2012 Steelers Draft, Rounds 4-7: Open Thread

Alright, folks, one more day to go. Have at it.

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  • drobviousso

    I wonder why Massie is falling.  We’re getting to the point where even if he’s and injury risk, it’s worth taking him.  Mike Adams is far from a sure thing, and there’s a lot of statistical logic to doubling up on a single possition

  • Randy Steele

    Given what we now know about Mike Adams contacting the Steelers and negotiating for a second chance from them after he’d been taken off their board, I’ve wondered if they had originally planned to draft him in the first round. Of course, when DeCastro became available, that plan was quickly disposed.

    My point is, in the minds of the Steelers’ front office, coaches, and scouts, that this team is essentially walking out of this year’s draft with two Number One picks.

    Whatever you think, that O-line is looking pretty serviceable this morning, n’est-ce pas?

    I am also surprised at the number of offensive linemen who have fallen during this draft. Offensive line play has not only been a problem for the Steelers, it’s been a big problem for many many other teams as well (including the Ravens).

    I know that there’s a lot not to like with this guy, but that Bobby Massie, who was projected by many for Round Two, is still available today is…well, beyond brain numbing.

    I think it was Easy who noted in yesterday’s thread that the Steelers seem to like to attack a positional weakness by drafting two players for it instead of one. And it does seem to be true. The problem with that approach is–that if it works–four years later you create a salary-cap dilemma when trying to re-up those contracts. Think we’ll be able to keep both Antonio Brown and Manny Sanders next year, especially if we manage to re-sign Mike Wallace? Doesn’t look likely right now.

    I’ve read that Tomlin badly wanted to take NT-prospect Mike Martin yesterday, but he was scooped up a couple picks before ours in the third round. Jim Wexell has watched Steve Spence a lot and is very high on him. Hope he’s right, but to me it seems that when the Steelers got their chance to walk up to the podium in that third round that all their guys were all gone.

    Hate to admit it, but I think Cincinnati is having a good draft, and that they’re slowly but surely assembling a team that’s going to be a problem for us for many years.

  • Anonymous

    Steelers just traded up. to 14 (109).

    • Anonymous

      And it’s Alameda Ta’amu. Yay! Huge steal. Gave up their original 4th (119) and their 6th.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        I don’t know squat, but DeCastro and Ta’amu certainly were drafted lower than their projections. Getting such value at positions of need is pretty impressive.

    • Randy Steele

      Did you see what they gave up?

      • Anonymous

        Gave up 119 in the 4th and 194 in the 6th.

  • Randy Steele

    Ta’amu

  • coldironcity

    terrific

  • Anonymous

    Massie finally went to the Cardinals at 117. Now I don’t have to be in a position to want a third lineman in round 5.

  • Ted

    On the phone with JJ and once we traded up, I knew it was Ta’amu. Loved the pick, especially after learning that it only took a 6th to move up (remember that we have four seventh-round picks). Good chance he would have gone in those next 10 picks, and it was possible Chapman would have as well.

    Remember, though, two things the Steelers needed in a NT in this draft were size and the ability to play immediately in game No. 1 next year, because there is a good chance Hampton is out for that game. At 6-0, 316, Chapman is not a big nose, and he, too, is coming off surgery, so he may have not been ready for week 1.

    Ta’amu gets lazy and plays too high. But those are coachable flaws. He has serious talent, and was projected as an early first-round pick befor the season, and was still supposed to go in the late 2nd or early 3rd. Throwing away a sixth-round pick to move up in the fourth to grab that type of talent at a major immediate and future need position, which is unusually think with big-body prospects this year, was a no-brainer. Outstanding draft thus far, IMHO, in terms of filling needs, drafting BPA within reason, and taking advantage of and analyzing the draft board.

    Sure we would of rather had Bobby Wagner in the third than Spence, but there was a run on ILBs with speed. Foote is a plugger, and (although not this year), pluggers are not hard to find most often through the draft or free agency.

  • David

    Wow, what a draft. What a draft! O and D line help. I just renewed my NFL Sunday Ticket.

    • Ted

      Hope you got a serious discount. Enough people complained last year that they reportedly lowered the price for this fall, but that probably only goes into effect if you ask. Dealing with Direct TV’s customer service is like haggling while purchasing a new car. You can significantly drop the price, but you had to prepare with research and be ready to follow-through on your threats even if you are not. 

  • Anonymous

    DeCastro, Adams, and Ta’amu collectively weighed 987 pounds at the combine.

    987 pounds in 3 of 4 rounds!

  • Ted

    WR would seemingly offer the best value in the fifth round, but you may be able to get a serviceable No. 5 and special-teams contributor in round 7 this year. It is a deep WR draft, especially for players with size.

    Thus, if there is an OLB, S, CB, or H-back/TE that we like who offers good value in round 5, then that may be the pick. I would have added RB, but there has been an unusual run on those players this year and all the speedy, scatbacks worthy of drafting before the seventh round are gone.

    Charles just went and we have a ways until the Steelers’ pick in the fifth round, but guys I am hoping continue to fall include:

    WR McNutt, Matthews, Toon
    S Martin, Robinson
    OLB Kaddu, Massaquoi
     

    • Anonymous

      In addition:
      WR: Jones, Criner, and Childs as well – Childs visited.S: George Iloka
      OLB: Cam Johnson – visited

      Toon just got taken.

    • Anonymous

      In addition:
      WR: Jones, Criner, and Childs as well – Childs visited.S: George Iloka
      OLB: Cam Johnson – visited

      Toon just got taken.

  • Randy Steele

    Major Steeler lovefest on ESPN after the Ta’amu pick. (Of course, big love from ESPN always makes me suspicious.)

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    WRs named Keyshawn and Toon went back to back. Jets fans must wonder what decade it is.

  • Randy Steele

    Not that I really care, but that third pick in the fourth round by the Ravens, Gino Gradkowski (a little-noticed guard from Delaware), was a total head-scratcher. The Ravens most likely could have gotten him later–maybe as a UDFA. Not to mention that  there were several other o-linemen rated higher. Don’t get it, but again, don’t really care.

    • Anonymous

      What you don’t like Gr**kowski? He’s going to be an all pro.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

    So how do you pronounce Ta’amu?  I am reallly, really hoping that it rhymes with Shamu. F* it.  Even if it doesn’t, that’s how I am going to say it.

  • coldironcity

    what in round 5 ……..  rb / wr safety ? 5 tech maybe

    • Anonymous

      Greg Childs just went to the Vikings.

      • Randy Steele

        Childs was a Steeler visit.

    • Randy Steele

      I think I’m thinking maybe… Keith Tandy, the CB from WVA.
      Or maybe Iowa’s WR Marvin McNutt, mostly because he’s tall and I love his name.

    • Anonymous

      Lots of decent options now. They could draft four long snappers and I’d be high on the draft overall.

      WR Juron Criner
      FS George Iloka
      SS Markelle Marting
      OLB Cam Johnson
      CB Alfonzo Denard

      I wouldn’t be upset with a flyer on Vontaze Burfict at this point or later either.

      • Randy Steele

        It’s time to forget about drafting with a position as priority. Just go get the guy you think is the best football player available.

      • Randy Steele

        Four Long Snappers? Yeah, I think I saw that video at a bachelor’s party.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      Not necessarily in the 5th, but I’d really like the Steelers to upgrade at kicker and punter.

  • Anonymous

    The Cardinals just took Senio Kelemete at 151. Two rounds in a row they got great value on the o-line.

  • coldironcity

    polk cam johnson and marv jones still there

  • Randy Steele

    Okay, we’re up…

    • Anonymous

      That didn’t take long.

  • Rob D

    RB here?

  • coldironcity

    bizarre   would never have guessed rainey would have loved to see polk

    • Randy Steele

      There must be something up with Polk for him to have dropped this far.

      • Rob D

        chat I’m monitoring says Polk has numerous medical issues…FWIW

      • Randy Steele

        Don’t know anything about Rainey, but NFL.com has him rated pretty high for this stage of the draft. So there’s that.

        • Ted

          NFL.com was the only service that had him rated that high. For most, he was a 4th-6th-round pick, meaning we got him where he was expected to go. It was a strange draft in that there were not many speedy scatbacks (which is what we wanted to add), and then the decent ones went earlier than expected.

          Not a big fan of this pick, but he is awesome at both returning punts (keeps Brown healthy) and blocking punts; so I can see the upside. Get him in space, and he is lethal. But he cannot run between the tackles and gets bowled over in pass pro. Moreover, the guy was always injured off and on at UF.

          First real training-camp battle is set: Rainey vs. Batch for a roster spot. No way we keep both. Probably a matter of survivial, since it is unlikely both will make it through training camp healthy.

          Still thought there was much better value on the board, but that we felt we had to get a speed back, he was the best remaining, and that there would be no one roster-worthy in the seventh round.

          Look for us to take a WR and a DB in the seventh round. We could actually double up at either of those spots. Other possibilities are OLB, DE, FB and TE.

          • Randy Steele

            I hear you. I think picks like this for marginal skill players are wasted picks. And any pick is too valuable to waste.

          • Hiddenaway

             rainey vs. batch?  I saw Rainey as more of a slot WR / special teams guy while it may instead be Batch vs. Moore (if they bring back) for the 3rd down back.  Mendenhall, Redman, Dwyer, Batch, Rainey.   Could happen if Rainey is sort of filling the 5th WR role

  • Anonymous

    At 159 in round 5, the Steelers get Chris Rainey, RB.

    I don’t really care for the selection since I think the STeelers have enough running back to throw at the wall and see what sticks. But I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a speed guy join the pile in training camp.They don’t have a pick until the 7th now where they have several.

  • Randy Steele

    Wex noted that he thinks that this has become a Steeler “draft for the ages.” I understand that it’s in Wexell’s best interest to be a little bit of a cheerleader, but still, that’s pretty high praise.

    • Ted

      Very good draft, but not sure about “for the ages.” Let’s give it a couple of years. And as you noted, the majority of his subscribers (save a couple) are not going to be happy if he criticizes any Pittsburgh draft, particularly one that looks strong on paper. But a lot of folks are not enthralled with Spence or especially Rainey. At least they can work out together, since they are both from Florida, can run with the wind, and can’t lift an orange in the weight room.

      • Randy Steele

        that’s very funny, Mr. Kian.

  • Ted

    More than 50 picks to go before the Steelers’ quartet of seventh-round picks begin, but here are some players I am hoping fall. Clear paths for roster spots for good picks at WR and DB.

    WR: McNutt, Matthews, Fuller, Streeter, Kearse, White: There is such good depth here that we should be able to get a roster-worthy wide out who would have been drafted earlier most years. Almost a certainity we take at least one WR in this round.

    DB: (S) M. Martin, (S) A. Allen, (S) A. Henry, CB C. Minnifield, CB D. Fletcher, CB M. Pellerin, CB/FS D. Lynn. The Steelers could actually take one safety and one corner in the seventh. It is a bit surprising that a lot of safeties have fallen later than expected for such a thin draft. In contrast, third-day value was supposed to be decent at CB, but yet it has thinned out considerably at corner.

    DE: B. Winn- Don’t know why he has fallen so much, but he may fit the 3-4.

    OLB: Not much left here, but I wouldn’t mind Audie Cole as a swing linebacker. Time to find a diamond in the rough at OLB. Don’t think C. Johnson is a 3-4 OLB, though.

    FB: We can pretty much pick whoever we want here if any are worthy.

    TE/H-Back: D. Paulson, N. Provo.

    • Anonymous

      Titans got Markelle Martin at 190.

      • Anonymous

        Pats just took Denard at 224, which is not at all surprising.

        • Anonymous

          And the Jets got Allen at 242.

  • Anonymous

    The Jets got Robert Griffin.

  • Anonymous

    At 231 the Steelers get Toney Clemons, about whom I know that he’s a WR.

    About to be busy, since they have a 2 more picks coming right up.

  • Anonymous

    Coming up on 240, I like Burfict, Moore, Minnifield, Allen. The pick will be someone I’ve never heard of, and it’s a 7th round compensatory so it probably doesn’t matter. Why am I still watching this?

    • Anonymous

      Living in Seattle I’ve actually heard of David Paulson. Reasonable pick. Probably competes with Weslye Saunders for a job, but I’d give Saunders the edge even with the suspension unless that was a less innocent mistake than it appears.

      Or was that Robert Paulson? No, that was Meat Loaf.

      • Randy Steele

        Those last three picks–Clemons, Paulson, and Beachum–had all been to Pittsburgh for a visit.

  • coldironcity

    sign polk and burfict    work out all the details later

    • coldironcity

      and jeff fuller

  • coldironcity

    ok nevermind on polk and fuller how about brandon bolden  for cripes sake

  • Ted

    Some of the UDFA signees are coming in. Two of interest. Drew Butler was generally rated as the No. 1 or 2 punter prospect. He just signed with the Steelers and has a legit shot of beating out Kapinos. Also, it was surprising that no Pitt prospects were drafted, including Nix. But Brandon Lindsey, a 3-4 OLB prospect, just signed with the Steelers. He likely battles C. Carter for a roster spot.

    • DennyC000

      C. Carter was highly productive in college. I’ll be surprised if he’s not on the future radar screen as a solid OLB contributor. Anyone heard anything different?

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning
  • Randy Steele

    Question of the Day:

    So, after 24 hours of rest and contemplation, are we reasonably happy with the results?

    • Rob D

       Still extremely happy…They might not work out but I think they made considered and smart picks. Decastro is just …awesome…lol…I understand the concern about Spence and reservations about the other picks but they got a stud guard, a possible LT of the future and a very promising NT…that’s enough for me to say its a great draft.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      I can understand Ted’s poor view of the Rainey and Spence picks.  They are both small for their positions/likely roles.  However, the later the pick the more you have to compromise on the prototypical player.  Given the choice, I’d rather have a guy with good tape and bad measurables than vice versa.  I don’t know much about college football but my understanding is that both Rainey and Spence played very well against good SEC competition.

    • Anonymous

      I actually feel even better about it now than I did then.

      DeCastro is obviously an awesome pickup. He was #5 or so on my Steelers-specific big board, so getting him at #24 is a coup.

      Initially I was iffy on Adams. I know he has better talent than where he was drafted but the off field stuff concerned me. I still does, really. But the story about his seeking out the meeting and agree with and apparently complying with extra stipulations goes a long way to put those concerns at ease.

      I was not happy with the Spence pick. I can’t say I’m high on it now, but I’ve come around on it some. My first concern was that I really was hoping for Alameda Ta’amu there. It should be clear why that concern has disappeared. Second I thought he was too small for the buck role, and Timmons is a pro-bowl caliber mack already. I’ve since come to thinking that maybe playing with two faster, better-in-coverage ILBs is the answer to the short passing game and the multi-TEs in routes we’ve been seeing. SO maybe we don’t want a guy who looks like a buck anymore. Further, while not considered an exceptional value, Spence was drafted a little after his projected spot on the big boards I’ve seen, so he’s at least not a reach.

      I think Ta’amu was a steal. I would have been happy with him in the 2nd. To get him in the 4th is terrific. I think he’s the best NT in the draft. Bold prediction: Alameda Ta’amu is going to have a more productive career than #11 overall Dontari Poe.

      I’m not too high on Raines, but at least he’s a burner so could end up being useful as a home run hitter and on special teams (he had 6 blocks in college). Anyway he was a 5th round pick, so little ventured. Same goes for the later picks.

      • Randy Steele

        My issue with the pick of Spence is this: If the Steelers were truly targeting Hightower in the first round, how do you draft his complete opposite in the third? Where is the team’s defensive philosophy? What are its priorities?

        I’m not saying Spence is a bad player. I have no idea how good he is or isn’t. What I am wondering is how he fits into the Steelers’ scheme, and whether, in fact, the scheme is changing.

        And if the scheme is changing, were the Steelers really interested in drafting Hightower in the first place? Their choice of Spence would seem to say ‘no’. And that surprises me.

        • Hutch

          One thing to consider is that they might have drafted Spence in the 3rd even if they had drafted Hightower in the 1st. 

          They might have had a vision with Hightower playing obvious running downs at ILB and switching to OLB/dedicated pass rusher/coming off the field on obvious passing downs with Spence coming in as the nickel backer. 

          It’s also conceivable that the Steelers might have viewed Hightower as a more natural 3-4 OLB for them that was fully capable of playing ILB as well (The Pats seem to see him as a Sam/DE in their 4-3 looks and as an OLB/ILB in their 3-4 looks). Given Hightower’s versatility and the questions about his coverage abilities, it’s difficult to assess exactly how they viewed him position wise.

          With the Timmons/Farrior team though, it’s clear that a designated Mack and Buck (or Weakside/Strongside ILB) is probably on its way out. Both Timmons and Farrior were smaller, faster guys adept at coverage and fully blitz capable but neither is well-suited to taking on blocks as a traditional Buck in the LeBeau/Capers 3-4. 

          LeBeau is less worried about stoping power running games – because Super Bowl worthy teams tend not to have them – and more worried with covering smaller, shiftier backs slipping out of the backfield such as Ray Rice, Danny Woodhead, and Darren Sproles. 

          Given his athleticism, good instincts, and comfort at playing in space this is the type of thing for which Spece would be perfectly suited.My guess is that the coaches have every hope of starting Spence BESIDE Timmons within the next 2-3 years in order to combat the new spread nature of NFL offenses without giving up the ability to play the run/blitz out of more pass-oriented sub-packages.

      • Randy Steele

        My issue with the pick of Spence is this: If the Steelers were truly targeting Hightower in the first round, how do you draft his complete opposite in the third? Where is the team’s defensive philosophy? What are its priorities?

        I’m not saying Spence is a bad player. I have no idea how good he is or isn’t. What I am wondering is how he fits into the Steelers’ scheme, and whether, in fact, the scheme is changing.

        And if the scheme is changing, were the Steelers really interested in drafting Hightower in the first place? Their choice of Spence would seem to say ‘no’. And that surprises me.

  • Randy Steele

    Question of the Day:

    So, after 24 hours of rest and contemplation, are we reasonably happy with the results?

  • Rob D

    From Eddie B. at PG:

    In addition to their nine draft picks, the Steelers later Saturday night
    agreed to terms with 12 undrafted rookies. They are punter Drew Butler
    (Georgia), cornerback Terry Carter (Lousiana Tech), wide receiver Connor
    Dixon (Duquesne), safety Robert Golden (Arizona), defensive end
    Ikponmwosa Igbinosun (Southern Connecticut State), center/guard Ryan Lee
    (Furman), linebacker Brandon Lindsey (Pitt), wide receiver Marquis Maze
    (Alabama), kicker Grant Ressel (Missouri), linebacker Adrian Robinson
    (Temple), offensive tackle Desmond Stapleton (Rutgers) and defensive end
    Jake Stoller (Yale).

    • Anonymous

      I’m most excited about Drew Butler. Kapinos has been poor, and Butler was one of the more highly regarded punters entering the draft. I’m also looking forward to hearing an announcer say Ikponmwosa Igbinosun’s name during a preseason game.

      • Rob D

        My fondest wish is that Myron Cope can come back to earth for a day and try to say that name..I’m cracking up just thinking about it.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    About a month ago, I listed in three tiers what I thought
    were our needs in the roughly 12-14 positions in which a new player could make
    the roster.  Tier 1 was, “new starter
    need by 2013 and depth also needed now,” Tier 2 was, “backup depth needed in
    2012,” and Tier 3 was, “depth spots that are either currently empty or could
    use an upgrade.”  Some of these were
    filled by free agent signings, but most came in the draft.   

    Since
    March, here’s who we’ve added at these positions, not including the UDFAs:

    Tier 1: NT (Ta’amu), ILB (Spence), OG (DeCastro)
    Tier 2: WR4 (Cotchery), WR5 (Clemons), OT4 (Adams), OG4 (Essex, Beachum), DE4
    Tier 3: TE3 (Pope, Paulson), S4, RB4 (Rainey), RB5/WR6, CB6 (Frederick), QB3 (Leftwich,
    Batch, T. Smith)

    Three observations:

    One, looking at our needs after 2012, there’s a good chance
    that DeCastro and Ta’amu will be starters at OG and NT in 2013, if not
    before.  Many people seem to think Spence
    is too small to be a starter.  So we may still be looking for a new starter in 2013 at ILB (unless Sylvester
    steps up) in the next offseason.  And we
    also may be looking for a new player to start in 2013 at the other OG position that
    DeCastro doesn’t take.

    Two, the only positions listed that we didn’t try
    to fill with a new player were DE4 and S4. 
    That means that Will Allen or Cromartie-Smith will very likely make the
    team and Al Wood might (along with McClendon). 

    And three, since Rainey looks like he can do a lot on special teams, there’s
    a possibility that we’ll end up with 5 RBs (out of 6 candidates: Mendenhall even
    if he starts on the PUP, Redman, Dwyer, Clay, B. Batch, Rainey) and 5 WRs
    (Wallace, Brown, Sanders, Cotchery and either Clemons or one of the UDFAs).  This would be a change from the last few years
    in which we carried 4 RBs and 6 WRs (including Arnaz Battle).

    • Anonymous

      Battle was there mostly for special teams. Assuming he’s one of the five, Rainey very well could be primarily a special teammer as well in his first season. If so then that would not really be much of a change. Rainey also played WR in college so could potentially cover WR6 in a pinch.

      For WR candidates I wouldn’t count out Wes Lyons on that score or as a receiving type TE which I’ve heard he is listed as on the roster now. Lyons wasn’t spectacular, as I recall him having some problems with drops and body positioning. But on the flip side I thought he showed a decent ability to fight for the ball and, well, you can’t ignore that 6’8″ height he brings. I think he was on the bubble but his concussion in the preseason put him on the outside.

    • Bill in DC

       DLine coach was very defensive of McLendon in post draft presser after R4. I don’t think the Steelers see him going anywhere.

    • Bill in DC

       DLine coach was very defensive of McLendon in post draft presser after R4. I don’t think the Steelers see him going anywhere.

  • coldironcity

    still pounding the table for brsndon bolden

  • GlennW

    I don’t understand the negativity around the Rainey pick.  A potential combination 3rd-down RB, 4th WR and punt returner who can fly, in the 5th round?  One of the ranking boards I was monitoring, scout.com, had Rainey ranked as the #9 WR in the draft (obviously not as a pure WR, just on overall ability).  There’s talent there, at least.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      Mayock, who is probably the only national draft person I trust, was very high on both Spence and Rainey.

      • GlennW

        I don’t think people should be looking at Rainey as a RB, and maybe that’s the problem.  In fact I thought at the combine he’d already been projected/listed at WR as his primary position (not that this is definitive or anything).  There’s all this concern about being able to retain all three WRs Wallace, Brown and Sanders (never mind Cotchery).  To me, that’s where Rainey might fit into the longterm picture, beyond an initial special teams role.  Might.  He might also be cut during training camp– I get that– but I doubt that will happen.

      • Bill in DC

        I like Spence and Rainey on ST also. Spence has been called a tackling machine and his on the field smarts have been a point made in his favor. Rainey can block kicks and return kicks…and play WR/RB in a way that fits Haley’s scheme. There are a lot of roles covered by these guys.

        I imagine there are some tricks up there sleeves when it comes to how they use Spence on D.

        Can’t wait for camp!

      • Bill in DC

        I like Spence and Rainey on ST also. Spence has been called a tackling machine and his on the field smarts have been a point made in his favor. Rainey can block kicks and return kicks…and play WR/RB in a way that fits Haley’s scheme. There are a lot of roles covered by these guys.

        I imagine there are some tricks up there sleeves when it comes to how they use Spence on D.

        Can’t wait for camp!

    • Rob D

      Yep, I don’t get it either. Seems like he fills a need with Antonio becoming a starter etc. I really liked the pick …and so did Mayock who I consider the best prepared analyst on the draft out there. 

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Ted had a very good post about our Thursday and Friday picks. I missed it this weekend and recommend it to those who missed it, too.  http://www.steelerslounge.com/2012/04/great-days-2012-draft-steelers-ideal-scenarios-day-3/

    One thing Ted’s discussion of Spence brings up is something I raised at HSS a few years ago.  There are tweeners at lots of positions, but I don’t think there have been many (any?) at ILB/S.  With the shift towards a passing league, it would seem like there’s a place for guys who are bigger than normal safeties and smaller than typical ILBs but who can fly for an LB and tackle well for a S.  This would be especially helpful against teams that deploy two pass catching TEs at a time, which is increasingly common.