp but is already a strong candidate to start.

    Shamarko Thomas, the Syracuse safety the Steelers traded up to get in the fourth round? He'll go into camp No. 2 behind Troy Polamalu. Markus Wheaton, the burst-of-speed wide receiver taken on the third round? He's probably a solid No. 2 on the depth chart, too, without yet stepping foot in Pittsburgh.

    “We like these picks,” general manager Kevin Colbert said. “We just hope they're the right ones that help us win games.”

    This draft was an important one for Colbert, whose picks since 2000 have helped the Steelers rank No. 2 in draft class production, trailing only the Packers. But the Class of 2008 five years ago was an effective washout, with no players remaining, and it is that failed class that, in part, created the urgency for this class to produce right away. With so many needs, the Steelers drafted experienced, proven players from big schools — Michigan State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida State, Oregon State — before making their one reach pick in seventh-rounder Nick Williams, a 320-pound defensive end from Samford. Only Williams and quarterback Landry Jones won't be expected to contribute this year.



    Almost as soon as the Steelers made Jones the No. 17 pick — at one point during the offseason the former Georgia star was No. 1 overall on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper's board — linebackers coach Keith Butler issued the prerequisite caution that it's very difficult for a rookie linebacker to start in the Steelers' defense.

    “Jarvis Jones has a wealth of talent, and I'm very fortunate to have him,” Butler said. “But he's not going to be given the position.”

    But with James Harrison in Cincinnati, and Jason Worilds precariously penciled in as the starter after being a career backup, the Steelers almost certainly aren't bringing in Jones to sit. And they almost certainly aren't bringing in the most heavily used running back in major college football last season to stand idly one year after the Steelers ran for fewer yards than in all but one season since the NFL adopted a 16-game schedule.

    Tomlin emphasized Jones and Bell must win their jobs, even on a team that could go into the season considered only the third best of the AFC North's four teams.

    “I think it's a daunting task for rookies to start in any system and play and perform well,” Tomlin said. “(But) we're not going to close the door on anyone on earning an opportunity.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2Rs7CFVHH

  2. #2
    Backup SteelSpain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In Spain, but in Pittsburgh mentally
    Posts
    167
    BJBiKZWCYAA_NGY.jpg



    Great draft class.

    You know what's even sadder?

    I am a poet and for me spring does not exist

  3. #3
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hawaii 5-0
    Posts
    14,771
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSpain View Post
    BJBiKZWCYAA_NGY.jpg


    Great draft class.
    Gracias, I love this pic and i hope you don't mind that I'm going to use it as my sig for awhile...

  4. #4
    Backup SteelSpain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In Spain, but in Pittsburgh mentally
    Posts
    167
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Gracias, I love this pic and i hope you don't mind that I'm going to use it as my sig for awhile...
    It´s a huge honor for me. Make me very happy but the pic isn´t mine

    I take it from Steelers twiter.

    You know what's even sadder?

    I am a poet and for me spring does not exist

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    This draft was an important one for Colbert, whose picks since 2000 have helped the Steelers rank No. 2 in draft class production, trailing only the Packers. But the Class of 2008 five years ago was an effective washout, with no players remaining, and it is that failed class that, in part, created the urgency for this class to produce right away. With so many needs, the Steelers drafted experienced, proven players from big schools — Michigan State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida State, Oregon State — before making their one reach pick in seventh-rounder Nick Williams, a 320-pound defensive end from Samford. Only Williams and quarterback Landry Jones won't be expected to contribute this year.
    Before we get too excited about this draft class, lets remember how absolutely everyone thought both Mendenhall and Sweed were the steals of the draft and Dennis Dixon was a potential first rounder / QB of the future for someone that slipped only because of injury.

    I think we did well over the weekend, but you never know until they suit up.

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cincitucky (Stinktown, U.S.A.)
    Posts
    3,950
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    Before we get too excited about this draft class, lets remember how absolutely everyone thought both Mendenhall and Sweed were the steals of the draft and Dennis Dixon was a potential first rounder / QB of the future for someone that slipped only because of injury.

    I think we did well over the weekend, but you never know until they suit up.
    Mendenhall was very good for us. He was huge in playoff wins versus the Jets and Ravens. Mendenhall had some fumbling and injury issues, but he was a decent to good starter. Sweed had all the talent to be a gem. Unfortunately, he crumbled mentally. That is unfortunate, but I don't blame the FO for that. You take chances on great talent late in the second round.

    Dixon was a project picked later in the draft. Calling him a bust is just silly.

    Top picks for every team (even the Pats) don't pan out. It happens. This is NOT news, nor does it mean anything about this class. Find something else to whine about.
    1 Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
    2 Stephen Tuitt DE Notre Dame
    3c Keith McGill CB Utah
    4 Ross Cockrell CB Duke
    5 Jordan Zumwalt ILB UCLA
    5c Anton Exum S Va Tech
    6 Trey Millard FB/TE Oklahoma
    7 Cody Latimer WR Indiana
    7c DeAnthony Thomas RB Oregon

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by steelblood View Post
    Mendenhall was very good for us. He was huge in playoff wins versus the Jets and Ravens. Mendenhall had some fumbling and injury issues, but he was a decent to good starter. Sweed had all the talent to be a gem. Unfortunately, he crumbled mentally. That is unfortunate, but I don't blame the FO for that. You take chances on great talent late in the second round.

    Dixon was a project picked later in the draft. Calling him a bust is just silly.

    Top picks for every team (even the Pats) don't pan out. It happens. This is NOT news, nor does it mean anything about this class. Find something else to whine about.
    I think we're basically saying the same thing.
    What I think you're saying is: "The 2008 draft class lived up to reasonable expectations".
    What I'm saying: "Lets try to set reasonable expectations for this draft class. Look how the 2008 class didn't live up to our unreasonable expectations."

    I agree that RM was good-to-decent for us. I actually would have tried to resign him to a cheap short term contract to see if he could rebound. He produced about as much as the other first round backs from that draft (except CJ), but I think we all thought he was going to be Jerome Bettis with hands.

    Sweed was heralded to be a guy that was supposed to go in the first but fell for no apparent reason. He was called the "pick of the draft" by talking heads and people on this board too. Didn't work out that way.

    I think the discussion about Dixon when he was drafted was pretty much the same as what you'll read about Jones right now. A mid round QB who slipped, but "shouldn't have" and will develop into a franchise QB. It wasn't a fair projection for Dixon and isn't fair for Jones. We should be hoping for a Dixon like career from Jones (with a ceiling of C.Batch). What I've read here is that he will either bring in a huge bounty via trade or make Big Ben expendable. Similar things were said about Dixing (at least with regard to development and trade value). I hope it's true, but those expectations are high for first round QBs. The whole "he's the best QB in the draft" thing is the kind of hyperbole that all draft pendents give at draft time.

  8. #8
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hawaii 5-0
    Posts
    14,771
    Shamarko Hit of Steelers' Third Day



    Robert Woods, Shamarko Thomas (Schultz/Getty)

    By Jim Wexell
    SteelCityInsider.net
    Posted Apr 27, 2013

    And on the third day, the Steelers drafted backups for their two best players: Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger.

    Carnell Lake wasn’t afraid to raise the bar of expectation on the most exciting Steelers pick of the second day of the NFL draft.

    Lake, the Steelers’ secondary coach, was asked if Shamarko Thomas – his new safety – is Bob Sanders Lite.

    “He is,” Lake said of the Steelers’ fourth-round draft pick. “Shamarko’s an outstanding football player. I think if he had two more inches he’d have been in the first round, in my opinion. That’s how highly I think of this young man.”

    Thomas stands only an eighth of an inch below 5 feet 9 inches. And at 5-8.7, 213 pounds, Thomas had a vertical jump of 40½ inches and ran a 4.42 40 at the combine, in spite of tripping and falling face first across the finish line.

    That scene typified the strong safety’s playing style at Syracuse, where his size, speed and kamikaze approach naturally brought about the comparison to Sanders (5-8.3, 204), the former two-time All-Pro who was the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the Indianapolis Colts.

    The Steelers considered drafting Thomas in the third round Friday, but opted instead to trade next year’s third-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for the right to draft Thomas in the fourth round this year. The Steelers cited an expected third-round compensatory pick next year as the basis for the deal.

    “He has the size, he has speed, and he has strength,” gushed an enthusiastic Lake. “He is very aware on the field. Not only can he play safety, but he can also get up there and play man-to-man on the slot receiver. He has played nickel and he has played corner at times. He is a very versatile defensive back. I think he is not only going to do well for our secondary, but I think he is going to do well for the special teams.”

    Thomas was the proverbial heat-seeking missile as a four-year starting strong safety at Syracuse. He led his team last season with 88 tackles and 3 forced fumbles, and also had 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery.

    Lake was particularly impressed by Thomas’s performance last season in an upset win over USC.

    “When I was watching film on Shamarko, he was in the nickel position covering Robert Woods, who was drafted in the second round,”

    Lake said as he relayed his conversation with Thomas.

    “I said, ‘Well how come you were out wide playing Woods at the corner position? Did you play corner?’ He said, ‘No, it was still the nickel but our coaching staff wanted me to match up wherever he went.’ And I thought that was really impressive. Why would you have your strong safety covering one of the better receivers in the draft man-to-man throughout the whole game? Woods had a very hard time getting off the jam with this kid. Not only that, but Shamarko went on and picked it one time when Woods ran down the seam. For me, that was almost a game-changer. Sealed the deal, in my opinion.”

    Lake said Thomas’s vertical jump (which tied for the DB high at the combine) negates any potential size disadvantage. Lake also is unconcerned about Thomas’s concussion history, a residue of the player’s hard-hitting style.

    “They haven’t been an issue with the medical staff,” Lake said. “As you know, our safeties that are currently playing on our team have had issues. It comes with the territory back there because of the distances and the speed at which these guys play. I don’t see it as an issue. He’s not a head-hunter, per se. He just makes good, strong tackles. When you watch him, he’s wrapping up with his arms and his shoulders so I do like that part about it.”

    With their original fourth-round pick, the Steelers chose Landry Jones, the Oklahoma quarterback who threw for 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns, both Big 12 Conference career records. Jones’ yardage total ranks third all-time in NCAA history behind Case Keenum and Timmy Chang.

    Landry is 6-4¼, 225 pounds with decent mobility (5.11 40) and a 39-11 record in 50 career starts. He’s been criticized for poor performances in big games, but his .780 win percentage at Oklahoma is close to coach Bob Stoops’ .809 win percentage with all other Oklahoma quarterbacks.

    “He’s a guy that still has a lot of upside,” said Steelers QB coach Randy Fichtner. “He played in the system that is basically one-back. He knows the system very well. He’s been easily adaptable in meetings that I’ve spent with him, so he can understand the pro game. That’s going to be exciting.”

    Lake was handed another upside-oriented defensive back in the fifth round when the Steelers drafted Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne (5-11¾, 195).

    The Defensive MVP of his team’s 2011 Kraft Hunger Bowl, Hawthorne entered the 2012 season as a highly regarded prospect before tailing off his senior year. He has 6 career interceptions, supports the run aggressively, returns punts (21.2 ypr. last season), some kickoffs, and ran his 40 in the low 4.4s.

    “I guess my stock just dropped,” said Hawthorne, who was asked if that gave him a chip on his shoulder.

    “Of course I have a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I thought I was better than the fifth round.”

    “If there’s anything I can help him with it will probably be his technique,” said Lake, who compared Hawthorne’s press-coverage skills to those of Ike Taylor.

    “I think he has maybe got himself a little bit out of position and it’s partly due to some of the things that I saw with him that I can help clean up,” Lake said. “Right now, he is just raw.”

    With two picks in the sixth round, the Steelers chose Oklahoma WR Justin Brown and Florida State ILB Vince Williams.

    Brown is listed by the Steelers at 6-3, 209 and runs the 40 in the high 4.5s. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Brown caught 73 passes at Penn State and another 73 after transferring last year to Oklahoma. He’s projected to “the strong side” by new Steelers WRs coach Richard Mann.

    “He’s a big guy,” Mann said. “One year (at Oklahoma), very productive; that tells you something about the guy. I think he’s got good toughness and that’s part of being a good receiver. He’ll lock up downfield and I think that’s part of it also. He’s a good receiver. Can catch the football. Big target.”

    Williams was the signal-caller as the middle linebacker for the Florida State defense. At 6-1, 250 he’s a run-game thumper who started the last two seasons at FSU. Last year Williams finished fourth on his team with 59 tackles and had 6½ tackles for loss. He was one of the team captains and was given the Leadership Award for defense.

    The drafting of Williams indicates the Steelers are moving on without Sean Spence, last year’s third-round pick who suffered a gruesome knee injury last preseason.

    “It would be miraculous if he recovers,” said Steelers LBs coach Kevin Butler, who added that “we’re going to ride with him another year I think. Hopefully his knee will respond and he can play again.”

    The Steelers drafted another Williams in the seventh round, Nick Williams (6-4, 317), a defensive end out of Samford. Steelers DL coach John Mitchell compared Williams to Steve McLendon when McLendon was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Troy.

    “Pat Sullivan, the ex-Heisman Trophy winner, is the head coach (at Samford),” said Mitchell. “Pat Sullivan had talked to me about this kid for about the last year. He is a guy that we have had our eye on for a good while.”

    Williams was a basketball star in high school and began playing football as a senior. He added 75 pounds since he arrived at Samford and said “I can put on as much weight as I have to.”

    “He’s not going to come in here and replace anybody,” Mitchell said. “He is probably not going to play. He is a project, but you can’t get guys that are 6-4, 320 pounds that can run.”

    http://pit.scout.com/2/1287529.html

  9. #9
    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    3,181
    Does anybody think Nick Williams can play tight end? Could you imagine what a DB would be thinking as a 320 pound TE comes rumbling toward him?
    <a href=http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2011/02/roger-goodell.jpg target=_blank>http://seahawknationblog.com/files/2...er-goodell.jpg</a>

  10. #10
    Backup SteelSpain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    In Spain, but in Pittsburgh mentally
    Posts
    167
    Quote Originally Posted by ikestops85 View Post
    Does anybody think Nick Williams can play tight end? Could you imagine what a DB would be thinking as a 320 pound TE comes rumbling toward him?
    Why not. A couple of years ago they did it with Miguel Chavis and if IIRC another DT was switched to FB too.

    You know what's even sadder?

    I am a poet and for me spring does not exist

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •