Steelers Bye Week: Time To Talk 2012 Draft

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Is it possible the Steelers would draft an offensive lineman as their #1 pick in the 2012 draft?

The 2011 NFL season is a couple weeks past the halfway point, and although it was pretty clear within the first couple of weeks what the Steelers were lacking in personel, Weeks 3-10 have solidified those needs.  As discussed in a previous post, FanSided has their own NFL Mock Draft site that covers prospective college players for the following year’s draft.  This morning, one of their writers did a 7 round mock draft for the Steelers.  I’ll show the list after the jump and comment.

Below is the list that NFL Mocks writer Chris Ransom came up with.  All in all I think it’s a fairly solid list.  I question a couple picks and make note of them below.  For a more complete reasoning behind each pick, be sure to visit Chris’ post from today.

1st Round Pick Cordy Glenn Right Guard Georgia Senior :  Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn plays left tackle at Georgia.  The 6 foot 5 348 pound offensive lineman lacks the footwork to play tackle at this point.  Even if Glenn kicks inside to guard Pittsburgh will like Glenn as an offensive line prospect because Cordy Glenn has the size that the Steelers look for in an offensive lineman.

For those of you who feel it shameful to pick a guard as your first pick of the draft (and Lord knows many of you bashed me when I said the Steelers should have this past draft) what if we meet in the middle and pick a tackle who has the skills to move to guard?  The offensive line is thin in the depth charts, and aside from Pouncey and Starks, the starting 5 aren’t that great of a line to begin with.  The Steelers need to continue drafting big with good high valued linemen for the next two to three years.  Gilbert will grow and more than likely become a permanent fixture on the line.  But, the Steelers should continue looking at replacing guys like Scott and penalty happy Kemoeatu.

2nd Round Pick Jayron Hosley Cornerback Virginia Tech Junior Pittsburgh has most of the pieces to #1 secondary in place.  Field cornerback check.  You got Ike Taylor who can cover an opposing #1 receiver very effectively.  Strong safety check.  Polamalu need I say more.  Free Safety check.  Ryan Clark can be an effective starter while Ryan Mundy can be a serviceable backup.  The potential weakness if finding a boundary corner who can cover a #2 secondary receiver effectively.  Hosley may not be the corner in terms of potential.  Even if Hosley flops Pittsburgh has the depth at cornerback and can take a flyer on Hosley to succeed.  Pittsburgh has to keep drafting cornerbacks until they get a #2 boundary corner who can play next to Ike Taylor.  Until your set with what you got long term you have to keep making upgrades.

Pittsburgh has bigger needs to address like nose tackle, 3-4 middle linebacker, and 3-4 right outside linebacker.  The problem is none of the players based on Pittsburgh’s other key needs will be available.  That is why I gave the Steelers Hosley here.

I agree that the Steelers need to stay aggressive with drafting corners.  Aside from the offensive line, the pieces are in place for a successful offense for years to come.  The defense is aging and needs some younger blood to develop quickly or the #1 defense can quickly turn to just average.

3rd Round Pick Baker Steinkuhler 3-4 Left End Nebraska Junior Redshirt Evander “Ziggy” Hood only has 14 tackles in 10 games while filling in for Aaron Smith.  Pittsburgh needs to add a replacement to compete with Hood.

I kind of don’t agree with the reasoning behind this particular pick.  Hood has actually done very well filling in for Smith.  Steelers defensive linemen aren’t known to or meant to accumulate many tackles.  Their primary role in LeBeau’s 3-4 is to take up space so the LB’s and secondary can get into the back field with their blitzes.  Rookie Cameron Heyward had played some snaps and will add depth to the line.  I agree that the Steelers should find another lineman and Steinkuhler could be the one.  But, I would move this pick further down.

4th Round Pick Korey Williams 3-4 Middle Linebacker Southern Miss Senior Redshirt Southern Miss runs a 3-4 defense.  Williams can be used as a 3-4 middle linebacker.  Williams could compete with Stevenson Sylvester to be the successor to James Farrior in Pittsburgh.  Farrior turns 37 in January so Pittsburgh has to draft a successor with this pick because the Steelers need a 2nd linebacker to compete with Sylvester for the starting job.

I like this pick with Williams, but I would like to see the Steelers move a pick for inside linebacker to happen earlier in the draft – like #2 or #3.  Farrior and Foote are killing the Steelers defense up the middle – slow, poor pass coverage and pretty terrible open field tackling.  I would like to see a linebacker selected before a corner.

Picks 5-7 on next page.

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