Here’s something I didn’t know until the other day: the Patriots have six of the first 92 picks in the NFL Draft. That fact had somehow escaped me, although given Bill Belichick’s penchant for wheelin’ and dealin’, it’s not at all surprising.
But it got me to thinking: what would the Steelers do with all those selections? Fans have been begging for offensive line help every year this century, now there are also needs at defensive back, and to lesser degrees along the defensive line and at middle linebacker.
So as promised on the podcast: the players I would draft if the Steelers had the Patriots’ first six picks.
By the way, if you’re looking to kill some time at work today (and you most certainly are), I encourage you make your own selections in the comments. It turned out to be way more entertaining than it should have been. Of course, the reality that the Steelers only have three picks, all at the end of rounds, will sober you right up, but consider this a distraction from that, and the fact that we’re still without football.
The rules: I used three draft websites — Mel Kiper’s picks on ESPN.com ($), WalterFootball.com, and the Sporting News — mostly because they are relatively reputable* and had at least three-round mock drafts. This means I did three separate drafts, one corresponding to each site. Any player available between Patriots picks was eligible to be drafted onto our Fantasy Island Steelers team. And that’s pretty much it.
The draft picks:
* 1.17 – from Oakland for Richard Seymour
* 2.1 (33) – from Carolina for Armanti Edwards
* 2.28 (60)
* 3.10 (74) – from Minnesota for Randy Moss
* 3.28 (92)
Okay, let’s get to this:
1.17 – Cameron Jordan, DL, Cal
1.28 – Derek Sherrod, OT, Miss St.
2.1 (33) – Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
2.28 (60) – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
3.10 (74) – Marcus Cannon, G/T, TCU
3.28 (92) – Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel
I know there are some off-field concerns with Dowling, but you can’t not draft a potential top-flight cornerback when you have six of the first 92 picks. I included Cannon because good buddy Doug Farrar really likes him. Cortez Allen makes the list because he visited the South Side this spring, and the Steelers have a habit of grabbing 3 or 4 of the guys they bring in, usually in the later rounds.
1.17 – Cameron Jordan, DL, Cal
1.28 – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
2.1 (33) – Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
2.28 (60) – Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
3.10 (74) – Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
3.28 (92) – Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
Mike Mayock ranks Solder higher than Sherrod even though I think most of us here (well, me and JJ, anyway) like Sherrod more. Whatever, at this point Solder is more athlete than finished product, a guy who will need a year to learn what it means to be an NFL tackle. That’s fine, especially if Willie Colon and Flozell Adams are back, Max Starks can stay healthy, and the Steelers re-sign Jonathan Scott (never thought I’d be writing that but the dude was serviceable down the stretch; something to be said for that).
Wex is high on Curtis Brown, and a late second-round pick for Watkins, who would immediately be the Steelers starting right guard, seems about right.
I know JJ’s not crazy about taking a tight end, but there’s an argument for grabbing Kendricks.
1.17 – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
1.28 – JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
2.1 (33) – Aaron Williams, CB, Texas (3.66)
2.28 (60) – Marcus Cannon, G/T, TCU (3.70)
3.10 (74) – Jon Baldwin, WR, Pitt
3.28 (92) – Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah St.
* First, it should be noted that of the three mock drafts, the Sporting News’ was far and away the worst. (This is what happens when you buy FanHouse to improve your content.) They had Cam Jordan drafted twice, once by the Jags in the first round and again in the fourth round by the Bills. Weird, I know, but I guess Jordan is that talented. Duly noted. They also didn’t have Aaron Williams going off the board until the middle of the third round. So, yeah, of all the made-up scenarios, this one is the least likely. It’s also the one I probably like best.
Carimi could start at tackle from Day 1, and, hell, he could probably play guard, too. A rotation of Aaron Smith, Keisel, Ziggy and Watt sounds nice, and getting Williams at the top of the second round seems reasonable. Cannon is another guy who might be able to step in at guard as a rookie; even still, a future o-line that includes Pouncey, Carimi and Cannon sounds nice.
Greg Cosell compared Baldwin to Vincent Jackson which is better than comparing him to Limas Sweed. And I have heard Marsh’s name mentioned as a possible Steelers late-round target if the cornerback position doesn’t shake early in the draft.
Alright, that’s it, there you go. Feel free to clown me in the comments, or if you’re so inspired, make your own picks.