The draft is quickly approaching, and the Steelers are gearing up to hunker down in their war room starting on Thursday. The talent pool is deep this year within numerous positions. The needs are so many for the Steelers this season it seems as if they were to throw a dart on the wall, the bullseye would be about six feet in diameter. They are hard pressed to find a player in that first round that won’t make an impact in their first year. It seems kind of hard to make a mistake, but there are a couple of things that the Steelers can do that could just about ruin the entire draft with some poor 1st and 2nd round selections.
Not Be Aggressive Enough
B- E – A -GG – R – E – SS- IVE. Even though the talent pool is extensive, only the Steelers know what their greatest need is this season. We can speculate as much as we want, but at the end of the day, it’s only Colbert and Tomlin who have a plan formulated for Thursday and beyond. As teams begin to gobble up the top talent coming into the league, teams have two choices – stick to the plan, or be aggressive and make moves. The Steelers need to be aggressive throughout the entire draft. Each pick is incredibly important this year. The Steelers live and die with player development, and if they choose poorly, the team will be in trouble this season (and a ton more in seasons to come). If this means they need to trade away a fourth or fifth round (or both) to move up even a couple of spots to get ‘their guy,’ then they better be ready to commit to that and not get scared by losing a pick or two out of the deal. When positional needs can’t be met at the time they want to pick, the Steelers have been known to draft the best available player. Doing so could cause a rather bad domino affect the rest of the draft. Stay aggressive and get the man you want
Pick The Wrong Position
This may seem like a ‘duh’ sentiment. But, along the same lines as aggressiveness goes, the Steelers can’t just take the best guy sitting at #17. As much as many folks out there think so and therefore, would love to see the future franchise QB begin working under their current great, selecting Big Ben’s backup in the first round (if the best valued player at the time) is a bad choice. There’s plenty of need and plenty of talent to fill prior to going after the next Big Ben. I know people are biting at the bit for this to get done, but there’s plenty of years left in Ben’s career to address the QB situation when it becomes a bit more favorable. That’s not to say either they shouldn’t draft a position like QB in rounds four or beyond, but go after what you know are the bigger and more dire needs.
Hit The Panic Button
With teams needing similar positions as the Steelers this year, there’s a potential things could go down hill and fast. Ten minutes may seem like an eternity for us fans stuffing our face with nachos and swigging back some beers while watching this thing from our couch, but that clock ticks far too fast for GM’s and coaches who are watching the boards. Before you know it, by the 14th pick, four out of the top five OLB’s could be gone. Ya gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky? And if you aren’t, is a trade to ensure that 5th OLB a good aggressive move (like we talked like before) or a poor reactionary and unnecessary one? Colbert has been doing this for years, but we’re all human…. except Jerry Jones.
So, it’s not necessarily about exactly whom the Steelers go after we should be worried about. It’s the method(s) at which they go about doing so. Make the wrong move at the wrong time, and the Steelers could find themselves drafting an entire rookie class of Huey Richardson’s.