The Steelers, Under-the-Radar Yet Still Important Positional Needs, and The Draft

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Wide Receiver (Maybe)

Taking a WR in the Draft is mostly contingent upon whether or not the Steelers can retain Mike Wallace in the event that he signs an offer sheet with another club and Pittsburgh cannot match it.  Furthermore, Pittsburgh has already cut Hines Ward, and Jerricho Cotchery is an Unrestricted Free Agent.  If Pittsburgh is unable to keep Wallace, then Cotchery must, I repeat must be signed.  If Wallace bolts, and so does Cotchery, the Steelers might be in a whole heap of trouble, and would then need to look for a WR.

While I personally believe that Wallace will end up staying at least through this season and not be tendered by any other club this offseason, it can’t hurt for the Steelers to be looking at other options for the future if he cannot be signed long-term.  Compounding the possibility of Wallace leaving is the fact that Cotchery might not be in Pittsburgh in 2012 and Antonio Brown might bolt via Free Agency in a couple of years as well.  While Pittsburgh might not be scouting WR’s right now, all it would take is the “Wallace Domino” to fall and everything would immediately change.

 

Final Thoughts

As I previously alluded to, these 5 (6 if you count WR) positions of need are not the ones which need to be filled the fastest or are the most dire on the roster.  Guard, Nose Tackle, and Inside Linebacker should take precedence over each of them this offseason.  Yet, as Kevin Colbert and his scouts have proven over the last decade, they are always “one step ahead” of the game, and are looking to fill what could be positions of need down the road.

There are few in the League that can top Colbert and Co., so let’s at least count ourselves lucky that we have that group accumulating talent for the franchise.  So keep your eyes peeled for Colbert and Co. to take some players at these positions this April.  While they may not be the most important right now, you can bet that in a couple of years that you will be glad the Front Office decided to look for upgrades at one or more of those positions.

 

Now Let’s Get Psyched For Free Agency and The Draft!

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  • JohnJStewart

    Great points that I agree with-we have a lot of needs as first and second string options. That’s why mocks that show us making moves to get more picks in the 2nd & 3rd rounds are very interesting to me. On one mock, someone suggested a trade w/NE (so they could take a WR) our 24 & 88 for 27 & 63. Here are my resulting picks:27-Hightower ILB;56-Ta’amu DT; 63-Silatuli OG; 120- Massaquoi OLB; 152-Potter OT; 184-Pellerin DB; 216-Bryan TE; Comp-Thompson DE. [152 OL could be Datko, Reynolgs, Brooks, or Nix--could be some solid prospects at that point.] Pellerin can be a CB or FS- tall, fast and rangy. Bryan is interesting – big, strong good blocker; great hands. Taylor Thompson has the Aaron Smith build-strong at the point of attack-could be a surprise pick out of SMU.
    Thanks-John21

  • DomDiTolla

     @JohnJStewart I like where your head’s at with regards to how the Draft could break down for the Steelers.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the Steelers ended up making a few moves on Draft day.  I actually alluded to it in a previous article and broke down some moves they could make in Round 1.
     
    Not sure I’m sold on Silatolu or Potter however.  Silatolu is a bit of a project and will likely take close to 2 years to make an impact transitioning from D-II.  I like the massive Brandon Brooks, Brandon Washington, or Kevin Zeitler over Silatolu as they will have a more immediate impact and will be ready to play sooner.
     
    Potter is much lighter (303 lbs.) than the Tackles the Steelers have usually taken in the last decade (Smith, Starks, Essex, Gilbert).  If its Round 4-6 I see them taking a bigger and athletic Tackle Levy Adcock or Lamar Holmes over a smaller guy like Potter who could get manhandled by the bigger edge rushers at the pro level.
     
    If they are in the market for a blocking & receiving TE, Bryan is a terrific choice.  I should have mentioned some all-around TE prospects in later rounds they could take, but Bryan could be good value in Rounds 5-6.  It’s a weak class this year, and people are a bit too ooh-ed and aah-ed by glorified WR’s like Ladarius Green and Orson Charles who would not be ranked as high.

  • hart6399

    So Lamarr Woodley having a hamstring injury makes him a question mark now? I think sometimes these “writers” make ridiculous points to back up their agenda. Just ridiculous.

  • craig.nicepickcowher

     @hart6399 I think the point was that he hurt himself, and was a ghost of himself after his return from that injury.   The idea of having depth at that position in case that happens again is a point to be considered.  Very far from ridiculous. 

  • DomDiTolla

     @craig.nicepickcowher  Exactly Craig, obviously you were paying attention.  If you had read the article hart6399, the point is that depth at OLB (as well as depth at the other positions I discussed) should be considered this offseason because the Steelers really could have used it at the tail end of last year.  If Harrison and/or Woodley get hurt again in 2012, it would be nice to have more depth because there is only one guy with starting experience (Jason Worilds) behind the starters.  And if injuries or suspensions (Harrison’s case) happen the Steelers are going to need some help.  Plus, with Harrison being 34 it doesn’t hurt to have some competition with Worilds and Chris Carter for backup spots in camp either.
     
    Good teams acquire depth and quality players before positions become outright issues.  But hey hart6399, you’re entitled to your opinion, and thank you for reading.

  • hart6399

     @DomDiTolla
     The point of the article is understood. The whole paragraph that focuses on Lamarr Woodley is ridiculous. Simply put….they need depth in case of injury without having to focus on how Woodley was injured and “was a shell of himself”. Makes it sound like he has lost something when that would be a ridiculous statement at this point after a minor hamstring injury…..not a torn ACL or something like that. A hamstring injury to a passrusher would obviously cause that. All teams have to acquire depth and still have limited roster spaces to consider also.  I think I can figure that out. Nice condescending leave with “hey, you’re entitled to your opinion” as if you are a draft expert and GM. Thanks for allowing folks to have an opinion. Much appreciated.

  • craig.nicepickcowher

     @hart6399  @DomDiTolla What makes focusing on Woodley ridiculous?  He was a shell of himself when he returned from his hammy.  In fact most players are when they get hamstring injuries.  Minor?  I think not considering his first few games back he sat out a bunch of series because it kept bothering him – so yeah he lost something of himself and will need to prove he hasn’t lost it altogether when he comes back to camp.  Though an ACL tear is more ‘serious’ because it requires surgery, a hamstring can be almost as serious because of how it can keep coming back to haunt a player the rest of the season – see Johnson for the Texans last season too.
    So if you understand, why do you keep coming back to argue the point?
    Dom’s not condescending.  He truly thanks all of his readers for their comments no matter how argumentative they are.  We all appreciate our readers and their opinions.  How about just ditching the chip on your shoulder?

  • hart6399

     @craig.nicepickcowher  @DomDiTolla
     So I keep responding? You are mighty touchy. Are you two dating or something?

  • hart6399

     @craig.nicepickcowher  @DomDiTolla
     And I have a chip, but to question anything you ‘writers’ say is just silly. I would say the chip rests squarely on your shoulder.
     

  • hart6399

     @craig.nicepickcowher  @DomDiTolla
     And the hamstring injury was minor, but any minor injury lingers IF time isn’t allowed for it to heal. Continuing to play with it will make it look more severe.I would doubt it would be a problem that would carry over the entire offseason and make him less of a player considering he is a very young player. The point of focusing on his hamstring injury..still ridiculous. The point was the depth……not the health and deterioration of Woodley. But it’s okay……..you are welcome to your opinion.