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Question:
Rashard Mendenhall. - 6 (46.2%)
Limas Sweed. - 7 (53.8%)
Total Voters: 0

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Author Topic: Bigger Steal/Bigger Deal?  (Read 1122 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: May 01, 2008 at 12:00 »

Which of our top draft picks was the bigger steal?  Which will be the bigger deal?

Mendenhall comes into the league at the tender age of 20, with low tread on his tires, an extraordinarily productive junior season, and at 225# he has the ability to run inside, and the speed to run outside.  A decent blocking and receiving back, too.  Not real shifty, but adept at finding the hole and getting upfield in a hurry.  I had questions about McFadden's transition to the NFL, and had Mendenhall and Stewart as 1a and 1b, the complete backs.  Could have and should have gone top 15.  As much as the Steelers have and continue to rely on their halfbacks, Mendenhall could have a very nice career here, even if he splits time early on with Parker.

Sweed looked to be the nation's top receiver going into his senior year, but then suffered the wrist injury.  Even with that, he was one of the top three receivers in the draft, and could well turn out to be the best.  Has a few refinements to make, but has size and speed comparable to Burress.  Is described as driven, he'll have some pressure taken off him by the presence of Ward and Holmes on the field.  Will soon be part of a fierce receiving threesome, and given the fact that Ward and Holmes have battled injury, Sweed could assert himself as a cornerstone of the passing game sooner than expected.  Thought by most to be a late round 1, early round 2 value.
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vinman3
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008 at 12:22 »

This is a tough question really. If you look at it from the standpoint of Mendenhall being a top RB in a pretty deep RB draft, being a top 10ish  type prospect, and what he brings to the table with his size and abilities; he could be the bigger steal.

Sweed though could contribute more at an earlier time. Sweed, in some circles, was the top WR available in the draft. But the WR talent in this draft was not comparable to the RB, as shown by no WR taken in the first round for the first time since 1990. On the numbers alone, Sweed being a potential first round pick, is the bigger steal getting him at the end of the second round.

I am talking in circles here. I think because it is such a difficult question. In the end, I will go out on the limb and say Mendenhall is the biggest steal of the draft. He has top 10 talent, and the Steelers got him @ 23. Eventually, he will get 20-25 touches per game. Sweed will never see that.  
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008 at 12:34 »

I go back and forth on this one.

I remember watching Mendenhall at Illinois and thinking that when he declared, he'd be top 10.  He will get more touches, and if he can bring some better balance to the backfield, grind out clock-killer drives, that's what we really need.

But Sweed could provide that big passing punch that's been missed since Plax, despite adding Miller and Holmes.  The passing game has been too fitful, inconsistent.  If Sweed pushes that part of the offense to where Ben just drives the field at will, that's also something we really need.

Well, those things plus blocking...
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aj_law
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008 at 13:07 »

Interesting question.

I think Sweed is easily the "bigger steal."  While most had RM pegged to go somewhere in the first half of R1, he still ended up being a first round pick...just a later one.  Yeah, he slipped a couple of pegs, but not really that much.

Sweed, OTOH, was considered by most to be a R1, maybe early R2, at worst, pick.  For him to be available almost a full round later than expected, well, to me that equates to the bigger steal and best value.

Now, which guy will end up making the biggest deal (i.e. impact)?  I'm not really sure.  At this point, I think you can make a pretty good case for either.  

Personally, I think it'll boil down to injuries and playing time.  As in, which guy will have a starter get hurt who's ahead of them on the depth chart that will make getting significant PT easier.  If WP goes down again, I could see Mendenhall stepping in and running wild.  If Ward pulls up lame for 2 or 3 games and Sweed gets pushed into a starting role, I could see him having a breakout game or two.

Speaking of Ward, I wonder what his deal is with these moves.  He wasn't too crazy about Ben asking for WR help as I seem to remember him kinda taking it as a dig towards the current crop...Wilson getting the axe may have mitigated his feelings on that issue a bit.  But, as much as I like the dude, he is an overly sensitve one and a bit of a whiner when things don't completely go his way.  Maybe he sees this move as "the writing's on the wall," dude, because honestly, I can't see him playing out his deal after this year for what his cap cost will be in '09.  In '08, I think they're lookin' at 6 and change and I seem to recall it jumping to 8 and change next year.  He'll undoubtedly have to restructure to be able to retire a Steeler.  Not sure he'll be willing to pull a Bettis-type move.
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TwistedLemon
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008 at 09:04 »

Outstanding Question.  As nearly everyone has stated, BOTH seem to fit the bill.

I select Sweed.

Arguements for both sides make sense.

My logic (or lack of) is:

Both players were described by many as first round selections going into the draft.  Some even listed both as the number one at their respective position.  I resort to my immediate feelings upon seeing the Mendenhall pick.

"Love the player, great selection this late in the first, not a need should have traded down for more picks.  Granted there were no O-line worthy of 1.23 remaining in my opinion, if no trade was possible and a skill position was going to be taken should have gone with Sweed.  WR is a bigger need, largely due to Hines' age, and most of what I have read had Sweed being the pick between 1.15 and 2.10."

We ended up getting both.  Unhappy about the lack of either line being addressed, thrilled that we took potential impact players instead of reaching.

Just hope our O-line is servicable enough to make them both not look like busts.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008 at 09:34 »

Outstanding post, Lemon.  I think that's about where I am with this, too.  

I'm hoping that the ripple effect that was Mahan will go 180 degrees when he's gone.  Solidify the guard play, get some decent tackle play, hope they're right about Hills and his drop foot.
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008 at 11:09 »

I see Sweed as the biggest steal. Although he does have some injury questions, he was definately a late 1st/early 2nd pick. Mendenhall mght be the bigger deal though. He will obviously touch the ball more than Sweed, and will hopefully be the starting RB in 4 years. Still, Sweed will get his chances to impress. At this point you could go with either guy. Lets hope they both rock the house.
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