Nov 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) blocks at the line of scrimmage against Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Shakir Soto (52) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Go Totally Different Direction In Latest Kiper Mock


Just when you think you’ve heard it all in the bajillion mock drafts that take place leading up to the NFL draft, someone throws a huge curve into the fray.  ESPN’s Mel Kiper of all people has moved away from the cornerback and wide receiver schools of thought for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first selection in the draft and has elected to move to the offensive line with who he thinks the Steelers go with.

With the 15th overall pick, Kiper says the Steelers will select OT Zack Martin out of Notre Dame.  Martin is a high valued pick and is probably the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft.  Martin decided to stay at ND for his senior year and probably increased his value by doing so.  He had a very dominant season shutting down top pass rushers, such as Stanford’s Trent Murphy.  He excels in pass protection – his quick feet, natural athleticism, ability to pick up the blitz makes him a solid tackle.  He is a very smart guy and is noted as having a great character.  He certainly would fit as a Steeler.  He is, however, a bit undersized, and the worry is that Martin is maxed out on his frame.  He has short arms, and if a pass rusher begins to get an edge, he may not have the strength in reach to at least knock the attacker off his line to Ben Roethlisberger.

This pick is a curious one for me coming from Kiper.  It’s not like he knows everything there is to know about the draft and has certainly been wrong throughout the years.  But his mocks are usually sensible ones.  This first pick for the Steelers doesn’t seem sensible to me.  Yes, Martin is highly valued, but tackle is not one of the larger needs out there.  The Steelers usually go for BPA, but the are handcuffed this time around to try and fill as many holes as possible with the BPA at that particular positional deficiency.

Kiper’s justification for such a pick?  He believes the top two corners in Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard are gone as well as WR Odell Beckham, Jr.  He has the Steelers passing on TE Eric Ebron and WR Kelvin Benjamin – two very effective pass catchers and potentials for filling the tall receiver need.  I think Kiper might be digging deeper and just not letting on.  Martin is a superb blocker in the zone scheme, which is exactly where the Steelers are headed with the recent hiring of line coach Mike Munchak.  Kiper might also be thinking about the current state of affairs with Mike Adams.  Based on the legal situation he is in and the potential that he lied to the team about how and why he was stabbed, could very well be a violation of conduct severe enough to expel him from the team.  The Steelers will need a new tackle at that point, and might have to find one in the draft.

As always, this May 8th will prove to be interesting for the Steelers.

Next Steelers Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep1:00Cleveland BrownsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers Zack Martin

  • Scott

    How can you say Martin is probably the best tackle in the draft? He’s short armed which you
    dont need on the edge and is clearly behind Robinson, Matthews and Lewan in pecking order of tackles. If Gilbert, Dennard and Beckham Jr are gone the Steelers will definitely be in a lerch.

  • PJ_CA

    How many high picks have been used recently on OL? Given the current state of the Steelers D, age and a glaring lack of young impact players, if the Steelers use the 1st rd pick on ANYONE on offense I may have to consider becoming another fan after 35 years as a Steelers fan. This is a DEEEEEP WR draft, we don’t have to get one in Rd 1, Ebron is good, but I don’t think a TE makes enough of a difference to take us deep into the playoffs. However, a good CB, whether it’s Denard, Gilbert, or Fuller (heck, even Verrett) are there – you take him, period. Hopefully Colbert and Co. remember us getting torched regularly last season and the lack of turnovers we’ve had the last few years and do what is right for the team. WR is a need, but not a glaring one. The Steelers have been, are, and always will be defined by defense – and our defense now is old and slow. We need youth, but we also need playmakers on D.

    • OVP66223

      I would also strongly consider the best DL on the board. It sure seems like Nix could button down NT very well, but a dominant “tweener” DE/DT (ideal for a 3-4 DE) would be nice as well.

      The best defensive player on the board should be our focus. If we don’t see one we want, trade back 5-8 picks and get a sorely needed additional second round pick (or more).

      • PJ_CA

        I completely agree. One of the CBs will be available after the 15th pick, whether it’s Fuller or Verrett, I don’t mind – especially if we can get an early 2nd rd pick and turn that into Louis Nix and help the DL. I think, based on his knee injury, Nix will be available in the 2nd rd early. Then the other pick in the 2nd can be used on a WR. Bottom line, the Steelers need to use this draft to stockpile defensive talent, they have been far too focused on the offense recently and have been neglecting the D for too long. Time to change that

        • OVP66223

          More than anything, we need some talent that appears capable of starting. No more “projects” and we need to consider trading down because we need to improve our day 2 stockpile. Trade down a few spots in round 1, throw in a 6th round pick and get back maybe a 2nd and 4th or something like that.

        • OVP66223

          That said, if a stud falls to pick 15, jump, but make sure it is a stud and not a “project” that one person thinks could be a stud…if everything comes together with rainbows and unicorns.

      • Craig

        Steelers already have a ‘Tweener’ in McLendon. That’s not working out too well for them at the NT position. He needs to move to DE and they need to find a middle stuffing NT. I don’t think Nix is a good fit, but someone like Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman would be great.

        • OVP66223

          Nix is not a Tweener. I mention a 4-3 “tweener” because they’re usually too tall or not quite heavy enough for a 4-3 DT, and not quite small and quick enough for a 4-3 end, but just right for a 3-4 end. McClendon is too short for effective DE and not large enough for NT. I do think McClendon should be used as a DE, maybe on 3rd downs (or full time) before thinking about playing him at NT and being overmatched.

          • Craig

            Never said Nix was a tweener.

            I could be completely thinking of someone else, but didn’t McLendon move to DE when Al Woods went to NT during the season and did much better there??

    • Rikki Giaro

      The Steelers defensive strength is not in it’s CBs, it has been predicated on pressure. That means the defensive front, the d-line and linebackers. Regardless of how good a corner is they can only cover for so long. If there is a priority on defense it is the front , not the DBs, but I doubt at 15 there will be a value for the D-line. Pittsburgh needs production this year not 3 years from now, and that is what will happen if they go corner. Going WR or TE gives Pittsburgh a chance for more points this season, not to mention 2 of the top 3 wide outs are gone.

      • PJ_CA

        I agree, the Steelers are a pressure D. However, we also have had a severe lack of takeaways the last few years, and in today’s pass happy NFL a good secondary can carry you pretty far – ask the Seahawks. If we can get a corner that can cover for another 1/4 or 1/3 of a second, wouldn’t that allow the front 7 a little extra time to reach the QB? Besides, you get MAYBE 6-8 sacks in a game, MAYBE 15 pressures, and that’s out of possibly 50 opposing offensive plays – what do you propose to do the rest of the time? Say the Rosary maybe? At some point you gotta cover and defend some passes.
        There’s no guarantee a 1st rd wideout will be good either *cough* Limas Sweed *cough*, however, the Steelers have a good history of turning other WRs into productive starters – Antonio Brown, Emanuelle Sanders, Mike Wallace

        • Rikki Giaro

          Seattle won because Manning couldn’t breathe, without someone in his face, that perfectly illustrates my point. How can a corner cover someone from the bench? Jarvis Jones showed why rookies need to be on the bench, developmental players should not be first round picks. The Colts, Patriots, Green Bay have all done it for years by outscoring everyone. You can not win championships in todays NFL scoring 23 points a game. (Seattle 26 PPG)

          • PJ_CA

            Hmm, Manning couldn’t breathe. Interesting, that would mean the defense affected him? And maybe if the Broncos D was better it might have helped too? We cannot lie to ourselves and say Manning lacked weapons last year, he set how many records? And yet he still watched someone else hoist the Lombardi – go figure. Keep in mind the Seattle front 7 is NOT the Steel Curtain, it is above average, not much more. However, the secondary was elite – they stifled Manning’s weapons all over the field. The Steelers front 7 needs depth, sure, but aside from NT and DE they are a better group than Seattle’s. The secondary, however, is JV at best.

            BTW, how many SBs have the Pats won since getting caught cheating? Oh, that’s right, none. Colts, GB, Saints, each won one – a single trophy. Um, Ben has more than that and last I checked, he never threw for 50 TDs

          • Rikki Giaro

            That is really the point I have been making Ben has had to do it with inferior talent, he doesn’t have the luxury of a Calvin Johnson, or an Adrian Peterson. This team goes only as far as Ben takes it, the offense is close so finish it. Restock the D in later rounds, since it takes them more time to adjust. Maybe the Pats haven’t won the big one in a while but they have been to the playoffs and we haven’t. If Pittsburgh goes mostly D will will miss the playoffs again, how many more bad years will the Rooneys put up with? Do Tomlin and Colbert feel safe enough to pick a player that won’t play for 3 years? If they do will they still have their jobs left?

          • PJ_CA

            LOL, Tomlin and Colbert are more safe and secure than anyone else in the NFL. Ben has been doing just fine with Antonio Brown (6th rd). As I recall it wasn’t Ben that beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl – that was the D.
            We should learn a lesson from the Broncos, focus only on the offense and you will get steamrolled by the surging defenses that top the NFC now. If it’s not Seattle, it will be SF, or Carolina, or GB, or the Bears, or AZ. All play good D.
            Funny thing is excellent D is the “Steelers way” simple as that. We don’t need a flashy Tony Romo type at QB, we need someone who can score some points. Then set the D up to where they can pin their ears back and go after the opposing QB. Denver failed that, they had the weapons, but not the D. And what happened? 45-8 is what happened. Seattle’s front 7 would not have dominated like they did if the secondary wasn’t covering the WRs, those DBs were so far up those WRs rears they
            looked like they had prostate cancer. We need a secondary like that. While I agree, an impact rookie in the front 7 is unlikely, I think playing CB in our D is a lot easier to adjust to and should be our first pick.

          • SDAZT.STEEL66

            Yeah, how’d that “Steelers way” work out with inferior QB play and all those “strong defenses” between 1983-2003?

            Also, I seem to recall some teams being carried to Super Bowl titles by the strength of their offense in recent seasons as well (’97 & ’98 Broncos, ’99 Rams, ’06 Colts, ’09 Saints, ’10 Packers, ’12 Ravens).

          • PJ_CA

            Hmm, so the ’12 Ravens won because of offense? Seriously? LOL
            Any example of a team that won on offense can be countered by examples, certainly more, of teams that GOT to the SB with offense and failed there. 2008 Cardinals ring a bell? Or maybe the 18-0 Patriots might come to mind. Or maybe, the 3 failed attempts by Elway in the SB, or how bout them Bills? All had excellent QB play, good or great offenses, and yet won how many rings?

            Also, as I recall, William Gay was not the day 1 starter last year. So they HAVE paid him to ride the pine before. Ike is clearly at the end of the road, he will not be a Steeler in 2015, even Stevie Wonder can see that. So not drafting his eventual replacement now (which clearly Allen isn’t it) is just smart. Anything less is both stupid and irresponsible.

            I agree, we didn’t have even decent QB play from 83-03, however, we still made the playoffs quite a bit and we were 1 color blind QB away from beating Dallas a 3rd time. If it wasn’t for Neill thinking we were wearing white, our DEFENSE would have won us that SB. Lloyd and Greene were beasts then. Besides, Ben is no Bubby Brister.

          • SDAZT.STEEL66

            Hahaha.

            Some fact checking on your part might be in order, sir. Because you really need to hit the books.

            In case you forgot, Elway had nowhere near the offensive firepower during his first three trips to the Super Bowl that he did in his last two (#1 in 1997 PPG, #2 PPG in 1998). In case you also forgot, Washington had a stacked offense in 1991 (#1 in the league in scoring that year) as well as the Triplets w/the Cowboys in 1992 and 1993 (higher PPG than Buffalo in both seasons and top five offense both years). Also, why didn’t you address my points about those other teams I alluded to “Greatest Show on Turf” “Aaron Rodgers’ awesomeness” “Peyton Manning’s only title season,” etc.?

            Hilariously enough, the 2012 Ravens did win because of offense as their defense was in decline, in fact they averaged 31 points per game during the postseason that year. Also keep in mind the Cardinals lost that Super Bowl because their offensive coordinator, Turd Haley, was ever so insistent on running the ball early in that game that by the time he spread Pittsburgh’s defense out, an entire three quarters of football had passed them by. Of course, Pittsburgh’s defense choked when they blew a 13-point second-half lead and Big Ben & the offense had to save the day.

            Since the CB class is so deep, why not draft the eventual replacement on Day 2 or 3? It certainly worked w/Townsend, Ike, McFadden, Lewis, Allen, etc.. My simple argument is that round one should be used to pick a playmaker who can help this team immediately, particularly on the offensive side of the ball where they actually have roles which must be filled.

            Same goes for OLB and DE Guys won’t start or contribute this fall, but there are plenty of post-first round prospects at each of those positions who can step in and are just as capable if not more capable of becoming better players than some of the overrated prospects who will go before them. If you’d like me to cite some examples in a post below, I’d be more than happy to do so.

            Also, keep in mind that the Steelers lost Super Bowl XXX due to Cowher’s asinine strategy to give the ball to Erric Pegram instead of Bam Morris early in the game and his insistence on not utilizing his team’s 8th ranked passing attack to open up the ground game like they had all season. Last time I checked, that vaunted defense also spotted Dallas a 20-7 lead. Did O’Donnell’s turnovers hurt? Of course they did, but the miscommunication was between him and his receiver, not simply him. Only the moron blames O’Donnell and O’Donnell alone and not the team for the team-loss.

          • PJ_CA

            Ok, let’s be real: Only an EPIC, TRAGIC, and TOTAL Imbecile thinks the Steelers are 1 WR away from a Super Bowl. No, we are not going next year. Hate to break it to you. SO why not take this year and rebuild the D, let the kids learn on the job, and move on from there?

            BTW, the entire Ravens team won in 2012 solely on emotion, it was Ray’s last ride. Nothing more. The “Greatest Show on Turf” “A-Rod” and Peyton have won a total of 3 SBs, not exactly a dynasty, relax.

          • SDAZT.STEEL66

            Awww, looks like somebody’s mad. Lol.

            First, did I say that they were one WR away from the Super Bowl? Please, point that out to me. I just said they needed to rebuild their offense, and they need upgrades just as much, if not more, than the defense. This offense, T-16th in PPG and 20th in Total Points, and they are at least a WR, a TE and consistent play at both tackle positions from being a unit which could be considered a low-level playoff contender. Thus, they need to upgrade those just as much as positions like OLB, DE, CB, etc..

            If the guys are going to sit and watch, why not mine defensive gold later in the draft while pieces are put in place to make the offense an even more formidable unit? Please, explain to me why they need to automatically draft defenders earlier?

            What does a “dynasty” have to do with anything? By my count, the Seahawks have won as many Super Bowls as those teams I discussed above, so your moronic point holds little weight if any if they fail to reel off titles.

            Also, I think that the Ravens used the help of the Postseasons’ leading passer (1,140 yards & 11 TDs w/o INT) and Anquan Boldin’s, Dennis Pitta’s, Torrey Smith’s, and Jacoby Jones’ incredible work in the receiving game to win that Super Bowl. Also, doesn’t every team that wins a Super Bowl, let alone every team competing in the NFL, have something emotional working for them?

          • PJ_CA

            Ooh, so you show your ability to let your caretaker Google some stats for you – GOLF CLAP.

            Since you kept babbling on, while surely wiping drool from your mouth, about “immediate impact” I naturally assumed you actually had delusions that this team could be a contender next season. With 9 draft picks, maybe 4 to 6 make the team, and with the most glaring needs widely regarded as being on defense – yup, let’s draft a wideout. Makes sense.

            The view of nearly everybody not in a coma, is that this draft is deepest at (you guessed it) WR. So why draft one in rd1 when our #1 receiver going into next season was drafted when? That’s right, the 6th round. Go figure. On the flip side, once we pass the top 5 CBs, there is a significant dropoff.

          • SDAZT.STEEL66

            Awww, your anger regarding this issue is nothing short of hilarious :)

            Why not a wide out? Especially one who can do damage in the red zone, something I might add which they must replace since Cotchery is gone. Or a tight end to pair w/Heath so Haley can take advantage of matchup issues in “12″ personnel packages? Or a legitimate left tackle who can send Beachum to the right side to make Gilbert & Adams obsolete and provide adequate depth along an offensive line w/four of the top six guys in the rotation set to hit FA during the next two offseasons?

            While I admit that the draft is particularly deep at WR (I really hope they snag Davante Adams if he falls into round two), it is also extremely deep at CB. Guys like Pierre Desir, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Walt Aikens, Bashaud Breeland, Ross Cockrell, E.J. Gaines, Philip Gaines to name a few, could all be solid developmental options on day two or even early day three. Carnell Lake turned Keenan Lewis’ career around, and Cortez Allen looks primed for a breakout season. A year of development will definitely help. Also, to your point about Antonio Brown, keep in mind that guys like Richard Sherman were drafted in later rounds as well.

            In all honesty, if they do go CB in round one, I hope it’s Verrett since he plays so well in space and could be used to shut down the dink-and-dunk attacks which have plagued LeBeau’s defensive system for so long. Fuller I wouldn’t necessarily mind, but the other three come with some serious issues (Gilbert, Dennard and Roby).

            In addition, D-Line prospects like Caraun Reid (who could fill Al Woods’ old role & help in pass-rushing packages), Taylor Hart, Brent Urban, Ed Stinson, or even the undersized Ben Gardner could be had on those days as well. Plus, don’t count out Brian Arnfelt from making some contributions this year either.

            Enjoy the draft.

          • SDAZT.STEEL66

            Awww, your anger regarding this issue is nothing short of hilarious :)

            Why not a wide out? Especially one who can do damage in the red zone, something I might add which they must replace since Cotchery is gone. Or a tight end to pair w/Heath so Haley can take advantage of matchup issues in “12″ personnel packages? Or a legitimate left tackle who can send Beachum to the right side to make Gilbert & Adams obsolete and provide adequate depth along an offensive line w/four of the top six guys in the rotation set to hit FA during the next two offseasons?

            While I admit that the draft is particularly deep at WR (I really hope they snag Davante Adams if he falls into round two), it is also extremely deep at CB (as touched on by multiple groups of people, including Sp. Illstd). Guys like Pierre Desir, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Walt Aikens, Bashaud Breeland, Ross Cockrell, E.J. Gaines, Philip Gaines to name a few, could all be solid developmental options on day two or even early day three. Carnell Lake turned Keenan Lewis’ career around, and Cortez Allen looks primed for a breakout season. A year of development will definitely help.

            Also, to your point about Antonio Brown, keep in mind that guys like Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, etc. were drafted in later rounds as well. Hell, even Ike Taylor and Peanut Tillman weren’t 1st round picks. In fact, none of Pittsburgh’s starting or nickel CBs on their Super Bowl winning teams were selected in the 1st round.

            In all honesty, if they do go CB in round one, I hope it’s Verrett since he plays so well in space and could be used to shut down the dink-and-dunk attacks which have plagued LeBeau’s defensive system for so long. Fuller I wouldn’t necessarily mind, but the other three come with some serious issues (Gilbert, Dennard and Roby).

            In addition, D-Line prospects like Caraun Reid (who could fill Al Woods’ old role & help in pass-rushing packages), Taylor Hart, Brent Urban, Ed Stinson, or even the undersized Ben Gardner could be had on those days as well. Plus, don’t count out Brian Arnfelt from making some contributions this year either.

            Enjoy the draft.

          • PJ_CA

            Finally, something we can agree on. I too, most want them to draft Verrett – the more I see, hear, read about him the more I like him. However, I don’t think he will be available when the Steelers come up in Rd 2. So my preferred scenario has the Steelers trading down a bit in Rd 1, gaining a 2nd or 3rd rd pick and picking up Verrett later in the 1st Rd (he’s good, but 15th may be a bit of a reach). Fuller is also a good 2nd choice.

            I suspect any D-lineman that they draft that shows real ability will see action, he will have to (see Shamarko Thomas last year). It is sad but true that currently our best OT is a 7th round pick (Beachum), but that is actually a good thing, we can pick up OL depth later on day 2 or 3.

            The truth is we need to look further down the road, whoever gets picked in Rd 1 will want a pay day in 5 years if they produce, and unless they are delusional like Revis, CBs contracts tend to be cheaper than WRs. Keeping in mind those contracts you mentioned are expiring, the better cap wise choice will be a CB in the long term. If we can make that choice Verrett, all the better for the Steelers long term. Remember also, we have seen the Steelers D get worse and worse at getting takeaways – Ike’s hands of butter don’t help that. And with more and more spread offenses, the more secondary help we can get the better.

            P.S. I will enjoy the draft, unless wee go WR in the 1st rd – that will have me cursing Colbert. Besides, the last thing I want is to give Haley more weapons and make his schemes look credible. He needs to go

          • SDAZT.STEEL66

            Verrett (and to a lesser extent Fuller) would be the only two defensive players I’d be ok with the team drafting in round one. Verrett gives them an equalizer for teams like New England, and then double-dipping w/a longer framed CB, to play outside the numbers, on Day 3 early would really shore up the position.

            Truth be told, a dream scenario of mine would be the team trading back a bit (18-25 range), taking one of the two corners, then using their second and third round picks on Jace Amaro and/or Davante Adams (I watch a lot of Mountain West football and this dude is the real deal. Huge reason why Derek Carr is even being discussed as a 1st round pick is because of Adams), both of whom would instantly upgrade the offense. I just want the team to take an athletic flex tight end so watching Haley’s love affair w/12 personnel packages will be at least tolerable and matchup issues could exist on the outside and Bell & Blount could run against less stacked boxes.

            Of course, I really like Desir, Jean-Baptiste, Aikens, Cockrell, J. Watkins, Dontae Johnson, Exum, and to a lesser extent Breeland as well as day two/early day three picks. I trust that Carnell Lake can mine some second day gold, particularly w/this group of small school prospects who are amazingly talented in this class. In addition, I hope that the position is addressed at least three times via the draft & UDFA processes (combined) due to the depth of the class.

            I highly doubt that any D-Lineman will see extended work either. While I don’t agree with it, I think they’ll likely bring Keisel back for depth purposes because they usually bring their D-Linemen along slowly. Remember, it took Cam Heyward almost two years to see the field and he was a way more complete 5-technique than many that have been picked in years past. Also, I’m very excited to see how Arnfelt & Nick Williams push each other. Furthermore, I want to see what a developmental prospect like Taylor Hart or Brent Urban could bring to the table as well after a year of working w/Mitchell.

            As far as OL go, I’m more on board w/drafting them later. But I would be pissed if this team has chances to take guys like Ja’Wuan James or the extremely versatile Wesley Johnson and pass. James can pass block like a LT, and Johnson is just a longer-framed Kelvin Beachum (6’5”) who could fit at any of the five positions along the offensive line, particularly in a zone scheme. Of course, I would not be sad if they took someone like Zack Martin if he fell to #15.

            Also, don’t discount CB being an expensive position to keep either. While the market has gone down a bit this year, it is still an expensive position to keep on the roster since finding capable players is extremely important. Moreover, don’t discount the team from locking up a WR early for cheaper $$$ like they did w/AB. Keep in mind that the salary cap is going up over the coming seasons.

            I’d rather give Haley weapons and have Ben & Co. win in spite of him than watch the best years of Roethlisberger’s career go down the toilet. I guess the reason I argue so passionately for offense to not be ignored is that I see it being an issue not only in the immediate present, but five years down the road as well because holes will be there just as much as on defense. Moreover, I (from the tape & games I have watched) see the type of depth which exists at the CB position in the draft class, which Colbert raved about at the E-W game, the types of developmental DE’s which are available, and also under the radar pass rushers like Shaquil Barrett (whose coach at CSU was Joey Porter) or Derrell Johnson from East Carolina who has 3-4 experience, is tenacious when attacking the passer and possesses a fantastic motor.

          • Rikki Giaro

            Since you seem to be fixated on Seattle , how many 1st round picks does the Seattle secondary have? They do have a 1st round Wr on the team, which Pittsburgh doesn’t.I haven’t said to ignore the defense, but like Seattle those positions can be filled later in the draft. The red zone offense has been horrible, hovering just over 50 % if Pittsburgh averaged 4 more points a game, or traded one red zone field goal per game for a TD, they make the playoffs. How far could they have gotten , that is debatable, but they would have had a chance. Seattle also had a very short field to defend, at this point in his career Peyton doesn’t scare defenses deep. Many peole tend to forget a good bit of those short routes would get intercepted by our line backers. Our D needs a lot of work belive me I know that, but they can fill that in the middle rounds, give Ben that big red zone target and take some pressure off of the defense. It’s very difficult for a defense to pin it’s ears back ,when you are always playing from behind. Perhaps you have forgotten had Ben not made that tackle in the Colts game Pittsburgh probably doesn’t make the Super Bowl.

    • Rikki Giaro

      Deep doesn’t mean good, just means that there are more at the position. Only in Pittsburgh, can a team have a franchise QB , and not want to put top tier talent around him. The Vikings traded back into the first round to get C. Patterson, and Ponder is NO big Ben.

  • SDAZT.STEEL66

    I’ll admit, I’ll be pissed if they take Martin over guys like Ebron, Evans, Fuller, Verrett or Gilbert but consider the following for a moment you “Negative Nancies:”

    Martin would be far and away the best LT on the team from a talent standpoint, and an ideal fit for the zone
    blocking scheme. If you’re worried about his arm length, keep in mind that they are longer than Beachum’s and the same size as Jake Long’s.

    Gilbert’s current deal expires at the end of this season, and Adams does at the end of 2015.

    Ramon Foster’s current contract expires after the 2015 season as well.

    Pouncey could be looking for an Alex Mack-type extension next spring, and the team might need Beachum to fill in for him or at right tackle if Gilbert & Adams are deemed worthy of new deals.

    Finally and most importantly, Martin would actually contribute early & often to this team’s success. He wouldn’t be forced to rot on the bench like most rookies do w/Dick LeBeau (unless injuries strike), and he wouldn’t be an awful 1st round project pick like Ra’Shede Hageman.