Only players that should be off limits in the first round of the draft are kickers and punters. I'm glad the fans don't run this team.
Generally, I would lean against drafting a 3-4 DE in the first round. However, look at the second rounds of the Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward drafts. The Steelers did not pass up a ton of premium talent for these guys. Ras-I Dowling was one of the players selected just after Heyward.
The team would have been better off taking Max Unger over Ziggy Hood, but that is a pure hindsight call.
If Cam Heyward or Ziggy Hood were playing at the Aaron Smith level, I don't think anybody would complain about using a first rounder on them, particularly a late first rounder. The issue is that Ziggy is not even up to the KVO level and Heyward is still unknown, but has not produced much in 2 years (I think Heyward will end up ok).
As for the argument about UDFAs, sure, McClendon is playing well at NT (well, for one game, at least). Clark plays well at safety. James Harrison was great at OLB. Willie Parker. Nate Washington. You can make the argument about almost any position.
Last edited by phillyesq; 09-12-2013 at 08:41 AM.
I agree with this but it damn sure isn't because of that crazy Hoke stat. 17-1 has nothing to do with Hoke being on the field. ...
IMO there it's stupid to waste a 1st round pick on a DE who's primary role is to occupy 2 blockers. I think you can find that guy in the 3rd round.
Originally Posted by Slapstick
Hindsight is always 20/20 but in 2009, Laurinaitus out of OSU was a much better player and prospect than Hood. Three time All-American. There's NO way Hood was the BPA left on the board when drafted. Steelers obviously felt they didn't need an LB but man he'd look good in Black and Gold.
Laurinitis, Max Unger or McCoy (was never going to happen with Mendenhall picked the year before) were some of the guys left on the board when Ziggy was drafted. But there were also guys like Robiskie, Ron Brace or Darius Butler who are out of the league or close to it.
Originally Posted by Ghost
You are right.
I questioned the ziggy pick from the beginning and hated the heyward pick. And now it's biting us in the ass on the offensive side of the ball
The DL are not the playmakers of the defensive scheme we run. We get as much value from the woods, easons, kriskes of the football world.
If they ever move to a 4-3. Then fine, take as many DL high as you want
Taking unger to replace a below average hartwig should have been a no brainer instead they
Chose to pick an out of position DL to back up for a couple of years to a defense that just bad one of the best years ever and was near the top in the league for years.
Had they done that. Then in pounceys draft year we have dez or damarius Thomas to pick from. What would the offense look like with one of those guys??
I do think the DLine is the key to the Steelers D. And the proof is in the pressure on the QB and the turnovers which have gone out the window for the Steelers since Casey and Aaron were in their prime.
The value in a guy like Casey was being able to collapse and move the pocket in any direction we wanted on any play. With Casey in there, there was never room for a QB to step up in the pocket to bide more time to make a play downfield. It gave the outside rushers better angles to the QB deep in the pocket. And forced the opposing QB to be a little less comfortable without the safety of the pocket. This leads to more pressure, more sacks, bad decisions, more turnovers, etc.
Same for Aaron who imho was the best 3-4 DE in the history of the game. These 2 completely eliminated the pocket. Took away a QB's safety and time to make plays. It created mistakes that we don't see happening for the current Steelers D. Plus to have a chance against these guys, opponents had to double both of these guys if they had any hope of protecting the pocket. It was always 3-4 guys on offense committed to 2 Steelers defenders. That means we're effectively playing 9 on 8 or 9 on 7 which is an advantage to us every time. There really isn't a guy on the current line that commands a double. Every one of our guys up front typically gets a 1 on 1 matchup. We don't collapse the pocket. And it shows in the QB pressure/hurries, offensive mistakes, and turnovers.
Heck even Lebeau has changed the system to allow the DLinemen to go after the QB. He's effectively acknowledging that we can't collapse the pocket and create pressure and force mistakes like we used to. And we need these guys up front to play differently and get after the QB because they don't have the skillset of Casey/Aaron.
Now back to the point of drafting 3-4 DEs in round 1. I'm against that as well. It's a tough transition for guys to play 3-4 DE and I'd rather see #1 picks that are can't miss prospects that can come in and contribute on day 1. It's a position where I don't think a first rounder has a huge advantage over a day 2, 3, or UDFA guy. I also wouldn't shy away from a special player and do think you have to take the most special player on the board regardless of position. Even in this past draft, if Star dropped past Carolina and both he and Jarvis were available when we picked, I woulda probably went with Star.
I'll give you that the value of the DLine is hard to quantify. Individual results don't exactly correlate to the play of the guys up front. But when you look at the big picture, the QB pressure, hurries, and turnovers disappear without great Dlinemen in our system.
I should have added, I do think we might have the next Casey and Aaron on the roster and PS in Fangupo and Arnfelt. And that could help support the argument that UDFAs are the way to go.
Slappy in your "counter" you inadvertently are making my case.
Originally Posted by Slapstick
TROY is a PLAYMAKER in our defense
TROY IS a difference maker in our defense
TROYS presence directly impacts wins and loses in our defense
Our defense suffers when Troy is out.
I can quote ad nauseam, the idea that the effectiveness of THE ENTIRE DEFENSE stems from the talent of our defensive line. The linebackers get the glory but we need great DEFENSIVE LINEMEN to enable them. It does not. Farrior DID NOT need Casey to be a tackle machine. He did it with Hoke and his career high for tackles WAS AS A JET.
Judge our defensive linemen on what THEY DO not the team in general.
The difference between Smith in his prime and Ziggy is that Smith can make 50 or 60 tackles in a season. Give Smith THAT credit, not credit for what a probowl linebacker does cause THAT skill aint rare.