February 22, 2008

Have A Little Faith in Me Kevin Colbert...

"We wanted to go into this draft and not be need-specific."
- Kevin Colbert
Look man, here's the deal. I understand the philosophy and mindset Kevin Colbert has going into this year's draft - we're picking at #23 and we have a lot of needs (need to get younger, need to add depth, etc. etc.). But honestly, I think the Steelers might just want to be at least a little bit need-specific when it comes to the 1st couple of rounds.

Simply put, I'd be really surprised if there was any Steeler fan out there on these internets who doesn't think we need help on the O-line.

Tagging Max Starks was a step. But that is a far cry from fixing the protection issues the Steelers had last season. And while I know things can change drastically from year to year, I can't help but think you need to address positions in order of importance to the team's success. O-line is of paramount importance. Hence, 1+1=3 2, right?

Sure you can get a good Offensive Lineman in the later rounds, but are we willing to take that chance? Of course, this assumes that any lineman taken in the 1st couple of rounds would be a sure thing...and in football, as in life, there ain't no such phenomenon.

But, what do you all think? Is picking the "best available" player the Steelers best strategy? Would you be opposed to drafting some cheerleaders (for christ's sake)? Let the discussion begin...

PS - Despite what I say here, In Kevin Colbert I [and we all should] Trust...

Steelers Alter Their Draft Strategy [Post-Gazette]
Colbert: Easy Call on Starks [Tribune-Review]
Faneca Gone, Starks Deal Likely...[SteelCityInsider]
A Long Talk with Steelers Official [ESPN]

Ballhype: hype it up!


Marc said...

I think that the draft is stacked in O-lineman this year, but we still should take a T in the first round and another G or C in the 3rd or 4th.

I just know that if Mahan starts next year at any position I will be incredibly unhappy, if at center again, i might be borderline homocidal.

Anonymous said...

I think all the teams started saying that "best available" crap to keep other teams guessing as to who they might get, which in theory, helps you with trades, but I think all teams not only know what positions they want, they know what other teams are looking at so if trade situations come up, they can analyze the chances of the other teams taking who you want before you pick. So I think that "best available" stuff is just hogwash.

I'll be shocked if we don't get an OT in the first round.

I'd love to see Schmidt from WVU still available in round 2 for us, or the FB from LSU.

My guess is overall draft results for us will be:

2-3 OL
1-2 DL
1 DB
1 RB
1 WR
Pretty good bet that we won't get any LB's, QB's or K's.

Of course all bets are off it there are some special teams aces out there for us.

domski43 said...

i agree that "best available" does leave a lot of room for speculation for both fans and other nfl teams. But, i do not think the steelers absolutely need to go after o-linemen in the 1st round. For example, jake long is head and shoulders the best o-lineman in this year's draft. Who is the next best o-lineman? The answer is...there is a group of players who could be the 2nd best. As Colbert said, this year's o-line draft class if very deep. So, if we dont make a huge move for Long (and i dont see it happening) there will be plenty of potential blockbusters still on the board throughout round 2 or 3. My opinion is to take the "best available" player in the first round. Colbert has already ruled out drafting another te or qb because we are young and deep at both positions. And of course with our first round draft of timmons, we dont have to address the LB position (the sarcasm is thick).

I honestly think a DE that can transition between a 3-4 and a 4-3 could be in the cards. It also wouldnt hurt to pick up another solid rb to compliment willie. (ahem ahem rashard mendenhall, ray rice?? anyone?) Honestly, the steelers cant expect Willie to have a long shelf life if they continue to give as many carries as he had in 07. This year's draft is also stacked with WRs. I can just see Ben salivating for a blockbuster wr and wines hard is getting a little long in the tooth. (no disrespect, just stating the facts assholes).
I agree to go after owen schmitt. His versatility to block, run, and catch the ball could solve a bit of our o-line issues.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

The more I think about the Starks signing, the less sense it makes. Colbert acknowledged Starks was their No. SIX offensive lineman last year. So, why is being paid among the top ten at his position IN THE LEAGUE this year? It's completely stupid. Nobody is going to match that offer, or make a long-term offer to Starks, who would be foolish at this point to negotiate a long-term deal for less upfront money. He ought to take this deal, prove himself as a starter and hit unrestricted free agency next year. This move handcuffs them from a cap standpoint this year. No good at all. By the way, it looks like Dallas's Flozell Adams is going to become an unrestricted free agent. He might be worth a look. Ditto, Jacksonville DE Bobby McCray.

Anonymous said...

You can write it down now or whatever you need to do, they will not pay starks 6.9 mill that number is just that, a number. the transition tag is different from the frachise tag, they can drop the tag anytime before free agency is over. they just did it to buy themselves some time to maybe negotiate a multi year deal at a lower price and/or gauge the interest from other teams along with what kind of money other teams want to give him. read the transition tag article on steelers.com

Still A. Fan said...

if i understand the rules correctly, the 1 year deal is a minimum guarantee. however - i think after nobody offers him a deal and we get to keep him, we can then say to him....hey max, here's a nice sweet deal with a 10 mil bonus for 5 years and a total of 20 mil. he will be much more inclined to take the bonus money and long term deal. its better security for him because, yes, he could take the 1 year deal - but if he gets hurt, thats all he's ever gonna get. he's still going to make a lot either way, which i'm not sure i agree with for the reasons you mention, but at least it wouldnt be top 10 (ludicrous when you think about it).

Anonymous said...

I think it makes sense from a clinical point of view. If we go into the draft with enough tackles, we may not necessarily need to draft one in the first round (hypothetically speaking; if Calais Campbell proves to be athletic and agile enough to play olb in a 3-4 and strong enough to play DE in the same scheme---lookout, he's 6'8" and 280-290!!!). We can then go after an offensive linemen in the second round. Also, although not a fan of Philly, they do construct a pretty impressive offensive line...All of their guys besides the center are former tackles (i.e., Runyan, Thomas, Herremans and Andrews), even their guard, Jackson, I believe, is a former guard and I believe thier backup center, Cole is a former guard as well. Point is, We can move Starks and Colon inside and play Smith at LT if we get a bona fide RT in the draft or even move Smith back to Rt if we get a quality enough guy to play LT in the draft (maybe not right away but eventually---could you imagine that line!). Also, Simmons may be able to move in to play center temporarily and we can draft a quality guard in rounds 3 or 4 and turn him into a center! Teams that used to be able to tell what kind of deodorant Ben was wearing now won't even know if he's on the field. They'll be like, "Hey, Joey, what's with this big, friggin' black wall with white graffiti-like numbuhs, huh?" That's a big line, I'm tellin' ya. The only way we should take an offensive lineman in the first round is if Otah is still there OR we don't think any of the other big name guys (there's like seven or eight left not including Clady or Long) will be available in round 2. This way we can get the quality lineman in round 2 (Winston Justice fell 2 years ago-not playing but that's because he's behind Runyan and Thomas) while getting the best available (Wr, DL, LB, RB, DB) in round one.

Marc said...

Winston Justice also gave up 6 sacks to Osi Uminora in one game...