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Thread: Time for Steelers to draft ***kickers?

  1. #1
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    Time for Steelers to draft ***kickers?

    Time for Steelers to draft ***kickers?

    By JIM WEXELL

    I knew this would happen.

    I knew my 2021 tenet of drafting a running back in the first round would be shaken after I took a close look at the college offensive linemen.

    What a bunch of asskickers.

    If you'll pardon the expression.

    Roy Countryman wrote yesterday that he expects the Steelers to double-dip on offensive linemen in this draft, and most who follow the Steelers feel that way.

    Only, after watching tape I'm wondering if that double-dip occurs in the first two rounds, you know, like, the 1-2 punch of linebackers that started the 2007 draft with Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley.

    Talk about asskickers.

    Of course, the boss, Art Rooney II, has called for improvement of the running game, and when the team president talks, the general manager and head coach draft accordingly. As they did in 2012 when Rooney also called out the running game. His lieutenants obliged by drafting ...

    ... wait ...

    ... the Steelers drafted offensive linemen 1-2, and then even 7, in 2012.

    Yes, sir. Nine years ago they drafted David DeCastro, Mike Adams and Kelvin Beachum.

    Since then, they've drafted only one O-lineman with a top-100 pick. In 2018 they drafted Chuks Okorafor 92nd.

    It's time for a couple more, wouldn't you say?

    Then again, the words of my Answer Man are ringing in my ears:

    "If your running game isn't totally inept, like it was last year, maybe your quarterback doesn't have to complete every pass every possession down or make every throw into the end zone when you're in the red zone ... He doesn't have to do all of these things every time or the offense fails. You have another option."

    And that option?

    "Your head coach is a guy who likes the concept of a bell cow," Answer Man said last week. "Get him one."

    Well, yeah. There's that. This concept of "You can always draft a running back later" hasn't worked for the Steelers, who've drafted a third-rounder, two fourth-rounders and a fifth-rounder in the last four drafts, and finished last in rushing last season.

    So, it's probably time for a bell cow, and most of my readers know that I love Travis Etienne, but think Najee Harris suits the Steelers better and is therefore the more predictable choice.

    Hey, maybe it has to do with childhood. Like everything else. Watching Etienne glide effortlessly past ends and linebackers to get outside brings to mind childhood hero Gale Sayers.

    And Harris, heck, he has the same last name as the hero of Pittsburgh childhoods, when, to quote Joe Greene, "We didn't win **** until we drafted Franco."

    Sayers didn't last long with those beautiful long legs, so that's my concern with Etienne. He doesn't quite seem built to be the Steelers' bell cow. Whereas Harris, as was Franco, is.

    But, there's this: Najee didn't run at either of Alabama's pro days because of an ankle problem; and, as a reader from the medical field pointed out, Harris has already undergone a meniscus surgery, which could have long-term implications.

    Running backs in general don't last long. And if the Steelers knew they could get a Michael Carter in the third round, it would be easy to dive into this rich pool of asskicking offensive linemen and go 1-2, which would do more than rebuild the line. It would plant legitimate leaders in the locker room for the next decade.

    Of course, Carter - whose astonishing tape I only watched for the first time earlier this week - made me think of Barry Sanders. So ain't no way Carter's lasting until their pick in the third round.

    But I'm diving into this o-line pool anyway. I'm going to have my fun. I'm shutting down the voices in my head that talk of needing a star running back to compete for a title.

    I agree. But not now. Because now, I dream ...

    For a team that needs a center and a tackle, there are two options:

    1. Landon Dickerson (C), 2. James Hudson (LT).

    OR

    1. Teven Jenkins (LT), 2. Creed Humphrey (C)/Quinn Meinerz (C)

    Now, these are just the guys I've watched. I watched Hudson at the recommendation of our Sunday writer, Doug Martz, and I agree with him. I love Hudson. The draftniks don't, and there may be good reason, so substitute your choice of tackles from this deep class. In fact, read Friday's Countryman for a breakdown.

    But Hudson isn't the real problem with Option 1. It's Dickerson, the massive, asskicking center who's had four seasons ended by injury, two of the ACL variety. Of course, he's rehabbing a torn ACL now (even though it didn't stop him from making the final snap of the championship game).

    I'll understand if you don't like Option 1. It's my problem that I can't tear myself away from putting Dickerson in the Pittsburgh locker room.

    As for Option 2, Jenkins, another asskicker for the ages, is the tackle equivalence of Dickerson. Jenkins' tape is packed with evidence. In one game he drove an NFL first-round prospect into the sideline, and later tossed him to the ground.

    I don't mean he just pushed him to the ground, or violently pushed him to the ground. I mean he TOSSED him to the ground. Watch Jenkins' Texas tape.

    I'll just guess there aren't too many offensive tackles with a 33-inch vertical jump and 34 bench reps in the same workout. That's Jenkins. Strong and explosive.

    He's dinged a bit because of the lack of vertical sets in the Oklahoma State offense, so he isn't used to waiting for a Ben Roethlisberger to find a third read deep down the field. My guess is it's just a matter of his offense not asking him to do so.

    Like Kevin Colbert not drafting tackles in the first round.

    But, as with Jenkins, and even the quick-footed Humphrey not pulling at Oklahoma, it's about what Colbert's been asked to do.

    And not been asked to do. In his first draft, Colbert had a 29-year-old left tackle in Wayne Gandy, so the future left tackle could be drafted in the second round, Marvel Smith, and given a year to prepare.

    Smith moved over and played the left side until 2008 - when Colbert felt he didn't need to draft a replacement because a 2004 third-rounder, Max Starks, moved over to finish the 2007 season for an injured Smith. And who knew the 30-year-old Smith was finished anyway?

    And when Max moved on, Colbert had a second-rounder named Marcus Gilbert in place. Colbert gambled that Adams would be ready soon thereafter, but instead it was his seventh-rounder in that 2012 draft, Beachum, who moved to left tackle. And then the inexpensive and capable Alejandro Villanueva came along.

    Right now, left tackle's in the hands of either a third or fourth-rounder, Okorafor or Zach Banner. But since no one knows if either can handle "the hot corner," and depth is a concern anyway, it might be time for Colbert's first first-round tackle.

    The only problem with Option 2, though, is that those centers might not be available in the second round. I watched Humprhey three weeks ago and I was surprised that he wasn't being discussed as a first-rounder.

    He is now.

    Same with Meinerz, whom Shane Hallam had the Steelers drafting in the first round of his last mock draft. Fans criticized Shane at the time, but the experts weighing in right now say there's no way Meinerz lasts until the Steelers pick in the second round.

    I know. It's all so confusing. But by thinking out loud, I think we may have come up a proper plan.

    So, the center class is deep, right? It's what I keep hearing. If those Option 2 centers are gone, the Steelers can get their center in the third or fourth round.

    That would leave the second round open to the running back, and from my seat in my dark room, that second-round running back is Sanders, er, I mean, Carter, the Javonte Williams complement at North Carolina.

    OK, so we have 1. Jenkins, 2. Carter, 3. best of the rest of the centers.

    Unless you just want to say the heck with it and go Asskicker 1. Jenkins, Asskicker 2. Dickerson and 3. the Ohio State running back whose name escapes me.

    Now, that, I love.

    Give me the two absolute asskickingest players in this draft.

    And, again, you'll have to pardon the expression.

    https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh...m_content=Link
    Only a true coward puts someone on ignore on a message board.

  2. #2
    Pro Bowler

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    Don't tease me
    2022 Re-sign Minkah and Watt. Grab a stud LT and ILB in FA (we will have a boatload of cap room). Trade up for a QB





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  4. #4
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    People mention about Najee Harris not running, having surgery which could be a long term issue...but want Dickerson who hasn't had a healthy track record and multiple surgeries? I know, two different positions...apples to oranges...in a sense, kind of the same concern.

    I would love Tevon Jenkins in the first or James Hudson in the third or fourth.

    I would love Creed Humphrey in the first, Josh Myers in the second or Quinn Meinerz in the third.

    I just can't wait for the draft. It's taking way too long!!
    2021 Steelers draft class
    -------------------------------------------
    1. Najee Harris, RB; Alabama
    2. Pat Freirmuth, TE; Penn State
    3. Kendrick Green, C; Illinois
    4a. Dan Moore Jr, OT; Texas A&M
    4b. Buddy Johnson, ILB; Texas A&M
    5. Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE; Wisconsin
    6. Quincy Roche, OLB; Miami
    7a. Tre Norwood, DB; Oklahoma
    7b. Pressley Harvin III, P; Georgia Tech

  5. #5
    Legend

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    Does he mean "place kickers"? Because I think it's more like we need a punter.

  6. #6
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    Etienne or Harris is a pick I would be happy with. Harris to me is more plug and play. Etienne would require better blocking to shine. A TE and Tackle who can block, allowing Etienne to do his best stuff outside the hashmarks. We don't have that, but we sure could find this players in round two ( Tackle ) and 3-4 ( Blocking TE ) . We have the WR blocking in spades with Ju--ju and Claypool.

    No kickers or punters drafted this year, rather we can pick the best punter in free agency, and let either him or Berry win.
    Last edited by Joel Buchsbaum; 04-18-2021 at 07:32 AM.
    Plan to spend 75 million in cap space in 2022 ( most in the NFL ) and use the 2 comp picks ( 3rd and 5th ) for a killer 2022 draft. We will be back hopefully with better coaching.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Buchsbaum View Post
    Etienne or Harris is a pick I would be happy with. Harris to me is more plug and play. Etienne would require better blocking to shine. A TE and Tackle who can block, allowing Etienne to do his best stuff outside the hashmarks. We don't have that, but we sure could find this players in round two ( Tackle ) and 3-4 ( Blocking TE ) . We have the WR blocking in spades with Ju--ju and Claypool.

    No kickers or punters drafted this year, rather we can pick the best punter in free agency, and let either him or Berry win.
    All I know for sure is that we need to get back to having a physical offensive line if we want to feature the running game like Mr. Rooney is talking about.

  8. #8
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    I think we are going to take a WR late in this draft. Not a need but we always seem to take one regardless.

  9. #9
    Benchwarmer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Real Deal Steel View Post
    I think we are going to take a WR late in this draft. Not a need but we always seem to take one regardless.
    probably, we have taken a WR 9 years in a row now.

  10. #10
    Legend

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    Meinertz and Spencer Brown....
    The people that are trying to make the world worse never take a day off, why should I?

    Light up the darkness.

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