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Sunday, April 27, 2008

That's a wrap

Let me just say this about the Steelers' draft, they had me right up until they took Dennis Dixon in the fifth round.

Rashard Mendenhall was a great value in the first round, as was Limas Sweed in the second.

Bruce Davis in the third round may have been a little higher than I had him rated, but he's a strong pass-rushing tweener end and that's the same round the Steelers have taken previous stars Joey Porter and Jason Gildon, so it fits – especially now that there are more teams running 3-4 defenses than before. Davis wouldn't have been there when the Steelers drafted in the fourth round.

If Tony Hills can play left tackle, he was well worth a fourth-round pick. He certainly has a better pedigree than Trai Essex, whom the Steelers selected in the third round a few years ago out of Northwestern.

Dixon is a bit of a mystery. He won't be ready to get back onto the football field for at least another month after suffering a torn ACL at the end of last season.

Considering he's fighting to be the team's third QB – which is basically a camp arm – the more time he misses, the worse off he'll be.

And there's a chance he may not even be ready until training camp. That's a lot of reps he'll miss between now and then.

He's a talent, to be sure, but it was a bit of a guilty indulgence.

Mike Humpall, the linebacker out of Iowa who was the first of the team's two sixth-round picks, is the new Clint Kriewaldt. A smart, instinctive player who was a tackling machine at Iowa, Humpall should be an excellent special teams player.

Ryan Mundy, the team's final pick, is another heady player, which is what the Steelers like in their free safeties.

In fact, Mundy is so smart, despite transferring into West Virginia for a fifth year under an NCAA rule that now no longer exists, Mundy was the guy who lined up the Mountaineers on defense last season.

He's also another player who should be a solid special teams player, as should Davis.

Yep, not a bad draft at all.


adamg said...

I won't be surprised to see Dixon land on one of the injured lists this year while he learns the QB job. The do need to start grooming someone to replace Batch in the next couple of years.

To me, Hills might have a better pedigree than Essex, but he doesn't have a better health history. I think this was a bit of reach.

Anonymous said...


I really enjoyed your draft coverage.

Any word on undrafted free agent signings? So far, I saw that the Steelers got a big WR, a K, and a center. I am hoping for at least a few bodies on the defensive line, as I'm sure most fans are.

Dale Lolley said...

Compared to the offensive linemen still available, Hills was a great pick at that point. Once all those linemen went ahead of them in the first round, the pickings weren't as good.

I've heard some things here and there about rookie free agents, but until they sign, I don't take anything for granted any more. They've had some guys signed away in the past who had agreements with them.

Dave said...

Good info on Mundy...thanks for the insight.