With the 2010 NFL Draft officially in the books, let’s take a complete look at what the Pittsburgh Steelers accomplished during this three day marathon.
Of course, the best thing to happen this weekend may not even be any of the players who were selected. The Steelers sent one of their extra 5th round picks to Pittsburgh West Arizona in exchange for CB Bryant McFadden. I can feel my blood pressure dropping as I type that sentence. B-Mac, you may recall, was our starter during the 2008 Super Bowl run before leaving for a 2 year/$10 million contract with the Cards last season. While I admit he’s hardly a Revis in the secondary, this is a huge upgrade over the inept play of Will.i.am Gay.
Anyway, on to the draft. Let’s take a look at every pick in the Steelers class of 2010.
Center/Guard University of Florida
(Yes, they’re chanting “She said no!” when Goodell is introducing the kid. Sure makes you proud to be a Steeler fan, huh?)
Watching some of that tape tells me two things. As a pass rusher, he’s a beast. And as a run stopper, he gets blown off the ball with relative ease. Not sure what to make of this pick. Matt Millen on ESPN listed this as one of his steals of the draft. Talk about a kiss of death.
Southern Methodist University
Definitely looks like he has great speed and nice hands. Of course, playing in a run-and-shoot offense you’re going to be wide open all over the field. That’s not going to happen so much against NFL defenses. Still, an intriguing pick who might develop into this year’s Mike Wallace.
Great athlete with outstanding motor. Very good quickness who can drop back into coverage and roam sideline to sideline. Strong and reliable tackler who does a good job at pursuing the ball. Also a top notch special teams player. Weaknesses include poor instincts, not stout at point of attack, and lacks a deep repertoire of pass rush moves.
Big drink of water who played left tackle in college. However, lacks the foot speed and quickness to play that position in the NFL. Very good run blocker. Struggles in pass protection as he tends to take bad angles and then has to recover his base which would be a disaster against speedy pass rushers. Possibly a right tackle although I think a move to guard would be his most likely position going forward.
Good speed and size. Lacks physicality in terms of being a poor tackler and not very good at using his hands to bump and jostle with receivers. Very good athlete who needs to be coached up in the sense that he has to learn the intricacies of CB. If he can learn to use his physical tools in relation to playing both the man and the ball, he could be a very good late round pick up.
6’2 231 Outside Linebacker Utah
Yes, another linebacker. I know it seems pretty dumb to draft three OLBs when we currently have two Pro Bowlers at that position but think about what the Steelers like to do. Remember Greg Lloyd? They shipped him away and brought in Jason Gildon. Then Gildon was replaced by Joey Porter. Then Peezy got run off by James Harrison. Clearly, they’re looking for the guy who’ll eventually overthrow the Silverback.
Anyway, Sylvester is another high motor guy who was a three year starter for Utah. He’s excellent in pursuit with good range and instincts. Has the quickness and smarts to play in coverage. Although a bit small, plays bigger and can add bulk over time. Not very good in one-on-one blitzing situations and lacks the moves to be an effective pass rusher. My guess is Sylvester will be the pick most likely groomed as an ILB at the NFL level.
Big, strong, straight ahead runner. Will break tackles and run over people. Not a flashy guy with fairly pedestrian speed (4.68 in the 40) although he has nimble feet and knows how to hit a hole. Not useful as a pass catcher or blocker and has had issues maintaining a healthy weight. Think Lendale White. Basically, your prototypical North-South runner who gets the ball and will plow straight ahead. Possibly a fullback but more likely a short yardage or change of pace guy who runs with enough power to possibly break off a decent size gain once in awhile.
Another undersized slot guy with blazing (4.4 in the 40) speed. Is only a junior who came out early after three highly productive years in a small time program. Hasn’t played against high quality competition so will probably struggle against big physical CBs in the NFL. Also isn’t a polished route runner and tends to catch a lot of balls with his body rather than his hands. A project who’ll probably be practice squad fodder while he learns under the tutelage of our veteran WRs.
Three year starter at a top notch college program. Stout at the point of attack which makes him excellent against the run. Lacks the quickness, range, and ability to shed blocks that you need as a pass rusher. Basically, a strong, tough, physical player who’ll probably spend time on the practice squad while he learns to refine some of the skills he’ll need if he hopes to eventually contribute as a versatile multi-position back-up along the defensive line.
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