Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Mock Draft and Projected 53-Man Roster (V. 1.0)

Note 1: This is my fifth installment of a series on the Steelers’ possible moves before the 2012 season and the first Steelers Lounge mock draft for 2012. If you have not done so, it is advisable to at least read the fourth installment of that series, where I provided predictions on how the Steelers can proceed in again assembling a championship-caliber roster despite facing serious salary-cap issues that will undoubtedly result in the departures of several key veterans that the front office and coaching staff would prefer to keep if Pittsburgh was not already well over a projected team cap ceiling.

These draft picks were, in part, based on needs created and minimized based on the projected off-season moves in that series of articles. They are also based on the assumption that Pittsburgh will again select near the end of the first round, most likely somewhere between No. 25-30.

Note 2: Now, obviously not all of those projected off-season moves will come to fruition, and some potential Pittsburgh needs for 2012 will greatly increase over the remainder of the 2011 season, while others decrease over the next six months based on personnel moves. Based on my projected, upcoming off-season moves, I would rank the Steelers’ 2012 draft needs in order at this point as:

1. OG – Veteran left guard Chris Kemoatu has a degenerative knee injury, is overpaid, and is a strong bet to be a salary-cap casualty after June 1st, 2012. The two other players who have started multiple games at guard this fall, Ramon Foster and Doug Legursky, are both slated to be restricted free agents before 2012 and unrestricted free agents before 2013 if they are not signed to a long-term extension, with neither possessing the athleticism to be a quality long-term starter. Offensive guard is the only position where a first-round pick would have a strong chance of starting the 2012 season opener, and there are 2-3 projected first-round offensive guards in this class.

2. NT – This ranking is based on the assumption that Casey Hampton’s projected $8.057 million cap figure for 2012 will result in the Steelers’ long-term stud nose tackle finishing his career elsewhere. Steve McLendon, who has improved from borderline NFL player to solid contributor over the last two years, will return. Assuming Hampton departs, the Steelers would also like back veteran reserve Chris Hoke, although he will turn 36 before the 2012 season. If Hampton agrees to an extension through 2013 that significantly lowers his 2012 cap figure, then the need at nose tackle minimizes significantly. However, the depth at nose tackle is very poor in the 2012 NFL draft, so the Steelers might take a player early at that spot if Hampton does depart and could reach to do so, although that is not their style.

3. FS – If the Steelers are desperate to cut payroll, starting free safety Ryan Clark could theoretically be released after June 1st, although a restructure is still far more plausible in that scenario. Regardless, the Steelers need to draft and develop Cark’s long-term replacement in this coming draft, because the earliest a free safety can be asked to start in the Steelers’ complex defensive scheme is his second year. The upcoming draft has several interesting prospects at free safety who should go between rounds 2-4, although the rankings of those players vary widely on draft sites. Overall, though, this looks like a fairly deep class of free safety prospects in a year when the Steelers are ready to draft a player at that spot. If they risk waiting until the third round, the Steelers could get a steal, but would likely have choices among multiple great prospects in the second round.

4. ILBJames Farrior and Larry Foote are both possible cap casualties, although at least one is likely to return on a lower 2012 cap figure. I am projecting the 36-year-old Farrior to retire after this season and Foote to sign an extension before the draft. If that happens, the Steelers would likely draft a classic run-stuffer type in the mid-rounds to groom as Foote’s eventual replacement, because the athletic Lawrence Timmons is already locked-up long-term. At the top of the draft board, this looks to be the strongest inside linebacker class in many years, with three inside linebackers in the top 15 of Mel Kiper’s current Big Board. Although unlikely to happen, if any of those three dropped to the Steelers’ spot in the first round, it would be difficult to pass up that type of value. If still on the board, Alabama’s hulking Don’t’a Hightower will also merit first-round consideration by the Steelers. However, since Foote – who has played extremely well over the last two weeks as a starter – still has several serviceable years, Pittsburgh can address this position in the middle rounds, assuming Foote’s contract is restructured and extended.

5. WR – The Steelers have a great young corps of receivers and will hopefully sign upcoming restricted free agent Mike Wallace to a long-term extension before the draft. If they cannot extend Wallace or lose him as a restricted free agent, then wide receiver becomes a more important position in the 2012 draft for the Steelers. There are also the possibilities that Hines Ward could retire after 2011 or is released before 2012, and Jerricho Cotchery is an unrestricted free agent, so adding size and physicality at receiver could be a major need. Even if Wallace is secured for the long-term, the Steelers will need to add more depth at this spot, although they will probably wait until the later rounds to do so.

6. OT – I am sure many readers are scratching their heads at how low I have offensive tackle on the Steelers’ needs list. Well, this ranking is based on three optimistic assumptions: (1) Upcoming free agent Max Starks remains healthy for the rest of 2011 and is re-signed to a multi-year extension before the draft; (2) Willie Colon, who has missed all but one game over the last two seasons due to an Achilles tear and torn triceps, projects to make a full recovery and remains in the Steelers’ long-term plans after re-signing on a 5-year deal before 2011; and (3) Current rookie Marcus Gilbert continues to improve at offensive tackle each week while being forced to start much earlier than the Steelers would have preferred. If all that happens, the Steelers will definitely not have an immediate need at this spot, because even if Colon or Gilbert started at guard, either could move back to tackle in the event of injury to one of the starters. Sure the Steelers would love to take a developmental project, but will have far more important holes to fill in the 2012 draft. Of course if Starks leaves and Jonathan Scott is retained on a reduced contract (even if it includes a contract extension), then offensive tackle shoots up these rankings.

7. HB/FB/TE – We know offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is not going to keep a pure fullback on the roster, so long as game-day dress rosters are limited to 46 players. D.J. Johnson is on the team due to his versatility, as he plays fullback in the I-formation, H-back, and occasionally as an in-line blocker at tight end opposite of Heath Miller, although Weslye Saunders usually fills that role, because Johnson is often also in the game at fullback at the same time. However, the only one of those roles where Johnson is a solid contributor is when he lines up as the No. 2 tight end, and he is undersized for that spot. He is not a consistent lead blocker at fullback, is no running threat, and has horrible hands as a fullback or H-back despite being a tight end. The Steelers wanted to replace him last year when the 2011 draft was loaded with undersized tight ends who were tagged as H-back prospects. Unfortunately, the 2012 draft is much weaker in that area and the Steelers now have greater needs at other positions.

8. CB – When is the last time cornerback was this low on the Steelers’ position needs? I think you have to go back to the early 1990s. However, Ike Taylor is a dominant lockdown corner, and youngsters Keenan Lewis, Curtis Borwn and Cortez Allen have all shown considerable upside this fall. All should be better in 2012. This ranking is based on the assumption that Lewis, an upcoming restricted free agent, is in the Steelers’ long-term plans. The team may not draft a corner at all if it can re-sign 2012 unrestricted free agent William Gay to add depth, although he would likely fall out of the playing-time rotation next fall behind Allen and Brown.

9. DE – Veteran Brett Keisel is signed through 2013 and playing the best football of his career. The Steelers are set at the starters for this position for the long-term after investing a pair of first-round picks over the past three years on Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward. However, with Aaron Smith’s probable retirement due to injury, the team has little depth behind those three, with rookie undrafted free agent Corbin Bryant, who is currently on the practice squad but is expected to finish the year on the active roster, seemingly the No. 4 defensive end for 2012.

2012 MOCK DRAFT

1. OG Kelechi Osemele, 6-5, 345, Iowa State: Stanford redshirt junior David DeCastro is the player I have long desired for this spot, but he is having a monster season and likely will be well off the board before the Steelers’ selection. Osemele has been more consistent this fall than the other possible first-round guard, Cordy Glenn at Georgia, although Glenn’s greater upside could also have him off the board as well based on many early draft rankings. I am not enamored with this pick, although it is better than reaching for Alabama’s Josh Chapman or Memphis’ Dontari Poe at nose tackle, quality first-round offensive tackles are almost never left on the board when the Steelers’ select, no free-safety prospects are worth a first-round pick, and the top three inside linebacker prospects will all be gone.

2. FS Markelle Martin, 6-1, 205, Oklahoma State: Alabama’s Robert Lester is also a possibility here, but Lester may not even enter the draft and is not as stout yet in run support as Martin, who is a key playmaker for the Cowboys’ vulnerable but optimistic defense. He would be a likely starter in 2013 at free safety and – unlike Lester – could contribute at strong safety as well. The concern is – like the rest of Oklahoma State’s defense – Martin is too prone to mental mistakes, which would be detrimental for a free safety in the Steelers’ defense. However, those miscues are less frequent with Martin than his teammates, and fundamentals can be taught – talent and big-game experience cannot, and Martin has both.

3. NT Kwame Geathers, 6-5, 350, Georgia: A redshirt sophomore who is in his first season of earning significant playing time, Geathers should not enter the NFL Draft this early, particularly since he is still only sharing time with JUCO transfer John Jenkins, another potential draftee best advised to stay in school. Geathers, however, has a lot of NFL bloodlines, and all of the Geathers clan seemingly enter the draft in their first year of eligibility. In a very thin class of nose-tackle prospects, Geathers is a boom-bust type who could develop into an above-average 3-4 nose if he learns to play with more consistency and drop his pad level. His upside is huge (literally) and – due to Hoke’s versatility to also play end – Geathers could make the dress roster next fall to give the Steelers a huge body to clog the middle when struggling to stuff the interior run.

4. ILB James-Michael Johnson, 6-1, 245, Nevada-Reno: An excellent and athletic inside linebacker prospect to replace Foote long-term who may still be available at this spot due to the top talent at his position pushing everyone else down the board. Johnson egan his career as an outside linebacker, but made a natural transition to the inside in 2010. His potential is outstanding.

5. WR Marvin McNutt, 6-2, 215, Iowa: I love this versatile prospect who will end up owning many of Iowa’s all-time receiving marks. He is having a strong senior season and probably should be gone by this point, but received a very low draft-grade from the NFL Advisory Committee last year and lacks the down-field speed scouts desire in receivers. McNutt, though, could develop into a nice NFL possession receiver who adds size and can play outside for the Steelers, while also contributing early on special teams. I still think he ends up being drafted higher due to his size and productivity, but McNutt would be a steal at this spot and many draft sites think he may fall this far despite his strong senior season.

6. CB Micah Pellerin, 6-0, 190, Hampton: A sleeper prospect, who may end up being drafted higher than this if he performs well in the postseason. Needs to add upper-body strength, but that can easily be accomplished in an NFL weight-training program.

7. DE Ethan Johnson, 6-4, 295, Notre Dame: A burly and productive big-school player who will likely battle Bryant for the final roster spot on the defensive line or at least end up on the practice squad with a decent training camp.

A Ridiculously-Early Projected 53-man Roster for the 2012 Steelers
Notes: In addition to the draft above, this roster assumes Pittsburgh’s off-season roster moves transpire as I projected in the last installment of our 2012 salary-cap series. However, I have made three projected changes since that article, which may have provided too optimistic of an assessment on how many of its current players Pittsburgh can retain and on the overall projected league salary-cap ceilings.

First, punter Jeremy Kapinos will be re-signed to a 1-year contract for $540K, but not until the early summer. Daniel Sepulveda, now on the season-ending injured reserve list for the third time in four years, will not be re-signed as an unrestricted free agent.

Second, I am now guessing that Hines Ward will gracefully retire after the 2011 season. While this may be optimistic, I am also projecting the Steelers to re-sign Jerricho Cotchery during the free-agency period to a 3-year contract worth $4.4 million, with a signing bonus of $850K and base contracts of $825K in 2012, $1.025 million in 2013 and $1.7 million in 2014.

Finally, in an effort to create some cap space, the Steelers will give kicker Shaun Suisham a choice: Convert some of the $1.337 million base salary the team imprudently gave you for 2012 this past offseason into not-likely-to-be-earned (NLTBE) bonuses or you will be cut after June 1st. Suisham will likely comply, which would drop his cap figure $637,000.

2012 Pittsburgh Steelers’ 53-Man Roster

QB Ben Roethlisberger
QB Byron Leftwich
QB Charlie Batch
RB Reshard Mendenhall
RB Isaac Redman
RB Jonathan Dwyer
RB Baron Batch
TE Heath Miller
TE/FB D.J. Johnson
TE Weslye Saunders
WR Mike Wallace
WR Antonio Brown
WR Emmanuel Sanders
WR Jerricho Cotchery
WR Marvin McNutt
WR Tyler Grisham
LT Max Starks
LG Kelechi Osemele
C Maurkice Pouncey
RG Ramon Foster
RT(G) Willie Colon
T Marcus Gilbert
C/G Doug Legursky
G/T/C Trai Essex
T/G Chris Scott

DE Ziggy Hood
NT Steve McLendon
DE Brett Keisel
DE Cameron Heyward
NT-DE Chris Hoke
DE Corbin Bryant
NT Kwame Geathers
OLB James Harrison
OLB LaMarr Woodley
OLB Jason Worilds
OLB Chris Carter
ILB Lawrence Timmons
ILB Larry Foote
ILB Stevenson Sylvester
ILB James-Michael Johnson
LB Josh Kaddu (Undrafted rookie FA)
SS Troy Polamalu
FS Ryan Clark
S Ryan Mundy
S Markelle Martin
CB Ike Taylor
CB Keenan Lewis
CB Curtis Brown
CB Cortez Allen
CB Micah Pellerin

K Shaun Suisham
P Jeremy Kapinos
SN Greg Warren

This entry was posted in 2011 steelers, Cool Stuff, Defensive Line, Draft, Free Agency, Front Office, Offensive Line, Offseason, Wide Recievers. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Anonymous

    I drew up some guesses (mock makes it sound like I have any idea what I’m doing, which I don’t), and we actually had two names in common on our lists though in neither case did we choose the same spot. I put down Kelechi Osemele in round 2 and Robert Lester, whom you mentioned but was not among your picks, in round 3. I’m curious, what are your thoughts on Alameda Ta’amu? I put him down in round 1.

    • Tedk58

       Intropy, I would love to have those three where you slotted them, but Lester in round 3 is the only real possibility, as he is generally rated from an early-2nd to early-4th round pick at this early juncture. Ta’amu is a likely top-10 pick who will be long gone, and there is no way a talent like Osemele – who could also play RT – would last until late in the second round so long as he stays healthy and out of trouble.

  • Cols714

    We agree completely on their top needs of OG, NT, FS, and LB.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I see a name like Kelechi Osemele, I wonder what Myron would have done to it.

    • Anonymous

      Key-LEE-chee Oh-see-MEE-lee

      • Randy Steele

        I’m just hoping they draft McNutt. I want THAT jersey!

  • Stuart Ingham

    I agree completely with the needs- however, going DL in R1 3 out of 4 years in a row, and indeed DL or interior OL 4 in 4, seems like a recipe for having an unbalanced team a few years down the line. Maybe even enough to make me more attracted to taking either a FS or a ILB.

    I would still be tempted if they thought there was a true shutdown corner there, Ike will be a year older and the young guys have been promising but they are still a group of mind round talents that have not yet proven anything. I also think it is a position in today’s NFL where you can’t have enough quality.

    • Tedk58

      I have the Steelers’ taking an offensive lineman in the first round above. The only chance the Steelers would take a defensive lineman again in round 1 in April is for an immediate replacement for Hampton, and the only player who would be worthy of that pick (Ta’amu) will be long off the board when Pittsburgh selects.

  • Ron

    I completely agree with your priorities. However, the guards are extremely weak this year. We’d be much better off drafting a tackle(s) who can slide inside to guard. (Remember Carl Nicks a couple years ago.)

    I would suggest:  1.32 – Devon Still (NT/DT) (Penn St) (6’5″ 310) Immediate starter for Hampton. Excellent run stuffer. Long arms to shed blocks and bat down passes. Can put on 15-20 pounds easily.  2.32 – Markelle Martin (FS) (Okla St) (6’1″ 205 4.58 forty) Immediate starter for Clark. Great speed and ball skills. Can cover TE’s.  3.32 – Corey Williams (ILB) (Southern Miss) (6’2″ 243 4.6 forty) Small school gem. Playmaker. Great instincts.  4.32 – Mike Ryan (OT/OG) (U Conn) (6’5″ 330) Tackle that can slide inside to left guard. Great run blocker. Smart. Fiery. (or) Joe Looney (LG) (Wake Forest) (6’3″ 320)  Natural left guard. Great pass protector.  5.32 – RoKevious Watkins (6’4″ 340)  Right tackle that can slide inside to right guard. Powerful. Great anchor.  6.32 – Michael Williams (TE) (Alabama) (6’6″ 270 4.77 forty) Beast of a run blocking TE. Starts for DJ Johnson immediately.  7.32 – The best kicker available.

    • Tedk58

      I am not so sure if Still could be an effective 3-4 NT in the Steelers’s scheme. Geathers is too tall, but he is a widebody. Most scouts like Still as a 4-3 DT, whose other possible position would be as a 5-technique, which means a 3-4 end for the Steelers. No way Pittsburgh drafts another play at that spot in the first round.

      Regardless of what happens with Starks, Scott, Colon, Essex, etc., I cannot see the Steelers’ drafting four offensive linemen in seven picks. First, this team would have huge problems if they had that many roster spots available on the o-line next year. Second, it would also cause problems with FA in 3-4 years assuming at least two of those players pan out. I like Williams, but would not consider Southern Miss a small school, since they have been winning for 20 years and are currently ranked in the top 25.

      Johnson usually plays H-back or fullback, and Williams is too tall to replace him at those spots. He would have to beat out Saunders for a roster spot. With all the needs on this team for roster spots next year, I seriously doubt they draft a kicker to battle Suisham. I would almost bet my life that the Steelers draft at least one linebacker next year as well, and am pretty confident a receiver is taken as well.

  • Ron

    We shall see. I just think Osemele is a mid to late second rounder at best. There is no way he is the BPA at 1:32. I would rather even take a DB there because I think we can get about the same talent at guard in the 3rd or 4th round. 

    Devon Still is an interesting prospect. I believe he is scheme flexible. He gets much better penetration than a traditional 3-4 NT which can be both good and bad. If he puts on 15-20 pounds I think he’ll have plenty of “sand” to hold the point. We must have different views on “tall” players. I think long arms are a great help in blocking and shedding blocks. 

    Arians will be gone next season so we may draft a true full back. Either way we need another TE. 

    As for OL, I agree Kemo is gone. Whether or not Colon moves inside to guard makes a big difference. But I still think we draft two OG’s. Probably one is a OT/OG blend. I don’t know where you’re getting 4 OL out of 7 picks. 

      

  • Mike L

    What about drafting a QB?  Leftwich has been injured the last two season and I don’t believe Batch could hold up for too many games in place of Ben.  Then you have to worry about 2013 as well.  Two positions where we need back ups to develop for the future are QB and FS.  IF the Steelers go the FA route for QB I think Jason Campbell or Chad Henne would be good backups looking for a strong team with whom to restore their careers.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Or David Garrard.  He seemed to overestimate the demand for his services as a starter.  Maybe by the off-season he’ll have a different perspective.

  • Kev4heels

    Love it man…Great first 3 picks IMO.
    Need to learn more about Martin, but the Steelers are in real need of a play-making FS.

  • Hoffstra323

    Steelers have a great shot at going all the way this year so we will miss all the guys with the big hype, but that is just fine. I think we have scored huge on our first round picks in recent years. I cant see any team picking better than Pouncey, Hood, and I know its a bit early, but I just got that feeling that Heyward will be special. outside of quarterbacks I think the most important spots are guys in the trenches, it all starts up front. I like the way you broke it down. The Steelers are big on taking the best man available, so I think we draft the most talented offensive lineman available with the first pick. Unless we see a NT that we cant say no to, the Steelers won’t reach with there first round choice. One thing for sure thou is we are going to see more changes this coming season than we have in recent years. 
     I had some thoughts on some possibilities and wanted to see what everyone thought. One beautiful problem I see with the Steelers next year is having three defensive ends that should be on the field at all times. Could Ziggy Hood possibly move to NT? He is said to be the strongest guy on the team, and I am sure he is every bit of the 300 lbs that he is listed at. Does the idea of Hood in the middle surrounded by Keisel and Heyward not excite anyone else but me?
    FS is another interesting topic. I think this will be the last year for Ryan Clark. I think he is a solid player, however he is getting old and doesn’t bring anything special to the table physically. I think he is a smart football player and makes few mistakes but that may not be enough to keep him around. Hitting is what he is known for but these days he just draws personal fouls with his hits. On to my point, the corners that we usually draft, or even the ones we have are big enough to play safety. If cortez allen takes as a corner and curtis brown as a nickel could Keenan Lewis play safety? Also we have a plethora of safeties that see playing time. Is Will Allen a significant drop off from Ryan Clark, and what about Ryan Mundy? We also have another physical corner who just plays special teams these days and was a FS in college… Bryant Mcfadden. I am thinking outside of the box, but to me some of these guys are capable and we could have them at a discount and free up some money. We should draft a safety somewhere thou, and if there is a stud on the board it would make for a nice second round pick.
    I agree with mike in drafting a quarterback. We need a solid backup for Ben, looking ahead to next year I don’t know that we have one. If you are never healthy, what good are you.
    We should draft a Kicker if there are any good ones out there. Suisham is not the answer, I love robo-punter but the guy is just never healthy! and Kapinos while serviceable has not impressed. Punters are under rated, and special teams is very important, did anyone watch the alabama vs Lsu game?
    I would love to see the Steelers take a versatile fullback, Give me a guy who is 5’10” 250 lbs and runs a 4.5
    Am I asking too much!

    • Cols714

      I love the optimism and yes this team can go all the way and I also like their first round draft picks seemingly every year. When you factor in how low the Steelers have been drafting, their drafts have probably been the best over the last few years. Belichick gets lots of props for “manipulating” the draft, but if you can’t turn all fo those picks into actual good players then what’s the point?
      Lewis will probably remain at corner where he’s look good this year, he’ll start opposite of Taylor next year. I’m guessing they are prepping Curtis Brown to take over the slot for William Gay next year and Allen to be the 4th CB.McFadden is probably gone and they will draft a safety, but Clark will probably be back. He’s not great, not bad either (despite last week’s stupidity, but it’s also the playcall that has all the CBs playing press coverage when they needed a TD to win) and has been completely solid even though Steelers fans (including me!) have been trying to replace him for the last five years, remember Anthony Smith? Remember last year’s playoff game vs the Ravens? He forced one fumble and interecepted Flacco on back to back drives to get the comeback started. He has some football left in him beyond this year.I totally agree on kicker. They need one. They should actually be trying some out right now because Suisham is completely replaceable and just might be the worst FG kicker in the league right now.And yes, asking for a fullback, much less one who is  5’10” 250 lbs and runs a 4.5 is asking way too much.1. The Steelers don’t use fullbacks anymore and they really don’t need one with all of the other weapons they have on offense. If you are just talking about short yardage it should be easy to find a blocking back for that situation.2. If there actually was a FB who was  5’10” 250 lbs and runs a 4.5, then he’d be a high draft pick and the Steelers aren’t about to take a RB in the first few rounds.

      • Hoffstra323

        Yea I was half joking about the fullback, I know pittsburgh will never go for it, but you bring me to another point. I would like to see another dynamic with our running backs. I absolutely love Issac Redman. I trust him more than Rashard Mendenhall to hold on to the ball, and if i had to pick one of them on 4th and 1 I am taking Redman. I like Rashard a lot as well. I think he is a solid tough back with big play potential. My question is why is he not involved more in the passing game? This is something the Steelers should really take a look at. Is Mewelde Moore a better receiving back than Rashard? Is Redman? Mendenhall is the Mike wallace of our running backs so why is he not catching more balls out of the back field. I see guys like Darren Sproles and Ray Rice doing it week in and week out, and I cant remember the last time Mendenhall had and impressive catch and run. If he is not capable then that is a big knock on a first round back. Arians needs to at least try to get him more involved.
        The more I think about it we do need a safety thou. both are Starters are over thirty. I like that you pointed out what Clark has done, I have not forgotten all of his huge contributions. He has set the tone many times. However people always say that ” this is a business” and you have to look at a guy and decide if his best days are behind him, and how far past his prime has he gone. Clark is my favorite type of player, like a Hines ward type. His best assets can not be seen. I will take a guy with great instincts and Heart over a fast 40 time any day.

    • Ron

      Love the idea of taking a look at Hood at NT. (Don’t anoint him yet, just take a look.)

      Disagree that Clark is done or doesn’t bring anything special physically. I think he’s a great strong safety (the problem is we already have a pretty good one). If we do draft a safety we need to make sure it’s an early round ball hawk coverage FS.

      I don’t know that I see a lot of sense in drafting a late round QB. We are in the middle of a Super Bowl window. If Ben and Leftwich both get injured we need an experienced vet (like Garrard) not a rookie who is overwhelmed by a new playbook and reading new defenses. Rookie QB = More Mistakes. Plus if Ben gets seriously hurt (career threatening) we will likely get a high first round pick which we could/would spend on a “real” QB.

      Agree we need a new kicker.

  • Datruth4life

    1 – G/T Barrett Jones, Alabama
    2 – NT Josh Chapman, Alabama
    3 –  FS T. J. McDonald, USC
    4 – ILB Audie Cole, NC State
    5 -  CB Asa Jackson, Cal Poly
    6 – DE/DT Matt Conroth, UVa.
    6 – DE/OLB Jacquies Smith, Missouri
    7 – K Philip Welch, Wisconsin
     
    The Steelers should receive one compensatory pick (I’m projecting a 6th rounder) for losing Matth Spaeth, Nick Eason and Keyaron Fox and only signing WR Jerricho Cotchery as a free agent  (I think the Steelers came out ahead in that deal).
     
    The Steelers resign Max, Cotchery and Willie Gay to two-year deals; put a 2nd round tender on Keenan “Ivory” Lewis, and resign R. Foster, S. McClendon, Redman and Legursky to cap friendly deals.
     
    Farrior and Aaron Smith retire. Cuts include: McFadden, Kemo, Will Allen, A. Battle. Restructured deals with players taking less money next year are Hines Ward, Casey Hampton, Ryan Clark and Larry Foote.

  • Areyes_21

    We should trade up to get Manti Te’o ILB.  Steven McLendon is good enough, he reminds of Jay Ratliff.  Offenses are not going to attack us with the deep ball, because our defense employs the Cover 2 scheme in pass packages.  Offenses are instead going to attack us with the intermediate throws.  This plays well for us choosing Manti Te’o. He can cover Ray Rice and Rob Gratkowski, these are the two threatening types of skill players offense like to use to attack us.  Last, Te’o is another Samoan!

  • Randy Steele

    I think the only way you draft a nose tackle in Round 1 these days is if that player is a Haloti-Ngata type, someone who not only holds his own on the line of scrimmage but also can penetrate and cause havoc in the offense’s backfield.

    Two-down nose tackles just don’t play enough to justify their high price. Sadly, at least to me, is that the NFL’s modern passing game has diminished the importance of the Casey Hamptons of the world.

  • Mdal33

    we need a pass rush to help out our secondary which is average at best. I like this stills kid from penn state i think he can replace hampton and be an every down player we need to move up and get him i like our young linebackers and dbs coming up .On offense we should go after a tackle with our second pick our line isn’t as bad as they say we just can’t stay healthy. third pick should be a safety to groom behind clark.

    • Anonymous

      Still looks good, but he’s probably going to be too high for a realistic trade, and he’s more suited to be a 4-3 DT than a 3-4 NT. If they were to move up to get into the range likely required for Still, I’d rather take DeCastro.

  • Joseph-tbird-simpson26

    good roster like usual this year is are