Will the Steelers Select any of these Nose Tackle Prospects in The 2012 Draft?

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Final Thoughts/Conclusion

To be honest, I just hope that the Steelers can address the NT position this April.  They would be stupid not to at least draft one, and I’m sure Colbert and Co. are exploring/have been exploring their options for a while.

Of the prospects which I would like to see the Steelers go after, it would all depend on seeing how their draft board works.  Here’s a few scenarios I’ve worked out below:

Poe is the consensus #1, and has the body-type, production, and overall effectiveness that teams covet when looking at 0-Technique NT’s.  If Pittsburgh looks his way in Round 1, then the Steelers will have gotten theirs biggest need out of the way on Day 1 of the Draft.

In the event that the Steelers pass on Poe and instead decide to go after ILB and/or O-Line help in Round 1 (because the best players on their board could be at those positions), then that’s where things could get really interesting.

If Pittsburgh likes Ta’amu and/or Chapman, they might have to maneuver a bit because both guys might not last until pick #56 due to the increased number of teams running 3-4 schemes nowadays in the N.F.L..  Thus, Pittsburgh might be inclined to trade up in Round 2 or back from Round 1 to select either guy if they believe he fits them the best and the value is there.

Jean-Baptiste could inevitably be the guy which the Steelers covet in Round 4 and beyond.  If it is Jean-Baptiste that is Colbert’s and John Mitchell’s “Guy” the Steelers could kill multiple birds with multiple stones if they dedicate their early round picks to positions of enormous need (O-Line, ILB, Safety).

As for the other two guys I discussed, I’m sure the Steelers wouldn’t mind waiting until later Rounds to address their biggest need/adding depth if they feel that they would work well in their system.  Fangupo’s versatility could be coveted, and Hicks’ potential upside might have the Front Office salivating.

Whatever route that Pittsburgh decides to go however, I’ll stand by through and through.  They are one of the League’s best teams when it comes to the Draft and scouting players, and Kevin Colbert and his staff are some of the best when it comes to scouting players.

 

Now it’s your turn readers:  Who do you think that the Steelers should go after in terms of NT’s?  Were there any guys I missed that you would like to see them go after?  Is NT the team’s biggest need?

 

Info Regarding Prospects:

Poe: Memphis University Website, CBS.Sports

Ta’amu: University of Washington Profile, Senior Bowl, CBS.Sports

Chapman: CBS.Sports, University of Alabama Profile, Sporting News

Jean-Baptiste: Baylor University Profile, NFL Draft Scout

Fangupo: BYU Profile, Deseret News

Hicks: National Football Post, CBS.Sports

 

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  • SteelerFan209

    I think the interviewing process would be just as crucial as the players on field ability. Whoever they go with in the 1st round will be the right guy. NT is definately a need in the draft, but I’d like to see an O-Lineman in round 1. Peter Konz would be nice at guard. To me, Poe just seems to tall for a 3-4 NT. I saw the Ta’amu kid shed 2 O-linemen and a fullback to get to the QB before. I dont think the Steelers would have to trade down for him. *shruggs* All’s I know is I’m not too worried about it, cuz Kevin Colbert doesn’t miss in round 1.

  • SteelerFan209

    I think the interviewing process would be just as crucial as the players on field ability. Whoever they go with in the 1st round will be the right guy. NT is definately a need in the draft, but I’d like to see an O-Lineman in round 1. Peter Konz would be nice at guard. To me, Poe just seems to tall for a 3-4 NT. I saw the Ta’amu kid shed 2 O-linemen and a fullback to get to the QB before. I dont think the Steelers would have to trade down for him. *shruggs* All’s I know is I’m not too worried about it, cuz Kevin Colbert doesn’t miss in round 1.

  • DomDiTolla

    @SteelerFan209 Poe gets pretty good leverage for somebody as tall as he is though. Dude is one of the strongest players in the country in terms of raw strength, and the proper coaching could make him an unstoppable force.

    As for Konz, the Steelers could pounce on him in Round 2 if he falls. Colbert could take a look at Cordy Glenn from Georgia in Round 1. He has experience playing both Tackle and Guard in college (he’ll likely take his 340+ frame to Guard), so that would be a plus in terms of versatility. I mocked Dont’a Hightower, ILB from Alabama, to the Steelers in Round 1 last week which is also a position of need and a spot for value for a player of his caliber as well. If they could pick up Glenn or Hightower in Round 1 and then Ta’amu in Round 2, I’d be a happy camper that’s for sure.

  • DomDiTolla

    @SteelerFan209 Poe gets pretty good leverage for somebody as tall as he is though. Dude is one of the strongest players in the country in terms of raw strength, and the proper coaching could make him an unstoppable force.

    As for Konz, the Steelers could pounce on him in Round 2 if he falls. Colbert could take a look at Cordy Glenn from Georgia in Round 1. He has experience playing both Tackle and Guard in college (he’ll likely take his 340+ frame to Guard), so that would be a plus in terms of versatility. I mocked Dont’a Hightower, ILB from Alabama, to the Steelers in Round 1 last week which is also a position of need and a spot for value for a player of his caliber as well. If they could pick up Glenn or Hightower in Round 1 and then Ta’amu in Round 2, I’d be a happy camper that’s for sure.

  • SonnyDrysdale

    Any tackle can play the nose position. Its not rocket science. Hampton played very little the last two years

  • SonnyDrysdale

    If Poe was an absolute beast at UM, why wasn’t he all conference. Thats a pretty bad conference for NFL prospects

  • SonnyDrysdale

    Any tackle can play the nose position. Its not rocket science. Hampton played very little the last two years

  • SonnyDrysdale

    If Poe was an absolute beast at UM, why wasn’t he all conference. Thats a pretty bad conference for NFL prospects

  • DomDiTolla

    @SonnyDrysdale Let me enlighten you on a couple of things. First, Poe was actually named All-Conference 2nd Team, so it’s not like he wasn’t all-Conference. Second, the reason he wasn’t named 1st team is because all of the 1st Team D-Linemen named ahead of him (Vinny Curry, Tyrrun Walker, Cordarro Law, and Taylor Thompson) were DE’s, OLB tweeners, and 1-Gap DT’s that light up the stat sheet due to the nature of their position. If the conference rated the top 0-Technique NT it would undoubtedly be Poe.

    The reason Poe doesn’t accumulate the “sexy” stats is because of the nature of his position and the role he plays on the Defense. His number one job is gap-integrity and to eat up blockers, not shooting one-gap, pass rushing, or running freely to the ball. Your assumption that because a guy wasn’t a 1st Team player makes him not a “beast” overlooks Poe’s role as a Defensive player and what he brings to the position.

    Poe is the consensus #1 NT on the board because of what he brings to the table in terms of size, speed, and his upside at the position. And I would say that most scouts and draft analysts would agree with that idea.

    Your notion that any tackle can play the Nose is ridiculous. Sure, you could stick any guy up there, but to run an effective 3-4 it takes a special player like a Casey Hampton or a Vince Wilfork to man the Nose and play unselfish and disciplined football.

  • SonnyDrysdale

    @DomDiTolla Was told by those who know that most any tackle can fit in @ NT. Hampton hasn’t played anything close to the number of snaps that he played 5 years ago. The steelers have learned to adapt their DL to fit what they have in their rotation. Ziggy Hood would be better than Poe would ever be. Look for them to draft someone for tackle in rounds 3-4. Poe isn’t first round value and we all know the Steelers don’t reach in the first round. If he is there in round 2 they may take a look. Personally I think they will trade down to the bottom of the round for an extra late 2nd round pick.. If an ILB is available to them at 24 they would go there rather than a DT. Of course, they could go just about anywhere but they most always choose BPA.

    As for Memphis and the conference, I still think its below par, remember Hampton was a first team All america out of UTA. Comparing him and Poe is like night and day. IMO. Some experts say Poe may be too tall and not be able to handle the cut blocks that the Ravens utilize these days.

  • DomDiTolla

    @SonnyDrysdale @DomDiTolla They’ll likely go O-Line at 24 if somebody drops, at this point because there are some mid-round guys at ILB that will be available. I agree with you though and them going BPA though abut likely trading up before they trade down.

    As for Poe being too tall, Ngata is of similar build. Ngata’s bit more athletic, but I think Mitchell could coach Poe up enough for a season of spot duty before being inserted full time. The dude is ridiculously strong and uses his leverage well, which is to his advantage. The upside is there, and if anybody can bring out the finished product it’s Mitchell.

    I still disagree on Hood at the NT spot. He plays a bit too high for my taste and would get manhandled inside by the more athletic Centers. Playing him as a non-1 gap DT could be risky, although if they move to a 4-3 he would be perfect as a 1-Tech DT. I don’t understand the desire to see him play there permanently, because he’s a fine 5-Tech DE and to also say he is better than Poe will ever be is a bit of a stretch.

    They need to fix the NT position. I don’t care who it is with, but if it’s Poe, it’s Poe, if it’s somebody else, it’s somebody else. If they don’t find an adequate replacement for Hampton to shore up the inside, the Ravens and opponents like the Texans will continue to eat them alive on the ground.

  • DomDiTolla

    @SonnyDrysdale Let me enlighten you on a couple of things. First, Poe was actually named All-Conference 2nd Team, so it’s not like he wasn’t all-Conference. Second, the reason he wasn’t named 1st team is because all of the 1st Team D-Linemen named ahead of him (Vinny Curry, Tyrrun Walker, Cordarro Law, and Taylor Thompson) were DE’s, OLB tweeners, and 1-Gap DT’s that light up the stat sheet due to the nature of their position. If the conference rated the top 0-Technique NT it would undoubtedly be Poe.

    The reason Poe doesn’t accumulate the “sexy” stats is because of the nature of his position and the role he plays on the Defense. His number one job is gap-integrity and to eat up blockers, not shooting one-gap, pass rushing, or running freely to the ball. Your assumption that because a guy wasn’t a 1st Team player makes him not a “beast” overlooks Poe’s role as a Defensive player and what he brings to the position.

    Poe is the consensus #1 NT on the board because of what he brings to the table in terms of size, speed, and his upside at the position. And I would say that most scouts and draft analysts would agree with that idea.

    Your notion that any tackle can play the Nose is ridiculous. Sure, you could stick any guy up there, but to run an effective 3-4 it takes a special player like a Casey Hampton or a Vince Wilfork to man the Nose and play unselfish and disciplined football.

  • SonnyDrysdale

    @DomDiTolla Was told by those who know that most any tackle can fit in @ NT. Hampton hasn’t played anything close to the number of snaps that he played 5 years ago. The steelers have learned to adapt their DL to fit what they have in their rotation. Ziggy Hood would be better than Poe would ever be. Look for them to draft someone for tackle in rounds 3-4. Poe isn’t first round value and we all know the Steelers don’t reach in the first round. If he is there in round 2 they may take a look. Personally I think they will trade down to the bottom of the round for an extra late 2nd round pick.. If an ILB is available to them at 24 they would go there rather than a DT. Of course, they could go just about anywhere but they most always choose BPA.

    As for Memphis and the conference, I still think its below par, remember Hampton was a first team All america out of UTA. Comparing him and Poe is like night and day. IMO. Some experts say Poe may be too tall and not be able to handle the cut blocks that the Ravens utilize these days.

  • DomDiTolla

    @SonnyDrysdale @DomDiTolla They’ll likely go O-Line at 24 if somebody drops, at this point because there are some mid-round guys at ILB that will be available. I agree with you though and them going BPA though abut likely trading up before they trade down.

    As for Poe being too tall, Ngata is of similar build. Ngata’s bit more athletic, but I think Mitchell could coach Poe up enough for a season of spot duty before being inserted full time. The dude is ridiculously strong and uses his leverage well, which is to his advantage. The upside is there, and if anybody can bring out the finished product it’s Mitchell.

    I still disagree on Hood at the NT spot. He plays a bit too high for my taste and would get manhandled inside by the more athletic Centers. Playing him as a non-1 gap DT could be risky, although if they move to a 4-3 he would be perfect as a 1-Tech DT. I don’t understand the desire to see him play there permanently, because he’s a fine 5-Tech DE and to also say he is better than Poe will ever be is a bit of a stretch.

    They need to fix the NT position. I don’t care who it is with, but if it’s Poe, it’s Poe, if it’s somebody else, it’s somebody else. If they don’t find an adequate replacement for Hampton to shore up the inside, the Ravens and opponents like the Texans will continue to eat them alive on the ground.

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