Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Wexell: Round 2 looks tasty for Steelers

  1. #1
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Wexell: Round 2 looks tasty for Steelers

    Round 2 looks tasty for Steelers

    By JIM WEXELL

    The Steelers always are provided a quarterback when they need one.

    Go down the line from Sid Luckman to Ben Roethlisberger. All that's missing in complete franchise coverage are the 1980-90s, when they passed on Dan Marino, and the early aughts, when they passed on Drew Brees.

    Not that I recommended Brees. I have to admit to that.

    Although I did remember being mesmerized by Brees throughout his college career at Purdue, but he came along before he, and later Russell Wilson, made it OK to draft 6-foot pocket passers. No one thought twice about the Cleveland Browns drafting 6-foot Baker Mayfield with the first pick of the 2018 draft. No one thinks twice about it anymore if the QB can play.

    But back then, back in 2001, even with the Steelers sitting there with Kent Graham and Kordell Stewart off a non-playoff season, nobody was calling for the drafting of Brees.

    The Steelers needed a nose tackle and linebacker after releasing Kevin Henry and Levon Kirkland. They needed starters, pronto, and first-rounder Casey Hampton was a bit - a slight bit - of a reach at pick 16, so they traded down three spots, picked up a fourth and a sixth, and drafted their nose tackle.

    The linebacker class was thin that year, and after Dan Morgan was drafted 11th there was only one other who interested the Steelers. So they traded a fourth-rounder to move up 11 spots in the second round and draft NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Kendrell Bell.

    It was all very predictable. I'm not sure I had ever predicted their first two picks before that, or since. But I was lucky with my educated guess that year.

    I feel the same way this year, and I feel the Steelers may have to partake in some of that sublime draft-day maneuvering again to land RB Najee Harris in the first round and C Creed Humphrey in the second.

    The only potential flaw in this prediction is there's seemingly a few other centers who would satisfy the Steelers' need later in the second round, so they may not have the same urgency to trade up for Humphrey that the Steelers had in 2001 when the bottom fell out of the linebacker group after Bell.

    And beyond centers, there are several intriguing prospects in the second round who would make a sit-and-wait plan for Humphrey worth the risk.

    I was scrolling through the "Big Board" of one of my Twitter follows, Joe Marino, and decided to look more closely at three players at positions other than offensive line:

    * Baron Browning, ILB, Ohio State -- Marino has him at No. 22, and after watching the performances of Tampa Bay inside backers Lavonte David and Devin White in the last Super Bowl, I didn't think the rating was too high for Browning.

    Now, I doubt he'll be picked that high, but I do respect the ranking because back in 2012, when the Steelers were drafting 24th and DC Keith Butler was pounding the pre-draft table for Dont'a Hightower, I was pounding the pre-draft radio table for David. I also remember a pundit from D.C., a failed Redskins personnel man whose name I forget, laughing on air at my preference of David over Hightower because, "he's a runt," according to the failed personnel man.

    Yes, he laughed out loud.
    At me.

    Miffed, I bitterly followed the career of David, the "runt" who was chosen 58th that draft, and I took delight in his outstanding Super Bowl performance 10 weeks ago.

    Why couldn't the Steelers pair an outstanding playmaking mack linebacker next to their own Devin - Devin Bush - and have the same effect?

    And this one would pair a Buckeye with a Wolverine. We know they act like they hate each other, but we know deep down they really love each other and would make a perfect complementary duo.

    Anyway, David measured 6-0 5/8, 233 and ran a 4.65 40 at his NFL Combine. Browning measured 6-2 3/4, 245 and ran a 4.58 at his pro day, which probably means about a 4.65 at a Combine.

    Browning's a bit bigger than David, but the comparison came to mind while watching Browning's tape of the past Ohio State-Clemson playoff game. I also thought of Vince Williams when I watched Browning blitz, but Browning showed better bend than Vince off the edge, and is better in coverage.

    Browning was used extensively in coverage by Ohio State when he wasn't rushing the passer. He didn't show David's run-stuffing steadiness, but at 245 Browning is certainly adequate with clear potential in that area.

    With Browning's explosiveness in testing (40-inch vertical, 10-10 broad jump), I can see why Marino has him ranked as a first-rounder, but I also see Browning slipping into the second round and presenting the Steelers with a great temptation if he lasts until pick 55.

    * Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State -- Marino has "Baby Gronk" - as Penn State Films dubbed the big, rugged tight end - ranked at No. 40. One would think the school might prefer "Baby Ted Kwalick," but I guess it doesn't have the same panache.

    Freiermuth draws the comparison to Rob Gronkowski probably because of his attitude. Both are obvious extroverts on the field, and also there's little doubt about their toughness with the ball and as blockers.

    Gronkowski measured 6-6 1/4, 258 coming out in 2010 and ran a 4.68 40 at the Combine after missing his junior season with a back injury.

    Freiermuth measured 6-5, 251 at his pro day, but didn't run. He missed most of his final (junior) season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

    My guess is that Freiermuth didn't run for a reason, that he feared a poor time, because while his highlight reel includes several deep catches, and flashy, tough, combat catches in the red zone, he really doesn't flash much playmaking athleticism.

    I love his blocking. Love his attitude. Love his toughness. He has quick feet and sometimes flashes those quick feet after the catch. But pick 55? I just don't see the playmaker worthy of that pick with all of the talent I expect to be available then.

    * Asante Samuel, Jr., CB, Florida State -- I always rag on my writers not to use the suffix "Jr." unless we've actually heard of Sr. And, here, we've heard of Sr., because dad was once a Patriot who won two rings and made the All-2000s team.

    Asante Sr. started five games against the Steelers in the aughts, four with the Patriots (including the 2004 semifinal game) and one with the Eagles, the infamous 15-6 Steelers loss in 2008. Samuel intercepted a pass in that game.

    Here's what Sr. had to say about his son:

    "He's a dawg."

    That was amidst a flurry of other positive comments, but "he's a dawg" stood out because it really describes Asante Jr.'s tape.

    Only 5-10, 180, Samuel Jr. plays with an obvious physical demeanor. And we know what that adds up to: overhang slot cornerback to replace Mike Hilton.

    Samuel Jr. is a sure tackler and easily compares with Hilton in that regard. But Samuel Jr. also will be able to play outside in the NFL, as his father did. In fact, their measurables and times are almost identical, just 18 years apart:

    Samuel Sr. -- 5-11, 185, 4.53, 9 reps, 35.5 vj, 10-0 bj, 4.14 shuttle, 6.95 3-cone.
    Samuel Jr. -- 5-10.1, 180, 4.45, 12 reps, 35 vj, 10-4 bj, 4.13 shuttle, 6.95 3-cone.

    Marino has Samuel Jr. ranked No. 51, and I see Samuel Jr. having a perfect opportunity awaiting him in Pittsburgh.

    That's if the Steelers want to wait until Round 3 to draft their next great center.

    https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh...nd--163743008/
    Steel Maniac predicted no RBs would be chosen in the 1st round, so of course we selected:

    1(24) Najee Harris RB Alabama


  2. #2
    Hall of Famer

    User Info Menu

    Round 2 all day and round 3 there is going to be some talent there that will help us day 1.

    People complain round 1 is too early for RB, but early round 2 is golden. 3-4 possible centers ( Humprey, Dickerson, Meinerz, Meyers), DBs go deep, the OT class might even last to the 4th. Fairemouth ( spelling) good value in the 2nd, and oh yes the ILB. ( Browning, Werner, Surrat, Bolton, love me some Davis.)

    If we could trade back and trade back up somehow and land 4 picks in those two rounds, it will be one hell of a draft.

    2a.Williams
    2b.Davis-Browning
    3a.Meinerz
    3b.Spencer


  3. #3
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_george View Post
    Round 2 all day and round 3 there is going to be some talent there that will help us day 1.

    People complain round 1 is too early for RB, but early round 2 is golden. 3-4 possible centers ( Humprey, Dickerson, Meinerz, Meyers), DBs go deep, the OT class might even last to the 4th. Fairemouth ( spelling) good value in the 2nd, and oh yes the ILB. ( Browning, Werner, Surrat, Bolton, love me some Davis.)

    If we could trade back and trade back up somehow and land 4 picks in those two rounds, it will be one hell of a draft.

    2a.Williams
    2b.Davis-Browning
    3a.Meinerz
    3b.Spencer
    I would love to be able to trade back too. but I doubt it happens...

  4. #4
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Count me in as well. Problem is gotta find a trade partner and I think teams after us have the same idea.

  5. #5
    Hall of Famer

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    Count me in as well. Problem is gotta find a trade partner and I think teams after us have the same idea.
    What sucks the teams with multiple draft picks in the second are the Jax who pick right after us at 25, and Miami already has 2 1sts.


  6. #6
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    2021 NFL Draft: Steelers 2nd-round big board

    https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/ga...021-nfl-draft/
    Steel Maniac predicted no RBs would be chosen in the 1st round, so of course we selected:

    1(24) Najee Harris RB Alabama


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
  •