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Saturday, May 02, 2015

Final draft thoughts

So much for the best player available.

GM Kevin Colbert as much as admitted the Steelers didn't do that this year - not that they really do any year - and instead drafted for need.

The team went into this draft wanting to take six defensive players and two offensive. Lo and behold, six defensive and two offensive players were taken.

They were taking offensive players based on value, which is why Maxx Williams would have been the pick in the second round had he lasted and Sammie Coates was taken in the third round.

The Steelers felt the value was too great to pass up.

But they had holes they wanted to fill and they did so.

@ The Steelers sign 12 undrafted rookies on Saturday following the draft. They are:

   Cameron Clear                       TE              6-5              277           Texas A&M
   Nigel Crawford-Kinney         DT              6-5              300           Saint Augustine’s                 
   Dominique Davis                    DE             6-5              285           Liberty
   Miles Dieffenbach                  G                6-3              303           Penn State
   Reese Dismukes                    G                6-3              296           Auburn
   B.J. Finney                            C                6-4              318           Kansas State
   Tyler Murphy                          WR             6-2              213           Boston College
   Bradon Prate                          DE             6-4              285           Illinois State 
   Collin Rahrig                      G                6-2              285           Indiana                                            
   Eli Rogers                              WR             5-10            180           Louisville
   Ross Scheuerman                  RB              6-0              204           Lafayette (Pa.)

   Kevin Whimpey                      T                6-5              295           Utah State

Murphy is interesting in that he was a quarterback at Boston College and will be making the switch to wide receiver.

@ Corners Senquez Golson and Doran Grant and safety Gerod Holliman had a combined 29 interceptions last season. The Steelers have 42 as a team - and no more than 11 in any one season - since the 2010 season.

That also happens to be the last time they won a playoff game.

Coincidence? I think not.

@ I find it interesting the team didn't take an offensive lineman. Mike Adams, Ramon Foster and Kelvin Beachum are all heading into unrestricted free agency following this season, while the team also needs to work out a long-term extension with David DeCastro, even though his fifth-year option was picked up.

You'll notice, though, four offensive linemen among the undrafted guys brought in. There's a good chance one or two of those guys sticks around.

@ Colbert said the Steelers had targeted a cornerback in the second round and that Golson was one of them.

But Eric Rowe was a target as well. And once Rowe was taken and tight end Maxx Williams began to fall, he became a target.

But they didn't want to give up a fifth-round pick to move up.

I don't have a problem with that. As it turns out, would you rather have Golson and Jesse James or Williams?

I'd take Golson and James. Williams, in my opinion, is OK. But he's not the next Jimmy Graham.

@ When we asked defensive line coach John Mitchell about Daniel McCullers and Clifton Geathers, his eyes lit up.

Mitchell said he had spoken to McCullers about getting his weight down and the big nose tackle complied. Geathers, meanwhile, according to Mitchell, came in about 30 pounds lighter.

Both guys should be much better in 2015.


Zeke R said...

Then why Coates if they were drafting for need? Are they concerned they won't be able to afford AB?

Anonymous said...


Yes or No, If Collins is cleared as a suspect, will the Steelers make a big push to sign him?

I'm not sure how this all works, but if a team were to sign him, getting potentially a top pick for next to nothing could be a game changer.

Marc said...

I think selecting Coates reflects the expectation of diminishing production from the TE group over the next few seasons.

I believe Collins has the right to sit out the entire year and re-enter next years draft. Might be the best option for him now, assuming he's just a victim of circumstance.

Anonymous said...

I think the NFL said Collins cannot enter the draft next year.

Is there still a rookie salary cap? If he's cleared and signs as an UDFA, he'll sign for a fair amount contract. How will it fit under the cap?

Dale Lolley said...

Coates was a BPA thing and they wanted another wideout. Yes the top three are set, but they have little depth and DHB is likely only a one-year thing.
Coates is also a different body type than the other guys. Built like a safety. The others are all skinny.

I would go hard after Collins. But I would have taken a flier on him in the seventh round unless teams are hearing this is really, really bad.

There is a rookie cap still in place. But nobody's going to give him anything more than the minimum and a signing bonus. If it works out, he'll get performance based increases

Anonymous said...

So it's not enough we had guy Whimper, now we for the the Whimpey kid!

Phil said...

I like who the Steelers drafted. Here's what I would've done:
1. Dupree. I know he's raw but you can't teach that athleticism.
2. Quentin Rollins. He isn't as fast or experienced as Golson but he's larger. I think that's a good trade-off. None of the Steelers' options here were great.
3. Carl Davis. I love Coates but I just think he's too much of a luxury. Davis makes Cam Thomas expendable.
4. Grant. Great pick.
5. Kenny Bell. Terrific receiver/returner.
6A. Darren Waller. Goodbye DHB.
6B. Ben Koyack. Is Jesse James really that much better than him?
7. Anthony Harris. Holliman's ball skills without his allergy to tackling.

Anonymous said...


Colbert's comments contradict the theory that the Steelers were going to draft Maxx Williams. He said Golson was their man, and they nearly traded up to get him.

Do you think he's lying to quell the narrative we had a player snatched by the Ravens, or are you wrong?

Zeke R said...

Phil for Steelers GM or the next armchair GM. Whichever position opens up first.

Anonymous said...

F Williams. People act like he was e next coming. He was the best tight end in an average class. Big whoop. I'll take the ball hawk anydqy over him. Drafting a tight end in the second would have been the luxury pick.

Joe Jones said...

I'm assuming Collins isn't eligible for the rule 4 draft or watever?

Joe Jones said...

Agreed. He's nothing special. Should be more than solid on the TE thirsty Ratbirds tho.

Dale Lolley said...

What do you expect Colbert to say? Yes, we didn't want Golson but after Williams was taken, we had to go to the next guy on our board.

The league ruled that Collins isn't eligible for the supplemental draft.

Phil said...

Thanks, Zeke. My armchair's pretty comfy but it would be incredible to be a scout for the Steelers or BLESTO. I never played or coached and I have no connections so it's probably a pipe dream.

Williams isn't as polished as Heath was when he came out of UVA but his talent level is similar. I think he's going to be very successful.

The Seahawks have the Legion of Boom. The Steelers have the Smurfs. Hopefully they'll get some takeaways because I think they're going to give up a lot of touchdowns. If you watch some Sammie Coates highlights you'll see him feasting on Golson. You can also see Williams catching one over Grant.

snarky said...

Every year there are a few prospects that have it all. Size, speed, and production. The rest are always lacking in one area or another. I hope the size of these cbs doesn't become an issue. But i personally always liked it when the Steelers took the guy with the best tape over the best athlete.

Tom said...

I'm thinkin the Steelers are going to return to Blitzburgh under Butler. They are picking quick-twitch corners who can either jump a route (Golson) or come up and lay some wood (Grant). Holliman isn't the answer at free safety in the base D, however I think he would be an awesome nickel/dime back, you can't deny his instincts and hands as a center fielder type of DB.

Zeke R said...

I just don't understand why they weren't more aggressive during the draft, KC mentioned moving up but never did and said it wasn't feasible.. What's feasible, getting an impact player or getting a guy that was distant on your draft board? When it's all said and done, if you actually get three guys that contribute, that's considered a very good draft. I wish more action would of went on, especially in a weak draft such as this one.. Just venting.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's also what he would say if he was telling the truth.

How do you know he's lying, and secretly DID want Williams over Golson? Because you view Williams as a better pick? Or are there reliable reports from inside the war room?

Anonymous said...

Relying on NCAA stats, as the Steelers did with Golson and Holiman, is not smart. Jarvis Jones is Exhibit A. Relying on those selectively, admitting some while rejecting others, is dishonest. Here, per, are two to the downside:

Coates 19.6% drop rate
Holiman: 44 tackles made, 20 tackles missed.

Lost in the discussion of whether Golson can play at 5085, or can't, is the fact that at 2.56 there were other, better prospects available on the defensive side of the ball. That's a feature in this draft: a high number of fallers including but not limited to:

R2: Gregory, O-diggy, Jaelan Strong
R3: Carl Davis, TJ Clemming,
R4: Jay Ajayi and the QB Hundley and Petty

On the downside, none are smurf DB.

Accepting the idiot notion that going in with (6) D and (2) as a must do.

1: Dupree; i like Jones better but Dupree is a good pick

2. Gregory or double-O. OLB addressed

3. Carl Davis

4. Adrian Amos

5. Jesse James

6a. Kristjan Sokoli: if converted to OT, 2nd O

6b. CB Daryl Roberts

7. Tre McBride or the Oregon CB. 6th D or 2nd O depending on Sokoli's assignment.

Anonymous said...

Those who are referencing Jarvis Jones' NFL stats, have not idea what they are talking about. I'd reference the fact that most defensive players for the Steelers don't play much their first year or two. And...Jarvis was on a great pace with STATS IN THE NFL until he got hurt last year.

Point 2: There is no way Sammie Coates had a drop percentage of 20%. That's crazy. You drop 1 in 5 you don't play. Saying he has bad hands is lazy scouting, but may have allowed him to drop to us in round 3. He's easily a first round talent, and if you don't think so, compare him to Perriman in Baltimore.

Those who are knocking the pick of Senquez Golson probably haven't watched him play. Size and physicality are not an issue with this guy. He is an absolutely outstanding football player. Very comparable to Brent Grimes.

We are fans should be ecstatic with this draft. It is crazy to me that we any of us think we know better than people who do this for a living and (oh by the way) have drafted multiple super bowl winning teams.

Enough with the redrafts!!!!!!

Marc said...

i doubt the steelers relied on stats when making their picks.

I'm not a fan of the smaller DB's, but, I think we are seeing a shift in thinking from the DC on how the defense is going to work. possibly more blitzing, press coverage.

ultimately, these guys know a thousand times more about a player than we do. and relative to the rest of the teams in the nfl, they tend to draft pretty well.

after reviewing the UDFA list, I'm pretty pumped there are some gems in there. hope they work out.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone who is criticizing the Golson pick actually watched a single moment of him playing? I can already guess that, largely, the answer is no.

Golson's a baller. Does everything well. He's just short. If he were 6'0" he goes late first.

kyle said...

We don't know what any of these players are until they start playing against NFL competition. That being said, here are some things I'm keeping in mind:

Regarding Dupree's lack of production, he started out on offense and went through a coaching regime change. Clearly, he's raw but it's rare that a "polished" player comes out of college and still looks polished against NFL veterans.

I'll say again, Golson is the same height as Brandon Flowers. If you wanted the Steelers to sign Flowers in free agency, then you need a new criticism.

Coates had a fair amount of drops. I don't like drafting receivers who have a lot of drops. The benefit of the doubt that I am extending to him is that his QB was so GREAT that he was in the draft as a DB.

As to the shoulda woulda couldas, Odighizuwa had been talked about as late first/early second and got drafted in the third. Apparently the teams knew something fans didn't. Imagine that.

Gregory is lighter than Dupree, tested positive for weed, and embarrassed himself throughout the interview process. Why anyone is confused as to why he was off the Steelers' board is beyond me.

McBride has been mentioned as having a serious attitude problem.

Chip Kelly would change the name from the Eagles to the Ducks if he could and he didn't use either of his sixth round picks nor his seventh to draft Ifo. If the coach who recruited him and who wants as many Ducks as possible doesn't want him, then it seems the smart money is on that knee being a non-starter.

emac2 said...

First off I would like to thank you for your excellent draft work on the radio.

I agree with drafting Collins on a flyer. None of these guys are a sure thing. I'm sure the odds he ends up contributing in the NFL are more on par with a 3rd or 4th rounder then undrafted, or even a 7th rounder. I was surprised no one took him in the middle rounds.

The Steelers were put in a tough spot with the CB's gone early in the first and Dupree falling. I had him in the top 15 and a much better value then any CB on the board but if they were going to lock themselves into a CB box in the 2nd round by taking Dupree in the first I think they should have looked to move up and also find it unlikely Williams would have been the choice.

I think I would have traded up in the first round if they were set on a CB by the 2nd round. I like James and all of our late picks but losing a 4th and a 6th as well as a pick next year in exchange for a CB that could be a pro bowler instead of a solid slot guy is worth a few less lottery tickets and developmental guys.

I love the linebacker depth at this point. I think we also learned a lot about Butler and how the new defense will be different with some of their personnel choices.

I was also pretty shocked about the lack of OL activity and am hoping this is also a statement that they have a couple of guys they think are going to work out in the long term.

I see the makings of a defense that doesn't need as many sub packages. Wondering what we might see in 3 safety looks too.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

La'el Collin's agent said after Friday that if Collins was not selected second or third round, he would not sign with whomever drafted him because he wanted to/was going to sit this year and enter next years draft. I guess that had something to do with no team drafting him, it would be a wasted pick. I don't know if the NFL will allow that, apparently (I heard Sunday) not, which would force him to sign as an UDFA.

Dale Lolley said...

Golson can play.

Holliman, not so much. But he did have 14 ints. You're talking about a seventh-round pick there. IF it works out, fine, if not, oh well.

I bought into the Williams hype early in the process, but after seeing him at the combine - where he didn't look much bigger than me - and then watching his film, I dropped him into the second round.

He'll continue to grow into his body, but I don't know that he's a sure thing. And he wouldn't have played a lot for the Steelers this season.

They have a receiving tight end. They have a blocking tight end. And what receiver are you taking off the field to get him more reps? They might have found a role, but they can take one early next year - if Miller is done - and plug and play him.

As for not taking an offensive lineman, if there's not one worth blowing a pick on, they could live with what they had - which is exactly what they had last year. So I don't have a problem with that.

Only picks I wasn't a big fan of were the first and last.

The first is a project. An athletic project, but a project nonetheless, in my opinion.

The last pick was taking a flier on a kid who intercepts the ball but nothing else. Doesn't run well. Doesn't tackle well. But he can catch the ball. Perhaps they can make him a better tackler. He better be, because he'll be fighting for a roster spot as a special teamer

Anonymous said...

If Collins is clear of anything, any chance he'd want to come to Pittsburgh? I'm thinking Alan Faneca would be a great resource to tell him about the Black & Gold way, and how he can develop as a man and as a football player with the family structure we have in place. Thoughts....

datruth4life said...

Dale, do you think the Steelers would take on a precedent to land La'el Collins like guaranteeing the first few years on his contract as a unrestricted rookie free agent. I'm surprised no team would even spend a compensatory 7th round pick on the kid. I guess teams just didn't want the bad PR until they know for sure that this kid is free and clear, if that is the case.

As for Holliman, what if learns how to tackle and can play special teams? The team doesn't have one free safety on this roster that can play the ball when it's in the air and make a play. Stranger things have happened during preseason football and the Steelers have 5 games this year for young players to show what they have. Glad this draft is over and the Steelers know what they have moving forward.

This team will be in the best cap shape next year than at any other time Colbert was the GM and will probably redo Ben's contract ($24M with a $18M base salary) to create even more room.

I think Colbert has finally got the message on how to load up on comp picks. Don't overpay for average players, let another team do that and use the comp picks to keep your team competitive. Baltimore does a fantastic job in the draft each year but they usually enter each with about 10 picks. It's easier to be bold and creative when you have the picks to trade up and target the guy you want. At least the team should get a comp pick for Brice McCain next year.

Noel said...

I think Colbert has always done a good job of amassing comp picks. Last year was an aberration.

I'm warming up to the Dupree pick. It remains to be seen what will happen on the field of course but the options were limited when you consider the side they want him to play on. He has the size and the speed; the other options had one or the other for the most part.

The past few drafts have seemed to me to have a lot of emphasis on character guys too in various ways. I think that will pay dividends down the road as we assess these drafts in hindsight (hopefully while celebrating another ring!)

Tom said...

The way I see it La'el to Pitt to would make a ton of sense for both sides, I just think we don't have the moxy of a New York team or even the Cowboys for that matter to go out and "woo" this kid with a sales pitch. Then again, this is an unprecedented situation and the kid might have soured on a few organizations who did everything but shake his hand when they promised he was their guy in the first or second round (granted that was probably before all 32 teams knew about the allegations). If the Steelers can sell him on competing with Foster at staring guard from day one we may have a shot...although my best bet is when he signs with another team we will find out the Steelers were one of the final 5 or 7 teams he cut his list down to....

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to hear, given how the draft fell in the 1st round, who you would have taken at 22, Dale.

datruth4life said...

Dale, any thoughts of it K. Colbert should put in a waiver claim for Alfonso Dennard cut today by the Patriots? He started 16 of 23 games for the Patriots his first 2 years in the league before the Pats went for broke with Revis and Browner this past year. He's still only 25 years of age. I remember he had some trouble at Nebraska which dropped him in the draft until the 7th round 3 years ago. Thoughts?

Dale Lolley said...

I'm on record as saying I would have seriously considered taking Shane Ray, who might be the second-best pure pass rusher in the draft behind Fowler, or Jones.

I don't see the Steelers making a serious run at Collins. When they visited LSU, they didn't even talk to him, for whatever reason. I like him as a player. But he's going to want to go somewhere where he'll have a shot to start at tackle, not guard. That's where the money is at.

datruth4life said...

Dale, why wouldn't he have a chance to start at tackle here if he can beat out Beachum or Gilbert? The same with Foster?

Basically, the most that any team can offer him is the majority of the $87,000 pool that a NFL team can spend on signing bonuses for their rookie FA's as well as guaranteeing his salaries for the next 3 years at $435,000, $525,000 and $615,000?

If the Steelers do that, then they would have just as good a chance as any other team. If he can beat out any of our starting 5 OL, I say sign'em, suit him up and see whose job he can take. It's called competition and it makes the whole team better.

But you are right. If they liked him so much, they should have spent a 7th round pick on him, but I guess the Steelers just didn't want the heat in case he was mixed up in something that bad.

Dale Lolley said...

You can offer him the money, but he's going to go where he wants to go. And considering the kid's from the south, he'll likely want to explore an opportunity down there for a team where there's not much competition.

And the Steelers just don't work that way. They're not going to go out of their way to disrespect their current roster. It's not how they do things. To draft a guy is one thing, to get into a bidding war for a rookie, when you have two established starters, is another.