On Monday we looked at every starting offensive linemen during the 2010 season and where they were selected in the draft. On Tuesday, we’re going to take a similar look at what is seen as the other biggest need heading into the offseason, cornerback. Even if Ike Taylor returns it’s a position that could use a bit of an upgrade. If Taylor, a member of the Steelers since 2003, leaves via free agency, it becomes the focal point of the offseason, whether it’s addressed with a veteran or an incoming rookie. Unless you’re feeling excited about Bryant McFadden and William Gay manning the outside.
We’ve already looked at the Steelers recent history of selecting cornerbacks in the draft (as well as a look at corners they didn’t select — breaking news! The Steelers generally know what they’re doing) and it’s a position they haven’t always addressed early in the draft, which seems to differ from the rest of the league. Since 1997 the only corner they’ve taken in the first round is Chad Scott (in ’97), while McFadden and Ricardo Colclough represent the only sections in the second round. A result of the Steelers defensive strategy under Dick LeBeau that doesn’t ask the corners to play a lot of man, but instead asks them to tackle well and not give up the big play? Perhaps.
As you’ll see in these two breakdowns, most of the starting cornerbacks across the NFL were selected in the first two rounds of the draft. It’s a position that isn’t quite as spread out throughout the draft like offensive linemen were.
|2010 NFL Starting Cornerbacks By Round|
And now the playoff teams…
|2010 NFL Starting Cornerbacks By Round: Playoff Teams|
The Steelers corners in 2010, Taylor and McFadden, were selected in the fourth and second rounds respectively, while the players coming off the bench were taken in the fifth (William Gay), sixth (Crezdon Butler) and third (Keenan Lewis) rounds, as well as an undrafted player (Anthony Madison).
My opinion here is the same as it is with the offensive linemen: don’t take a guy just so you can say you took a cornerback, especially when this class seems to be viewed as a deep one for defensive backs.