Lacking Overall Roster Depth, Steelers Need Solid Day 3 of 2015 NFL Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers filled their two biggest needs in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, selecting Kentucky LOLB Bud Dupree and Ole Miss CB Shenquez Golson.

Prudently using their first two picks to fill huge needs enabled Pittsburgh to use its third-rounder on the best player available from several positions of secondary need, which the Steelers’ brass deemed was Auburn WR Sammie Coates.

Lot to like in drafting three fast guys from the SEC. Yes, the 5-foot-8, 176-pound Golson was a bit of a reach at No. 56 overall, but there had been a run on CBs earlier in the second round and the Steelers had to take a CB at that spot. The Steelers need are in desperate need of help at CB right now and could not wait until the third round to address that spot.

While other prospects offered more size and potential upside, among those still left on the board, Golson was the best cover man, the best playmaker, had the lowest bust-potential since he will – at the very least – be a serviceable slot corner in the NFL – and had the best chance of helping a horrendous Steeler CB corps in 2015. Continue reading

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Steelers Must Add DBs to Dupree on Day 2 of 2015 NFL Draft

Prior to the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Steelers appeared poised to take a CB or OLB. But recent off-the-field issues of some OLB prospects seemingly narrowed the most-likely first-round choices to LOLB Bud Dupree of Kentucky, CB Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest and CB Marcus Peters of Washington.

I had the Steelers selecting Dupree in my most optimistic mock draft, nothing that there was at best a 40% chance of Dupree falling in the first round. Of the three, Johnson was seemingly the most likely choice to end up a solid NFL starter and fulfilled Pittsburgh’s biggest need at CB. Peters was the most likely to be an impact player for the Steelers in 2015, but his major character issues would have likely had him off the Pittsburgh board at any other position.

Dupree also filled a major need and had the highest upside of any potential player Pittsburgh could select at No. 22 overall. Moreover, the overall talent drop-off from the pool of first-round prospects to those likely available in rounds 2 and 3 was far more precipitous at OLB than CB, even more so when specifically looking for a large strong-side OLB like the Steelers needed.

In the end, Pittsburgh’s selection of Dupree was easy, and the correct choice because Johnson and Peters were both shockingly off the board. Fortunately, Dupree was the best value still available, filled a major need and was a far better choice than reaching for the best remaining CB, which was probably combine warrior Byron Jones from UCONN, who went No. 27 to Dallas.

 

The 269-pound Dupree is an athletic freak, who was recently timed at 4.56 seconds in the 40. The concern is that he was not a dominant player in the SEC, and actually was at his best against the weakest opposition. However, he works hard, is smart and has the ability to improve the weakest parts of his game, none of which are related to athleticism.

Now, the Steelers MUST focus on addressing the weakest corps of corners in the NFL on day No. 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh’s second-round draft board should consist of: Continue reading

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Mocking the Steelers 2015 NFL Draft Possibilities

Pittsburgh will not necessarily take the best available player on its board with the 22nd selection of the 2015 NFL Draft, although you will surely hear that before and after the selection by the Steelers’ brass.

The Steelers usually stay put in the first round, and as such are unlikely to trade down (Dallas at No. 27 moving up for a RB seems the best potential partner) or trade up (barring the unlikely event that the consensus top CB in the draft, Michigan State’s Trae Waynes, is available at No. 18 and thus in reach).

But barring a top prospect shockingly falling farther than everyone expects, the Steelers’ first pick will almost certainly come from the following list of players:

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Steelers Must Address Defensive Woes Early and Often in 2015 NFL Draft

A primary architect in the development of the 3-4 scheme, Dick LeBeau is arguably the greatest defensive coordinator in the history of the NFL.

Statistics support such a lofty claim.

In LeBeau’s first 11 seasons as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator (1995-96, 2004-12), Pittsburgh finished in the NFL top 10 for total defense all 11 seasons, top 5 in 10 seasons, top 2 in seven seasons and No. 1 in five of those 11 seasons. Primarily due to LeBeau’s defenses, the Steelers never had a losing season during his 16 seasons as the Pittsburgh DC and/or DBs coach, a span that included two Super Bowl titles, four AFC Championships and six AFC Championship Game appearances.

But the Steelers slipped to No. 13 in total defense in 2013 and No. 18 overall last year, including a dismal No. 27 in pass defense. The 2014 regular season marked the first time the Steelers did not finish in the top half of the NFL in total defense since 1991, which was Chuck Noll’s last season as head coach.

Mike Tomlin responded by doing what was long deemed unimaginable: He forced LeBeau to resign after the season, rather than be fired.

But the Steelers’ defensive problems in 2014 had nothing to do with the coaching of LeBeau, but were instead attributable to a lack of Jimmys and Joes.

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View From 522: Steelers vs. Saints

Man, oh, man.

This was some kind of game. The kind of game that was as ugly in the stands as it was on the field, and it was pretty ugly on the field. So ugly, that I’ve put off writing about it for as long as possible without it overlapping the next game.

So let’s get to it.

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Steelers vs. Saints: Week 13

Hello, football fans.

Who knows what to expect from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. On one hand, the Saints are 4-7, which means they are a bad team. That means the Steelers are likely to play down to their level and probably lose. On the other hand, the Saints are also tied for first place in the NFC South. So maybe they’re a good team! So that means the Steelers are likely to play up to their level and probably win.

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Week 11: Steelers vs. Titans

Hi.

I didn’t post a game thread on Sunday and the Steelers lost to the Jets. Then I didn’t want to write about the Steelers on Monday because the Jets game just made me mad. So let’s try a game thread again.

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View From 522: Steelers vs. Ravens

Until this season the best football I ever saw Ben Roethlisberger play was the three-week stretch in the 2005 playoffs when the Steelers went through Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver on their way to Super Bowl XL.

During that three-game stretch, he went 49-for-72 (68 percent) for 680 yards (9.4 yards per attempt), 7 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Here is what he has done over the past three weeks: 88-for-119 (74 percent), 1,127 yards (9.4 yards per attempt), 14 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Boom.

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View from 522: Steelers vs. Colts

Finally. The Pittsburgh Steelers have discovered the winning formula. And that formula is to let Ben Roethlisberger take control of the game and try to put up as many points as humanly possible. In this NFL, and with a defense that has Cortez Allen on it playing the way he is, no number of points will ever be enough. Keep scoring. Throw down field. Don’t throw it to Justin Brown in the red zone.

Points!

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Steelers vs. Colts: Week 8

It’s another NFL Sunday where anything can happen.

The Steelers are 4-3 and have a chance to do something they have yet to do this season: Win two games in a row. Now would be a good time to start.

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