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Thread: Steelers ability to find CB, WR in draft could determine playoff fate

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Steelers ability to find CB, WR in draft could determine playoff fate

    Steelers ability to find CB, WR in draft could determine playoff fate

    By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
    April 11, 2014



    Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Bradley Roby and Darqueze Dennard all make sense for the Steelers.

    The Steelers had a winning record in each of Mike Tomlin's first five years as head coach. They made the playoffs four times, went to two Super Bowls, and won the whole thing in 2008. But in the last two years, the team has been the definition of mediocre, going 8-8 in back-to-back seasons.

    You'd have to go back to the 1998-1999 seasons for the last time the Steelers had two consecutive seasons of .500-or-worse football. Kordell Stewart and Mike Tomczak quarterbacked offenses that ranked 19th and 20th, and while those defenses were good, they weren't great.

    Unlike those teams, however, these Steelers have a franchise quarterback. And in today's NFL, that's the most important ingredient for any playoff team. So what's missing?

    Depending on who you ask, the answers range from "Just about everything else" to "This group is probably two or three players away from getting back in the postseason conversation." Not surprisingly, we fall in the latter group.

    A quick glance at the roster and the needs are glaring: Wide receiver, cornerback, defensive line, depth at linebacker and, reflexively, the offensive line.

    But here's the thing: The offensive line could be a strength. No, seriously. One of the team's biggest offseason additions wasn't safety Mike Mitchell or whomever they end up drafting with the 15th pick next month, it's Mike Munchak, the former Titans coach who will be the offensive line coach in Pittsburgh. He's a Hall of Fame lineman who knows the zone-blocking scheme as well as anyone. He'll be tasked with getting the most out of a young group that features David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey, but also includes second-round picks Marcus Gilbert Mike Adams and and seventh-rounder Kelvin Beachum, who more than held his own at left tackle for much of the 2013 season.

    Put another way: Don't expect the Steelers to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. Same holds for defensive line and linebacker. Veterans Brett Keisel and James Harrison could be post-June 1 signings to add experience and depth for near-veteran-minimum salaries. There are just too many other needs, and depending on whether Todd Haley or Dick LeBeau is doing the talking, it starts with wide receiver or cornerback.

    One argument for the Steelers targeting a cornerback with the 15th pick is that the wide receiver class is deep. Some evaluators are talking "the best bunch of pass catchers we've seen in decades" deep. Meanwhile, the top cornerbacks only have a few names: Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert, Bradley Roby, Kyle Fuller and Jason Verrett.

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on...e-playoff-fate

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Steelers ability to find CB, WR in draft could determine playoff fate

    By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
    April 11, 2014



    Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Bradley Roby and Darqueze Dennard all make sense for the Steelers.

    The Steelers had a winning record in each of Mike Tomlin's first five years as head coach. They made the playoffs four times, went to two Super Bowls, and won the whole thing in 2008. But in the last two years, the team has been the definition of mediocre, going 8-8 in back-to-back seasons.

    You'd have to go back to the 1998-1999 seasons for the last time the Steelers had two consecutive seasons of .500-or-worse football. Kordell Stewart and Mike Tomczak quarterbacked offenses that ranked 19th and 20th, and while those defenses were good, they weren't great.

    Unlike those teams, however, these Steelers have a franchise quarterback. And in today's NFL, that's the most important ingredient for any playoff team. So what's missing?

    Depending on who you ask, the answers range from "Just about everything else" to "This group is probably two or three players away from getting back in the postseason conversation." Not surprisingly, we fall in the latter group.

    A quick glance at the roster and the needs are glaring: Wide receiver, cornerback, defensive line, depth at linebacker and, reflexively, the offensive line.

    But here's the thing: The offensive line could be a strength. No, seriously. One of the team's biggest offseason additions wasn't safety Mike Mitchell or whomever they end up drafting with the 15th pick next month, it's Mike Munchak, the former Titans coach who will be the offensive line coach in Pittsburgh. He's a Hall of Fame lineman who knows the zone-blocking scheme as well as anyone. He'll be tasked with getting the most out of a young group that features David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey, but also includes second-round picks Marcus Gilbert Mike Adams and and seventh-rounder Kelvin Beachum, who more than held his own at left tackle for much of the 2013 season.

    Put another way: Don't expect the Steelers to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. Same holds for defensive line and linebacker. Veterans Brett Keisel and James Harrison could be post-June 1 signings to add experience and depth for near-veteran-minimum salaries. There are just too many other needs, and depending on whether Todd Haley or Dick LeBeau is doing the talking, it starts with wide receiver or cornerback.

    One argument for the Steelers targeting a cornerback with the 15th pick is that the wide receiver class is deep. Some evaluators are talking "the best bunch of pass catchers we've seen in decades" deep. Meanwhile, the top cornerbacks only have a few names: Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert, Bradley Roby, Kyle Fuller and Jason Verrett.

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on...e-playoff-fate
    I don't disagree that we need CB and WR help. But, certainly DL and LB are pressing needs too.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

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    Agreed blood. ILB and DE, NT are huge concerns.

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    Kiesel and Harrison can put off the emergencies at DE and OLB for another year but we need CBs and a NT already. I certainly wouldn't hate having Dennard, a Spartan, to solidify the all important team of DBs. How can we fill that pressing need at NT?
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    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    If 2 rookies are the difference between making the playoffs or sitting at home, we are in bigger trouble then I thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy View Post
    If 2 rookies are the difference between making the playoffs or sitting at home, we are in bigger trouble then I thought.
    I think we are on the outside looking in... regardless of the rooks.

    Unless this defense drastically improves.

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    when do rookies make a difference in this defense?
    1) CB D Dennard
    2) OLB R Shazier
    3) DE J Ellis
    4) WR M Bryant
    5a) OG D Yankey
    5b) OLB J Tripp
    6a) RB D Archer
    6b) NT D McCullers
    7) WR J Janis

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    Quote Originally Posted by squidkid View Post
    when do rookies make a difference in this defense?
    If I remember right Timmons worked his way onto the field at the end of his rookie year. Help from rookie at the end could push you deeper into the playoffs.
    Last edited by focosteeler; 04-11-2014 at 10:21 PM.

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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by focosteeler View Post
    If I remember right Timmons worked his way onto the field at the end of his rookie year. Help from rookie at the end could push you deeper into the playoffs.
    Timmons? People give Jarvis Jones a bunch of crap around here but Timmons was a joke his rookie year.

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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy View Post
    If 2 rookies are the difference between making the playoffs or sitting at home, we are in bigger trouble then I thought.
    In a previous thread, someone mentioned that Bell's injury was a big reason that we started 0-4 last year. You know your team sucks when you have to use a rookie 2nd round pick as an excuse for starting 0-4. That is no offense to Bell but moreso the depth and such of the team as a whole.

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