2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Recap and Redo

After selecting three players in the first three rounds who are expected to provide immediate help in 2014, the Pittsburgh Steelers closed out the draft with six selections on Saturday, who offered a roughly equal mix of boom-bust prospects with high ceilings to go with a trio of more stable overachievers that add quality depth to the roster.

Specifically, the Steelers took three players possessing the size and physical skills to possibly become NFL starters down the road despite not being drafted until day No. 3. If a couple of these do indeed fulfill their athletic potential, this can go from a decent draft to a great one.

Here is the full Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 NFL Draft:

1. ILB Ryan Shazier, 6-1, 237, Ohio State

2. DE Stephon Tuitt, 6-6, 304, Notre Dame

3. RB/WR/RET Dri Archer, 5-7, 173, Kent State

4. WR Martavis Bryant, 6-4, 211, Clemson

5. CB Shaq Richardson, 6-0, 194, Arizona

5. OL Wesley Johnson, 6-5, 297, Vanderbilt

6. LB Jordan Zumwalt, 6-4, 232, UCLA

6. NT Daniel McCullers, 6-7, 352, Tennessee

7. TE Rob Blanchflower, 6-2, 256, Massachusetts

 

I would not have been happy had Pittsburgh selected Bryant in rounds No. 2 or 3 on Friday. However, a 6-foot-4, raw receiver who runs a 4.4.-second 40-yard dash is worthy of a 4th-round pick due to his vast potential.

Bryant is more likely to become the next Limas Sweed or Fred Gibson, based on his immaturity, questionable work ethic and inconsistent hands. But he immediately adds a size-speed target missing in the Steelers receiving corps and could become the next Alvin Harper if he fully develops his talents.

The biggest criticism of this Pittsburgh draft was not using a premium pick on a cornerback, where the Steelers really needed to come away with a top-flight prospect who would be a clear starter in 2015. Instead, the only defensive back added in the draft was 5th-rounder Richardson, who wasn’t even rated as a prospect expected to be selected in any round by ESPN.

Nevertheless, he has the size, speed and play-making ability to develop into another mid-round steal like former 4th-rouund picks Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen, although Richardson is a ways off from that level right now. And if he doesn’t pan out, the Steelers only wasted another 5th-round pick.

Arguably the most intriguing prospect is the 6-foot-7, 352-pound McCullers. I generally don’t like tall nose tackles and have followed McCullers’ career since he was a nearly 450-pound freshman at Georgia Military College. But if he can learn to keep both his weight and pad-level down, this mammoth man could help as a situational run-stuffer in the 3-4 defense after a year or two of technique-training from veteran defensive line coach John Mitchell.

The other three picks do not have the upside of those three, but instead offer more immediate help and versatility.

Johnson was selected with a 5th-round compensatory selection. He started and held his own against SEC defensive linemen at four different positions, including left tackle as a senior. Some draft experts, though, believe center would provide Johnson’s best chance to eventually start.

Ideally, he will be the next Trai Essex, who – like Johnson – lacked the upper-body strength to excel at guard, or the height and long arms to match up with speed rushers at tackle. But like Essex showed during his career as a valuable game-day reserve, Johnson has quick feet, super intelligence and experience playing a variety of positions. Johnson, therefore, is a strong bet to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster this fall.

Inside linebacker Zumwalt will face far more competition than Johnson to make the roster due to a deeper depth chart at linebacker. However, the former UCLA star also has the ability to play outside linebacker, and should be a special-teams stud due to his on-field tenacity and 4.65-time in the 40-yard dash, meaning he should stick on the 2014 roster.

Pittsburgh may have landed a 7th-round steal in Blanchflower, who was likely downgraded 1-3 rounds by most teams due to a sports hernia that kept him from working out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Blanchflower is a stout blocker and serviceable short-yardage receiver despite possessing only average athleticism for an NFL tight end. Hopefully he can block as well as Michael Palamer and catch like David Paulsen, which would allow him to quickly supplant those two as the Steelers’ No. 3 tight end. But if not this fall, Blanchflower could do so in 2015 after a year on the practice squad.

 

Addressing Positional Need

If you look back at my pre-draft mocks, I generally expected the Steelers to use their nine picks on a RB, WR, TE, OT, DE, NT, ILB, OLB and CB. That is exactly what they did if you count Dri Archer as a running back, which he will play in addition to receiver and returning kicks, and Zumwalt as an outside linebacker, where he will likely also get reps.

The only two needs they did not fill were landing a top-flight corner prospect or a development pass-rushing outside linebacker, although watch out for Howard Jones, a converted college defensive end from tiny Shepherd University, who was by far my favorite of the Steelers’ 10 undrafted free-agent signings. Jones had 35 career sacks at the NCAA Division II level, and is a freakish athlete who runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, while tallying 40.5 inches on the vertical leap.

Overall, though, I was relatively pleased with the Steelers’ draft, but do believe I could have fared better. Thus, let’s put that to the test by publishing how I would have drafted and then compare my selections to the actual Pittsburgh picks in a few years. Hopefully, Kevin Colbert’s draft superiority puts me to shame, which would be good for the Steelers.

However, please note that I would have an extra 3rd-round pick, because there is no chance I would have traded my 3rd-rounder in 2014 to draft Shamarko Thomas in the 4th round of the 2013 draft. Trading future picks is a cardinal sin to me.

Instead, I would have gambled that Thomas would have dropped just four more picks, where I would have selected him instead of quarterback Landry Jones. And if another team took him in those four spots (even though none actually selected a safety), the Steelers could have instead drafted Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas.

Essentially, my backup strong safety spot in 2014 would be filled with a Thomas already on the roster, but the team would need a developmental No. 3 quarterback in this draft, which was far deeper and more talented at that spot than the 2013 class of signal-callers.

Thus, here is how I would have drafted if I were the Steeler GM. And yes, my resume is ready if the Rooney family ever decides to hire the next Theo Epstein to run their franchise.

 

2014 Steelers Draft by GM Ted

1. (15) CB Darqueze Dennard, 5-11, 199, Michigan State – No. 1 corner in 2015 and strengthens what has become the most important defensive position in the modern NFL.

2. (46) DE Stephon Tuitt, 6-6, 304, Notre Dame – Same as Steelers. Perfect 3-4 defensive end.

3. (83) WR Donte Moncrief, 6-2, 226, Ole Miss – The big receiver the Steelers were hoping would fall to their compensatory selection in this round. If only they hadn’t traded away this pick…

3. (97) CB Aaron Colvin, 5-11, 188, Oklahoma – He would have been a 2nd-rounder if not for an injury at the Senior Bowl. Stash him on IR for a year and you could have two future stud corners starting form this draft in 2015.

4. (118) OLB Carl Bradford, 6-1, 250, Arizona State – The pass-rushing outside linebacker that the Steelers did not draft.

5. (157) QB A.J. McCarron, 6-3, 220, Alabama – A better prospect than Landry Jones is taken both a year and full round later.

5. (173) OL Wesley Johnson, 6-5, 295, Vanderbilt – I like this pick by the Steelers. Perfect round to take an offensive lineman and none better on the board, so no reason to change.

6. (192) ILB Andrew Jackson, 6-1, 254, Eastern Kentucky – A big, thumping 1-to-2-down inside linebacker to compete with Vince Williams for playing time. Like around 30 NFL defensive coordinators, I prefer having corners on the field for passing downs more than a fourth linebacker.

6. (215) NT Beau Allen, 6-3, 325, Wisconsin – Like him a little more than McCullers.

7. (230) TE Rob Blanchflower, 6-2, 256, Massachusetts – Another actual Steelers pick I really like for the spot taken.

This entry was posted in Cool Stuff, Defensive Line, Draft, Free Agency, Front Office, Offensive Line, Steelers History, Wide Recievers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Intropy

    The redo is a fun little game. Without the extra picks and with pretending I know anything at all about the players on the back half of this list:

    1. Darqueze Dennard, CB
    2. Stephon Tuitt, DE
    3. Carl Bradford, ILB (real draft I’d have gone Keith McGill, CB, but since I already took a CB)
    4. Martavis Bryant, WR
    5(157). Antonio Richardson, OT
    5(173). Colt Lyerla, TE
    6(192). Rashaad Reynolds, CB
    6(215). Trevor Reilly, OLB
    7. Jonathan Dowling, S

    • Intropy

      I’m starting to think that my dislike of the Shazier pick may be a bit of an emotional one because it is a bad signal regarding Spence recovering to be the guy.

      • David

        Until they prove me wrong, I’ll always remember this draft as one where we could have gotten a great cover CB.

        I’m not saying that this is like passing on Marino, but damn we need help in the secondary.

        • Cols714

          True, but 2 corners were already gone so we were looking at the 3rd best CB in the draft already and Dennard wasn’t all that well loved it seems.

          Shazier was the first ILB picked, he’s fast and instictive. I think it’ll work out.

          The other thing to remember is that there is free agency and the draft again next year to fill the CB hole.

          • EasyLikeSundayMorning

            It seems plausible that we’ll have the cap space to sign a CB in the 2014-2015 offseason. I’m basing this on the fact that we haven’t resigned / restructured Ben yet, the league cap number is supposed to increase significantly, we don’t have many / any old players who cutting would create significant dead money, and our free agent list isn’t horribly long (mainly Pouncey, Cortez Allen and Gilbert; extending Worilds will like lower his cap number).

          • Intropy

            I don’t think that’s an apples-to-apples comparison. Shazier was the first selected player who will play ILB, but in a hypothetical ILB only draft I think Clowney, Mack, and Barr all still go before him.

          • Ted

            We will have more cap-space available next year, but not as much as most teams. Moreover, we’ll never get into free-agent bidding wars for top corners, who always get huge $$$ deals.

            On paper, a 1st-round pick at CB next year seems highly likely. But then again, it seemed probable this year as well and I’m sure there will be some LB the Steelers’ brass falls in love with next spring.

  • Cols714

    I like the shazier pick so really the only thing I would have done differently is drafted the top corner in round 3 instead if archer.

    • Ted

      In round No. 3, I, too, would have taken Desir and hope for gold in 15, or Colvin, and redshirted him in 14, hoping he returns to earlier form in 15. CB was too much of a need to ignore until round No. 5.

      But I won’t complain about the Archer pick. He will contribute to this team in 2014, possibly making a few plays that help win games. In contrast, no cornerback still available at the end of round No. 3 was likely to contribute in 2014. Again, this guy was Kiper’s pick to be NFL offensive rookie of the year before the draft, although I’m not so sure Mel would keep that projection after he was selected by Pittsburgh. A more spread-oriented offense like KC’s or Philly would give him a better chance to excel, but it will be up to Haley to utilize him correctly.

      The vast majority of people criticizing the Shazier pick – like J.J. and I – are not saying we dislike the player. In fact, I like Shazier, admit that he will make a bigger and better impact in 2014 than Dennard likely would have for the Steelers, and that he may well be a better player than Dennard in the long-run.

      But as Mel Kiper said, it was a luxury pick; and the Steelers could not afford a non-need pick at the top of the draft when a potential No. 1 CB was on the board, and knowing there was going to be a significant drop-off at that position after round No. 1. Moreover, the Steelers’ cornerback outlook is poor for 2014 and much worse for 2015. You can’t win a Super Bowl without a legit No. 1 CB. Too many Pittsburgh fans fail to realize that Ike Taylor adequately filled that role for many years before age finally crept on his skills over the past 1.5 years. On a weekly basis, Taylor matched up well with the opponent’s No. 1 WR. He would have been a perennial Pro Bowl player if he did not have the worst hands of any skill-position professional football player.

      • Cols714

        I get all that. But if Shazier is going to be a star and likely Timmons replacement, then I have no problem with the pick. But yeah, CB is going to be a problem soon.

        • Rob D

          I wonder, when we get back the 8 or 9 Mill. from Woodley’s cap hit, if they will sign a stop gap CB for this year upcoming?

          • Cols714

            Nah. That’s going towards worlds extension.

          • Rob D

            Right…that’s more likely.

          • Ted

            There never are any good stop-gap corners available later in the summer or from the waiver-wire. The position is simply too-valued in today’s NFL, evidently outside of Pittsburgh at least.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        Ted, I like that you are putting your cards on the table now with this mock. And I know that you wouldn’t have done the trade and the Landry pick in 2013 (and you said this at the time). But I’d like to see your picks against this year’s picks for what the slots they had in this draft. A head-to-head comparison of your picks vs. Colbert’s is more interesting and relevant to me than revisiting decisions from past years (I think it is likely that Colbert made some decisions before 2014 that were better than some that you would have made, and untangling all of those is basically impossible). So if you could post your picks for the players who were available at the 2014 slots the Steelers had, this will make it easier in the future to grade the Steelers’ draft and your alternate version.

        Also, I asked this before, but I would like to hear your explanation for why you think ILB wasn’t a huge need for the Steelers. Prior to the draft, our projected starter was Vince Williams. I’ve stated before on this site how much I like Williams, but that’s as a backup, a big-hitting run-stuffer, a smart player and as a guy who makes more contributions than most 6th-round picks. But I’m not enamored at all with the idea of him as a starter. He was going to be one of if not the worst of our 22 starters on O and D (except DE, where until Tuitt was drafted, I think I was the starter opposite Heyward). You’ve referred to the position as the “second ILB,” but I don’t understand what you mean by this. Both ILBs are starters; it’s not like “second RB,” who is a back up, or even second WR where one guy is a more frequent target. Even if you say one of the ILBs will come off in dime, both the Mack and Buck ILBS are each probably on he field for 600-700 or more plays a year. With Shazier’s skill set, when he becomes the starter (and assuming he’s healthy), it seems likely that he’ll be on the field very often.

        • ted

          As I noted in my criticism of the Shazier pick, the Steelers needed to start using more dime coverages and taking an inside linebacker off the field, which the vast majority of teams now do far more often than LeBeau. Now, that doesn’t make sense, since the two inside linebackers can both run and arguably are better in zone coverage than the corners.

          What do you think would happen if this team played the Broncos? They simply do not have the corners to match up with any good receiving corps-QB combo, and it will be worse in 2015.

          Shazier will start from day-one and should be very good. But a good, every down No. 1 corner is more important in today’s NFL than having a stud No. 2 inside linebacker. That’s like comparing a decent left tackle to a great right guard. The guard would be nice, but no left tackle causes far more problems.

          Pittsburgh does not have a No. 1 corner any more. Not even close. And for that, I can’t give this draft higher than a B or B+ grade, even though I thought Colbert addressed most of the depth-chart needs and drafted good value with most picks, some of whom have tremendous upside.

          • EasyLikeSundayMorning

            Ted, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I now understand what you mean about ILB… but I think we’ll actually match up pretty well with the Broncos (or Pats or Saints). If a guy like Manning, Brady or Brees has tons of time to pass, they can pick apart the best pass defense ever. But if there’s pressure and confusion, they can be at least somewhat neutralized.

            I’m more concerned about the inexperience of our defense than the type of talent we have (and this can’t be solved with rookie draft picks, no matter what position they play). I feel like the players we have on D can now create lots of confusion and interesting personnel packages. All three of the likely DL starters are athletic enough to either rush or drop into coverage in a zone blitz. The LBs aren’t very experienced, but it is one of our fastest and most athletic group of LBs ever, with positional flexibility, too. And all our DBs seem fast enough to blitz and good enough as tacklers to play the 7-yard cushion and tackle coverage that LeBeau seems to prefer. With all of the team speed and hitting ability, the middle of the field is not going to be a friendly place for most WRs, Mitchell is fast enough to cover deep, we should get more pressure on QBs… Depending on the rate of development of the players, the D could be much improved.

            Since you brought up the Broncos, here’s the defense I can imagine using on a significant chunk of plays: Heyward and McClendon (or Tuitt) up front, Jones, Shazier, Timmons and Worilds at LB, and DBs of Cortez, Ike, Willie Gay (or Shamarko), Troy, Mitchell. This would seem to match up well against most running or passing downs. For truly long, obvious passing plays (3rd and 10 or more), you can add Shamarko and take off whoever is playing worst on passing downs among Jones, Shazier or Troy (and unfortunately in 2015, in third and long, it might be Troy, as much as I love the guy).

            Being able to mix and match players not only creates confusion but also gives players a rest. I certainly expect Troy to come off for Shamarko on a regular basis in 2015 to keep him fresh.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I’m excited for the Steelers… in 2015. Assuming this draft class is pretty good, we now have a pretty talented group of younger players. This will be a big year for player development, and we have a seemingly great coaching staff, so I’m optimistic for the future.

    That said, I think we have a large amount of “ifs” 2014: if Heyward and Worilds continue to take big steps up; if Jarvis takes a leap and show’s he worthy of the high pick; if LeVeon is what we assume; if Mitchell is an upgrade to Clark; if our top 3 CBs are
    enough; if Munchak can maximize our young talent on the OL; if Shazier and Tuitt can be starters; if we can have better punting; etc. I expect stretches in which the team plays
    like one of the best in the NFL but overall is inconsistent and probably not a championship caliber team this season unless many things break right.

    • Cols714

      I think we are in great shape. Young, talented and fast. With some actual depth now too.

  • Randy Steele

    I, too, have complained bitterly and repeatedly, not only here but on other boards, against the Steelers trade up last year in the 4th round to nab Shamarko Thomas in exchange for this year’s 3rd-round pick. I thought they should have waited to select him, and I agree, Mr. Kian, that it’s a cardinal sin to sacrifice future draft picks.

    And then choosing Tom Landry Jones just salted the wound further.

    We saw the consequences play out this year. The Steelers got to their first compensatory pick, and the cupboard was essentially bare of players in positions they needed who were not desperate reaches.

    Jim Wexell responded to one of my recent jeremiads on this subject and noted that he was told by someone in the organization that they firmly believed they were going to lose Thomas to another team within the four spots ahead of them, and thought the loss of the pick outweighed the risk of losing something they esteemed.

    If the Steelers truly felt they were going to lose Thomas, I can’t entirely fault them for being cautious, even overly so.

    I can now only hope that he proves that he was worth the sacrifice.

  • Cols714

    There’s a lot of good stuff in this post and thread, thanks Ted!

    On the CB thing, I really was puzzled as to why they passed on some guys to take a small RB. The only thing I could figure is that they feel that if they are taking a project CB with a good height/speed ratio that they need to coach up like Allen, Lewis, Taylor, etc., then they didn’t really care which project CB they got and they felt they could just take one later.

    That’s really the only thing that makes sense. They missed on Fuller and Gilbert who it sounds like they would’ve taken in the first, and didn’t really want Dennard. So they decided to wait and take whatever project CB they could get in the later rounds

  • Eric

    Apparently this is what Lebeau was talking about when he said there was CB depth we didn’t know about:

    https://twitter.com/dlolleyor/statuses/466273594436120576

  • Eric

    I don’t think I agree with Ted about the importance of CBs in the NFL. With colleges increasingly going spread, the number of good receivers seems to be increasing faster than the number of good CBs. So it seems that trying to keep pace with WRs is a lost cause. That’s why good QBs are so critical in the NFL because they can utilize multiple receivers to pick apart defenses. I think we’ve seen the response to that in the NFL by teams stressing pressuring the QBs instead of trying to beat them with coverage. Even if you somehow managed to stockpile 3-4 really good corners, absent pressure Brady or Manning is still going to beat you. The only times Brady or Manning have struggled have been when they have been getting hit by consistent pressure.

    If anything, Lebeau’s defense seems to simplify the requirements on the CB by having them play so far off the line. That way the team isn’t stuck trying to find multiple highly skilled CBs. The Steelers have consistently had one of the best defenses for 2 decades now and how many great CBs have they had? Ike? How many of our “decent” corners failed when they go to other teams that ask them to do more? Pretty consistently, right?

  • Intropy

    You say you prefer a CB on the field to a LB on passing downs. That’s a false dichotomy. On passing downs a 3-4-4 becomes a 2-4-5. You get the corner and keep the four linebackers at the expense of the NT.

    • ted

      Good point. I meant that I prefer an extra DB and using a dime on obvious passing downs like 30 other teams in the NFL do more often than the Steelers will this fall.

      In other words, this team would have been better served with Dennard, Taylor and Allen joining Polamalu, Mitchell and S. Thomas on passing downs, with Polamalu playing the hybrid role.

      Now, instead Polamalu will be playing a traditional safety, Gay will play instead of Dennard, and S. Thomas will remain on the bench, since all four starting LBs will likely play on most downs. They didn’t draft Shazier to sit him on the bench for Shamarko, who now becomes merely a backup SS and William Gay will again play regularly as the third corner.

      The more it is discussed, the dumber I contend the pick was. Let’s hope Shazier becomes a Pro Bowler (something Timmons has never done) and Dennard is a bust in Cincy.

      • Cols714

        Timmons is very underrated by the general public. He’s been every bit as good if not better than mayo. He’s almost as good as Willis. He was a great pick in 2007.

        • Rob D

          I love Timmons too..A lot of people don’t for reasons that escape logic, IMHO..Willis is great but in a lot of games last year, Bowman was often as good if not better. Helps to have two PB level players playing the same position..

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        My guess is that Shamarko will likely see lots of snaps. Troy has missed a lot of games due to injury and isn’t elite dropping into coverage any more. I could also see Shamarko smacking around slot receivers, pass-catching RBs and smaller H-backs as a sort of S/CB hybrid.

  • Sherm

    Regarding the McCullers Pick. Assuming you could strip 30 pounds off him, at 6’7″ might he be an intriguing prospect as a 3-4 DE.

    • Rob D

      Have you seen any pics of him? He carries that weight very well..lol..I know he has to get down but I was astounded at how proportional he looks for his massive size. I don’t think he has the mobility (from what I’ve read) to be a DE..he’s a run stopping plugger and that may be his only role. But I like the idea of teams not being able to run up the middle at ALL when he’s in there. I’m pulling for him to make the team..but it’s a longshot since his role would be so limited.

      • Rob D

        A pic filched from steelers.com slideshow

  • Sherm

    BTW – Best post draft discussion on the net. Living up to the Heels Sox Steeler days. Congrats to all on this site. I appreciate the great discussion

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      An HSS reference! I’m sure Randy, David and Rob D were there and at least one Eric (sorry, not sure which one was Eric and New Eric). I’m pretty sure Cols was there and Intropy either was or at least has been at SL since it started. My brother has been both sites but I don’t think he’s ever posted at either; his season tickets show his commitment, though (even though we don’t live in Pittsburgh anymore).

      • Cols714

        Yep. I loved that site

      • Eric

        I honestly still call this site HSS in my head. I found HSS after a Sunday night game against the Jags Roethlisberger’s rookie year. I don’t even bother with other Steelers sites anymore. Quality over quantity.

        • EasyLikeSundayMorning

          I think I found HSS when Googling something to make fun of a friend who is Duke basketball fan.

          The only other (non-news) site I read regularly is BTSC. Neal Coolong is certainly prolific and thorough. They have quality film analysis and some of their commenters are good, although I could use about 75% fewer comments there. The nastiness of some of the back and forth, and the presence of one particularly annoying Ravens fan, makes the comments section less enjoyable than HSS was and SL is.

          • Cols714

            I also read BTSC, but I rarely comment over there. It’s too tough to make your voice heard.

            I read Steelerdepot too.

      • Intropy

        I never visited HSS. I started reading here at SL at or near the beginning. I think I saw it through a mention on postgameheroes.

      • countertorque

        Still waiting for my free membership.

        • Rob D

          AND our decoder rings! Don’t forget those..:)

      • David

        You mean the HSS site run by Waterhead Wilson and Captain Paintload? Yeah, I remember that.

  • Cols714

    We should be pretty excited by this defense next year. We get Worilds the entire year and he had 7 sacks in the last 8 games. We get a 2nd year Jarvis Jones, we get Timmons at 260 lbs, and a new fast explosive LB in Shazier taking over the slow slow slow terrible Vince Williams (the reason our run defense wasn’t that good).

    Troy with a new fast safety in Mitchell. The CBs won’t be spectacular, but then again Steelers CBs never are (with the exception of Rod Woodson and Mel Blount).

    And the offense was pretty great in the 2nd half of the season once the LT position was solidified. DeCastro was at times one of the best guards in football and we are getting our pro-bowl center back. Plus Bell in year two, Wheaton in year two and Lance Moore should easily take over for Cotchery.

    I’m pretty excited.

    • Rob D

      I was shocked/disappointed with the ARcher pick..but I’m over it now. That was a very good draft. We have a lot of look forward to with some of our 2nd year players, as you rightly point out. Replacing Ryan Clark is going to pay dividends..he was barely adequate last year (and I’m being kind since he was such a heart and soul guy for us) . Think about Munchak working with our Oline…man…he couldn’t have come along at a better time. If Adams or Gilbert arent’ listening to every word that man has to say, they are loco..DL almost looks like a strength now..jury is out but I’m happy with the the moves they’ve made to improve. JJ breaks out and Worilds plays with the leverage and quicks he finally showed last year? So much to be excited about..

  • Eric

    Ryan tweeted this out today: http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/5/14/5715954/darqueze-dennard-must-walk-the-line-to-become-great-bengals-cincinnati-defense

    It’s a good article. Read it and then try to picture Dennard playing Lebeau’s scheme.

    • Cols714

      Wow. Yuck. That makes me really not want him. He looked slow and if he didn’t use his hands I think WR would easily run by him.

      • Rob D

        By the end of the build up to the draft, I only wanted Fuller in the 1st if we were going to take a corner. He was probably a lesser athlete than Dennard and Gilbert but he seemed much more of a sure thing (and yes, I know there are no sure things..lol) Dennard and Gilbert seemed to have serious flaws..Dennard getting away with using his hands way more than he’d be able to a the Pro level and Gilbert’s overall lack of tackling. How true any of it is is hard to say..so many conflicting sources. But maybe we did the right thing after all…and CB will be a priority next year.