After listening to Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin today, I truly think the Steelers are trading down in this draft.
The Steelers believe there is value deep into this draft and given the fact that they like to have their bases covered at all times, they'll want to acquire as much talent as possible with the unsettled nature of the league right now.
There's no telling what the free agency rules will be once that hits - or if the Steelers will be in a position to sign any. Remember, they could wind up being over the cap if a new CBA is put in place with a significantly lower cap - which is what many owners are pushing for.
© Another thing I came out of the sitdown with was that the Steelers badly need a cornerback or two. They are looking at this thing as if Ike Taylor and William Gay aren't on the team and won't be on the team. That leaves you with Bryant McFadden, Anthony Madison, Keenan Lewis and Crezdon Butler as the team's lone cornerbacks.
There's no way the Steelers are comfortable with that.
While the Steelers would have enough decent talent on the offensive line to line up and play with if they had to tomorrow, they cannot say the same thing at cornerback.
© The headline on Ed Bouchette's piece about Texas defensive back Aaron Williams was somewhat misleading.
"On the Steelers: Williams not the cornerback the Steelers need," the headline said.
But nowhere in that piece is there much to back that up.
Sure, there's some quotes in there from respected scout Jack Butler about the difficulty of taking a safety and making him a corner.
But Williams played cornerback at a big-time school and though his 4.55 40-time isn't ideal for a cornerback, his size (6-0, 205) is an ideal fit in the Steelers defense.
The same thing cannot be said about 5-9 1/2-inch Brandon Harris of Miami, the other top defensive back who could be available when the Steelers pick in the first round.
The wildcard is Virginia's Ras-I Dowling. Dowling has outstanding size, speed and playmaking ability. But he also played in just three games his senior season due to a myriad of injuries.
Do the Steelers roll the dice and take Dowling in the first round or do they play it safe and take Williams?
Again, a trade down five to 10 picks to take Dowling and pick up another third-round selection would seem to make the most sense.