The NFL Draft: No Need to Target Specific Positions
Had things fallen into place as I had planned -which most likely they usually do – when – you actually have a plan, there would have been no need to target specific positions in the draft. Targeting players in the draft has been considered draft taboo. It would appear the Steelers targeted their first 5 picks of the 2013 draft (Jarvis Jones, LeVeon Bell, Markus Wheaten, Shamarko Thomas and Landry Jones) because they felt those were positions of need.
With James Harrison still in the fold there would have been no need to target an outside linebacker. With Ahmad Bradshaw and Stephens Howling on board there would be no need to target a running back. In a draft article I wrote how I would have like to seen the Steelers draft Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert with their first pick. Eifert who went several picks after the Steelers selection to Cincinnati is a Miller clone but bigger, faster and can jump higher. The Steelers with the drafting of Eifert would have been set at the tight end position for the next 10 years.
In the second round I would have drafted Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown (Ravens round 2) who according to Gerry Dulac of the Post Gazette was was in strong consideration to be the Steelers first round pick in the draft. Brown would have been a steal in the second round.
After hoping California receiver Keenan Allen, originally a first round graded talent, would slide all the way to the Steelers at pick #75 in the third round. Allen went to San Diego with the 71st pick. I may have considered trading up to get Keenan Allen but again I want to stick as close as possible to what was there for the taking. Most likely it would have cost at least next year’s #2 pick to trade up to get Allen so I stay with the 75th pick and take Markus Wheaton in round 3.
I loved the pick of safety Shamarko Thomas in round 4 and do believe they needed to trade up for him as Dallas who drafted at #112 was looking for a safety.What I absolutely didn’t agree with was what occurred to get the Thomas pick.
Before the draft I wrote how strongly I was against drafting a quarterback to be a back up in this league. Unless drafting for a franchise quarterback it has been proven to be a wasted pick and the Steelers track record of drafting quarterbacks after the third round is a great example of this. (See my prior article on this subject here.) The Steelers have wasted so many draft picks after the third round on quarterbacks in their past draft history with not a single one of the 8 they have drafted since 1990 panning out. It is a trend around not only the Steelers but the entire NFL. There are plenty of former #1 picks out there with actual NFL experience to sign as back ups.
Instead of Landry Jones I take Ohio State’s John Simon with the Steelers second pick of the 4th round as he brings great leadership and work ethic which I also wrote about before the draft. Simon (Ravens 4th round) would enable the Steelers to carry one less linebacker since he can play inside or outside. The Steelers blew next years #3 draft pick for a third string quarterback who may never play more than a few minutes in the next 4 years. I will then concur with the remaining Steelers picks in rounds 5 through 7.