With the draft a mere two weeks away and plenty of other things happening for the Steelers right now, it seems like a good time to do my first ever edition of Fact or Fiction. Just to make something clear, I don’t have inside information into the Steelers war room and I don’t claim to. That is why all of the facts or fictions are based on my own opinions of what I would want to happen and not my predictions.
Justin Gilbert is the Steelers Main Target at Cornerback
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with my writing and opinions knows that I am not a huge fan of Gilbert’s, especially in Dick LeBeau’s off-man coverage scheme. He isn’t a good fit in the Steelers defense and he isn’t even that good of a player to begin with. He is much more of an athlete than a cornerback and has significant steps to make before he is even remotely a complete player. That being said, he does have significant potential if he can get picked into the right organization with position coaches who can fully develop him. In my opinion, Gilbert is far too overrated by the media and would not be a good pick for the Steelers at all. They would be served much better by picking either Jason Verrett or Kyle Fuller if they are sold on going cornerback.
A Big Ben Contract Extension is In the Works
My own opinion just so happens to coincide with what I think will happen on this one. The Steelers would be
borderline insane to let the franchise quarterback and arguably the best quarterback in franchise history to get away from them, especially when he has already played so much of his career in Pittsburgh. An extension shouldn’t be too hard to work out because it seems as though Ben has always been willing to give up some so he can stay in the black and gold. This one shouldn’t need to much discussion. Lock him up and don’t think twice about it. Ben needs to, and deserves to, finish his career out in Pittsburgh.
A Trade Back Could Be an Option
Just like with the situation pertaining to Ben’s contract, this one shouldn’t even need to be discussed. In such a deep draft where the Steelers also have so many needs, this draft is perfect one to consider a trade back. If they can trade back around five to ten picks and pick up either one or two extra picks to help fill their needs. The difference in talent that could be had at pick 15 and pick 25 isn’t that big. The players that they could end up with at either pick would probably have similar career paths. Adding an early day two pick or
a late day two and early day three pick would be a great asset if you can only manage to lose a small amount of talent in the first round.
The Steelers are Considering a Safety Early in the Draft
I really don’t understand why anyone would consider taking a safety early in the draft if they were in Kevin Colbert’s shoes. Safety already, in my opinion, wouldn’t have been an early round priority before Mike Mitchell was signed. After he was signed, the Steelers are pretty much set at safety for the next five years. By that time Mike Mitchell’s contract will be up and even if he doesn’t decide to re-sign in Pittsburgh for a few more years, that is plenty of time for the Steelers to draft another safety. If your argument is that the Steelers need more depth at safety, that is also false. Shamarko Thomas, Will Allen, and Robert Golden make up a very good supporting cast and in no way need to be approved on. But that’s just my opinion. Just don’t be surprised if there is no safety in the Steelers’ 2014 draft class.
The Steelers Need a Tall Receiver
Besides, and maybe even ahead of, my personal crusade against Justin Gilbert being a potential Steelers’ pick comes my hate of the common misconception that the Steelers need a tall receiver. The fact is, and yes it is a fact, they don’t need a tall receiver. The Steelers need a receiver who is good at creating space when there isn’t any available and catching the ball in space. If you don’t want to take my word for it, read this fantastic article by fellow Steelers fan and football analyst Cian Fahey. Now granted, the Steelers did lose Jericho Cotchery this past season, but they only need to replace him not get a bigger receiver who probably isn’t as good as a smaller one. A perfect example is Mike Evans vs. Odell Beckham. Mike Evans is much more highly touted in the media, but from my film study of each player Beckham is the far better player. A player who is similar to Beckham is who the Steelers should be targeting, not a tall receiver who has a far overrated skill set.
What do you think Steelers Nation? What other rumors are there that I didn’t address? What would your verdict be for these Steelers rumors?