Monday, April 25, 2011

Draft thoughts

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.

16 comments:

Steeler Steve said...

I agree Dale...trading down does seem the most logical ,but do you think many teams will be willing to deal?

Anonymous said...

I hope so! not only would it give us more young players but less of a chance to reach for someone at 31

with so many teams wanting qbs and this draft having a lot of talent (yet none actually spectacular) there should be a chance to trade. Many are saying as much as 6 could go in the 1st....

Dale Lolley said...

I think teams looking for a QB may want to move up. Arizona would be an ideal partner if it doesn't take Gabbert.

Anonymous said...

The trade value does not equal an extra 3rd round pick (more like a 4th rounder) for the steelers to move down just a few spots. Yet the psychological effect of having round one on Thursday and having to wait another day may have a team willing to blow a 3rd round pick to pick twice on the first day. I just don't see it happening with the value so bad for the other team. But we would be foolish not to if the opportunity presented itself.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Dale Lolley said...

If a team doesn't have a QB and there's one out there it really, really likes but thinks somebody else is going to beat them to it, they'll give up the picks.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed 4 a trade down and this draft:

2. CB Ras-I Dowling, UVa
2. LT/G, James Carpenter, Alabama
3. NT Kenrick Ellis, Hampton
4. CB Curtis Marsh, Utah State
4. LT/RT Jarriel King, South Carolina
5. RB Da’rel Scott, Maryland
6. ILB Mario Harvey, Marshall
7. DE/DT Zach Clayton, Auburn

Colin said...

What is the obsession with Ras-I Dowling? He's a china doll who's not any more athletic than aaron williams, but isn't nearly as good against the run. He's got a few big hits on the highlight tape but by and large doesn't like to tackle, no surprise since he'll hurt himself if he does. He'll last until the 3rd round.

Anonymous said...

I personally think Ras-I Dowling will be drafted somewhere late in the second round like Limas Sweed was.
What if we got Williams in the first and Dowling in the second? That's a win-win for our secondary right there. & Unless there's a nose tackle or a left tackle that we just have to have, our first two picks could both be secondary.

Anonymous said...

I'd much rather slide back a bit and pick up Curtis Brown in the mid 2nd while grabbing Cortez Allen with that extra 3rd or 4th.

Anonymous said...

Even if Williams ends up a safety, it's not like the Steelers don't need safety help pretty soon and depth right now.

As far as next year's corners, sign Ike or die, it looks like. I don't think anyone we pick up at 31 or later rounds is going to come in and start and learn LeBeau's D (remember Woodley rotting behind the 2007 Clark Haggans?). Maybe C. Butler will be a keeper? Who knows, Tramon Williams for the Packers was undrafted, it took a few years but he was outstanding last year.

Just have to hope Troy's healthy and the front seven is good enough to hide the CB talent level once you get past Ike.

Anonymous said...

Bryant Mcfadden is a smart but unathletic corner who supports the run well.

Aaron Williams is a smart but unathletic corner who supports the run well.

How is he an upgrade?

Can Steelers fans please leave the 70's behind. Its a passing league and teams hurt us in the air every year. Take the cb who can cover a receiver, stopping the run is for our front 7.

marc said...

unfortunately, the steelers just aren't in a position to draft an immediate starter at CB. they must sign taylor, or franchise him if it is available.

i don't think the injuries for dowling will turn them off, if he checked out with their doctors. they took heath miller when he was hurt, i think.

on a separate note, i was glancing at the steelers draft history and 2008 doesn't seem to be turning out too well.

steelcan said...

Bold precdiction (not really) Steelers make their top pck. 50% agree 50% disagree. 2 years from now most will agree. Happens almost every year in the Colbert era.

Lhag said...

I like the idea of a trade down, but unfortunately most teams from about 25 on will too as they all have their QBS and the talent is basically the same between 25 and 40. I can see the Pats dangling that #28 pick for sure.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't know that Williams is unathletic. He did run a 4.36 at his pro day.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

You ever hear of Texas' notorious fast track at its pro day? His 4.36on that track means that he is a 4.55 CB, which is what he ran at the combine and how he plays on the field. Scouts know to adjust downward the times of the Texas players because of that track. If I had to choose between the two, I'd take A. Williams over B. Harris, a 5'9'' corner with 4.5 speed that doesn't tackle.