Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thoughts, observations

That the Steelers have opened negotiations with several veterans about contract restructures isn't huge news.

Everyone knew they were going to have to do something - and soon - to trim some salary cap before March 12.

The big news will be if they have to release any veteran players to get under the cap.

At this point, that's looking like it's not going to happen.

By restructuring Ben Roethlisberger, Lawrence Timmons and even LaMarr Woodley, the Steelers should be able to get under $123 million - which is now the number that the cap is estimated to be at.

Teams won't know the true cap number until sometime next week.

@ Some fans will make a big deal about players restructuring their deals, but it's really beneficial to the player.

Put it this way, it's kind of like your boss coming to you and asking if you'd like $50,000 now in a lump sum - that you get to keep no matter what - as opposed to waiting for it and getting it on a weekly basis the remainder of the year - unless you're fired.

@ Dee Milliner solidified his spot atop the rankings among cornerbacks in this draft by running a 4.37 on Tuesday and might now be a top-10 consideration for some teams, while Xavier Rhodes didn't do anything to hurt his first-round status by running a 4.43 at 6-1, 210 pounds.

But the other corner who could now start seeing some first-round consideration is Washington's Desmond Trufant. At 6-0, 190, Trufant rant a 4.38. That, coupled with a solid Senior Bowl, could push him into the bottom of the first round.

@ The situation at safety is a little more clouded.

Kenny Vacarro, the top safety available, ran a pedestrian 4.63 at 6-0, 214 pounds. But he did lead the safeties in the 20-yard shuttle at 4.06 and had a 38-inch vertical jump.

Considering Texas used Vacarro as a nickel back on passing downs, that's not surprising. He has the short-range change of direction to cover slot receivers.

But his on-campus workout will be important if he wants to go in the first round. He needs to get that 40 time into the 4.55 range if he wants to go early.

LSU's Eric Reid was probably the star of the safety position, running a 4.53 40 at 6-1, 213, while showing off an 11-2 broad jump and 40.5 vertical.

But that position is deep this year. If the Steelers were to pass on Vaccaro in the first round, I love D.J. Swearinger in the third as a guy who can play free or strong safety.

Swearinger is a big hitter and showed off good athleticism at the combine, with a 37-inch vertical, 10-2 long jump and 6.70 in the three-cone drill.

He only ran a 4.67 40, however.

@ If the Steelers don't go for a safety and pass on an offensive lineman in the first round, that leaves WR or LB in the first.

I'm not a big fan of Cordarrelle Paterson in the first round (I question his smarts) and Keenan Allen, the other top wideout in this class didn't work out at the combine due to a hamstring injury.

Tavon Austin would be a solid pick, but with his size restrictions (5-8, 174 pounds), teams might shy away from taking a guy who is strictly a slot receiver early in the first round.

Clemson's DeAndre Hawkins looks like the next Roddy White. At 6-1, 214 pounds, he's a physical receiver with a 36-inch vertical. But he ran a 4.57 40. If he can improve that time, I wouldn't have a problem taking him in the first round, even at 17.

I can't say the same right now for some of the linebacker prospects.

Why take a chance on a Barkevious Mingo, who tore up the combine, when his production in college didn't match his measurables?

Other guys who might be available at 17 - such as a Damontre Moore - had pedestrian combines. In fact, Moore ran 4.95 in the 40.

The Steelers might be better served waiting and taking a guy like Sio Moore of UConn in the second or round. Moore was a monster at UConn and his good play last season was backed up at the combine, where he ran a 4.65 40, did 29 reps of 225 on the bench and showed off a 38-inch vertical leap.

At 6-1, 245, Moore would probably transition to inside linebacker in the Steelers scheme.


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good stuff

Hack said...

I have been and continue to be...all in on David Amerson

Patrick said...

that Moore guy is interesting. Its so early to say this but every year I feel like there is a guy we KNOW they are going to draft (Ta'mmu, Summers, Woodley, even Kemo seemed like an obvious pick that year). Feel like he could become that guy in the second - sounds like a great fit.

Because I like to ponder things and then everyone calls me stupid, does anyone fear someone trying to snag Sanders if he gets tendered where his compensation is only a 3rd rounder?

A 3rd rounder for Sanders? Not a bad deal, especially a late one. It would hurt the Steelers badly too, and I wonder if the Bengals would consider it. They could use a receiver to give help to Green.

Anonymous said...

"A 3rd rounder for Sanders? Not a bad deal, especially a late one."

For a guy who hasn't done much in 3 years? I'll take the pick and send that team a fruit basket.

Anonymous said...

Hack: The Miami Hurricanes WRs were "all in" on Amerson too. They torched your boy for 5 TDs in one game.

It was brutal.

Steve-O said...

I agree with you Dale, Pattersons got the raw skills to be special but he's still not NFL (or even Division 1) smart. Nevertheless, his talent will carry him until he gets a season under his belt... and Tavon Austin to me is just a special, special player. Either of these two guys will scare the bejeesus out of the Steeler"s opponents. I wouldn't pass on talent like that. Like you said, there is depth in this draft at LB, so I hope the Steelers grab a WR with top end talent in round 1.

Anonymous said...

Dale,

Thoughts on Jones?

Anonymous said...

need an OLB in the first

Harrison is about done. Woodley is fat and lazy

The most important position in our 3-4 D is having a beast at OLB that can get to the QB

you dont draft safeties in the first round unless they are amazing like Polamalu, Reed, Sean Taylor, etc

Eric T said...

Patrick,

I doubt somebody will give up a 3rd round pick and a un-matchable contract to Sanders based on his spotty body of work. He has potential and has should flashes, but i think he is worth more to the Steelers then another team.

Dale, of the FA, is Lewis the number 1 priority once the restructures and cap clearing are done? Or will they let him hit FA and try to let the market set his contract?

Anonymous said...

I'd go Tavon Austin at 17. This draft lacks true playmakers and although he is small his speed and body of work speaks for itself.

DD said...

This team does not need yet another undersized, "fast" slot receiver. They have 2 already disguised as #1 and #2 WR's on the squad in Brown and Sanders. If the Ravens taught us anything, it is that big, physical WR's (even if they are slow) who can fight for the ball move the chains and win games. Boldin was clearly the MVP of the playoffs for that team, not Flacco. If that guy exsists, get him. Even if it is a lesser talent guy in rd 3 or 4, get him and go with other positions earlier.

Anonymous said...

Would our first (17) and third round pick in exchange for the Niners 1st round (31 overall) and newly acquired 2nd round pick (34 Overall; via Chiefs in the Alex Smith deal) be a sufficient deal? Would we need to throw in more value?
Perhaps I am over-valuing our first round position but it would move the Niners smack dab into the middle of the first round and help us gain value. Just some food for thought..

Dale Lolley said...

Why would the Steelers give up a third to move down? IF somebody wants to move up - a big if at this point - the Steelers won't be giving up picks to do it, unless it's like a sixth rounder.
I don't see that happening any more than I see a team giving up a third for Sanders.

Patrick said...

I think Sanders is a receiver with a lot of potential and return skills. I know its not likely to happen, but its not like a 3rd round WR in most drafts is a sure thing. I'm also not saying KC is going to tender him with a low pick.

Of course his injury history hasn't been great but he played every game last year.

Viktor said...

The most important part of the 3-4 Def is the Nose tackle.

I think the Steelers should draft a DE in the first followed by the best WR or DT in the second then go DB or OLB in the third. Maybe Robert Woods would fit the Boldin role if he is there in the 3rd rnd.

Anonymous said...

Hopkins. DeAndre Hopkins.

Anonymous said...

Its seems as though the steelers aovernight love with Cooper. If he's there at 17 I believe he will be the pick

Anonymous said...

I see the latest meme is to knock Mingo for his "production". I watch a lot of LSU football; put on the tape. Dude makes plays. He or Sam Montgomery would immediately be this team's best pashrusher, if drafted.

Toby Crane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BennyC said...

I'm still pulling for Matt Elam out of Florida. Kid has a lot of Troy like attributes. He would be a good pick up IMO. Needs some work on his tackling ability but man he can lay some big hits. Kid has solid hands as well.

Joe Jones said...

Just my take...
If Oregon DE Dion Jordan is there at 17, you gotta take him, and look for a WR in rnd 2 (Woods, Swope)
Jordan will most likely be gone before then.

So who do you take Dale? WVU's speedster Tavon Austin (Torrey Smith-type receiver)
OR Cal's Kennan Allen who could be a polished receiver (Anquan Bolden-type receiver).

I'd take Allen over Austin, whats your opinion?