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Author Topic: Draft, D line and...  (Read 1176 times)
The Emperor
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« on: Nov 29, 2008 at 19:42 »

Well It is starting to become clear who the top 30 - 50 Guys are in the draft, and I am sure it will Change somewhat after the combine and when the underclass declares. ( a Good source on the draft is www.nfldraftscout.com top 64).  Going into this season many thought the big needs for 2009 would be OL and DL. 

I would be surprised to see Smith back next year, but would not be if Starks is back.  Starks has not played LT all that bad.  I would be interested to see how he holds up with the rest of the schedule.  I think an early pick somewhere along the O line is a must, but at what position and would a high pick unseat anybody we have now ?  The O line has looked better of late, but lets see how the season plays out. 

The D line had no depth when we started the year, but I think it is just the opposite case now.  Every player who has played has played well and that includes Eason.  Perhaps a young player to groom for down the road. 

That said, I think some combination of a OL DL S CB and WR in the first four rounds.  Hope they can re-up McFadden.  He really was starting to look like a shut down CB.
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aj_law
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 01, 2008 at 09:36 »

Their recent play hasn't changed my mind as to what their targets should be.

First three rounds need to be OL (R1), DL or OL (R2) and whichever isn't taken in R2 in R3.

Oh, and a bigtime FA OL addition like Gross.  Smith is definitely gone and if they're going to give big money to a lineman, which is what would happen if Starks stays, I'd much rather they give it to a proven talent like Gross.  If they snag a bigtime FA lineman, I guess they could go with a CB or maybe a S in R3.  At the very least, that move would give them a lot of flexibility as to which positions they can target.
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 01, 2008 at 09:52 »

I tend to agree with you, AJ.  The one thing that I would tolerate, though, is a pick of a top CB in round 1 IF:

1) We manage to sign a solid FA OL.
2) We fail to sign McFadden

I'm basing this on the additional belief that we will have at least two #3 picks that we could either use to pick up OL/DL depth, or package to move up to get a stud player in the middle of the first or second.  It is going to be hard for lower round draftees to make this team, particularly at the skill positions, so why not move up in the first and/or the second for OL/DL?

Additionally, I wouldn't have a problem with us picking a DL in RD 1, if value is there -- since a prototype 3-4 DL is not usually coveted as is a 4-3 DE or DT at the top rounds. I'm worried that (once again) the OT position will be pretty picked over if we wait until the end of the first round to pick, and our guys at DL (minus maybe Eason) are really, really, old.

Still, I think ( as I did the previous two drafts), at least 2 of our top 4 picks need to be OL.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 01, 2008 at 10:13 »

Their recent play hasn't changed my mind as to what their targets should be.

First three rounds need to be OL (R1), DL or OL (R2) and whichever isn't taken in R2 in R3.

Yeah, what he said.  Pittsburgh should have (9) picks this year.  I'm figuring a high comp for Faneca, & I think Tampa owes them a 7th for Mahan.  I'd be thrilled if they used a 5-6 of 'em across the two lines. 
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 01, 2008 at 14:09 »

Pittsburgh should have (9) picks this year. 

With that many picks, it wouldn't at all surprise me if they package them to move up in the mid rounds.  Maybe snag that de rigeur second round tight end Colbert covets.
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Merman1983
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 01, 2008 at 14:13 »

One thing I would love to besides the obvious Oline and Dline picks is any WR/corner/safety that doubles as a game-breaking kick returner.

I know we went WR early with Sweed last year, and if we re-up B-Mac the need for corner isn't huge. I also know our starting safety tandem is one of the if not the best in the league.

But I am sick of the non-existant return game. I know we swung and missed with Willie Reid, but I think that had more to do with the dreaded lis franc injury than his ability.

Maybe Russell is the answer at kick returner. Maybe not. Holmes had a big punt return yesterday, but we've been basically fair-catching all year. A big time returner who can play in the nickel or dime/learn a position while providing big play potential on special teams would give us a dimension that is not only missing but pretty much hurts us week in and week out.

Field position is still huge. And we lose that battle every week due to a weak return game.

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 01, 2008 at 14:51 »

I agree, Merman.  Most of my mock drafts for last year included a KR/PR specialist.  Russell is about the best of the bunch, but Devin Hester he ain't.
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DCSteelers
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 02, 2008 at 13:59 »

A cornerback is going to fit into the picture somewhere. 

If McFadden is resigned, then probably mid-rounds (Townsend started to show his age this year, IMO).  If not, that's our #1 this year.

We'll have to do something at WR.  There's two issues to be dealt with this year.  Nate is an UFA.  If Nate walks, I presume sweed will be the #3 guy for next year.  We'll need a #4.  Maybe Dallas Baker will stick finally.  Problem #2 is Hines.  I suspect he'll be signed to a say 2 year extension- if he wants to play a couple more. That would help our cap as his 2009 hit can be spread out in the form a signing bonus.  If Hines decides to retire, that's going to leave a hole for 2010.  Given the Colbert philosophy of value based picks, perhaps this comes somewhere in the midrounds.  I doubt if we ever break camp next year w/ more than 4 WRs.  IMO Moore's ability to line up in the slot and act as a 4th receiver allowed for Baker's release.

Hartwig has been a nice addition at center.  I really think he could be extended, removing the need to draft that position.  Projected line next year... Starks/Hills, Stapleton, Hartwig, Simmons, Colon.  I can see late round depth.  Depending on our resignings, the O-line situ may be less dire than before.  This unit is starting to cohere of late, no?

D-line is my vote for high-round picks.  Snacks will be in the last year of his contract.  I think Aaron Smith has several good years infront of him, and Kiesel + backups have played well.  However, I don't think it was coincidental that New England had good success running the ball when our second unit was in there.  I think you'll see and infusion of youth at the position, with possibly a nose guard at #1 or #2, or a DL that can play NG or DE.

Finally, you'd think that we'd have to address safety depth. I very much doubt that Anothony Smith is back; and how much does Ty Carter have left in the tank?
« Last Edit: Dec 02, 2008 at 14:01 by DCSteelers » Logged
The Emperor
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 02, 2008 at 18:25 »

Sounds like we all agree on our needs.  I think we will just have to see what FAs come and go.  I sure hope we get an extra 3rd for CampoFeneca111
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 09, 2008 at 13:36 »

Well, I don't think we're jumping into FA and landing the LT of our dreams. Sorry. The FO doesn't operate that way, and we all know it. We have a lot of FA questions.

At QB, Batch is UFA, and Lefty may be looking for another spot. Do we want Batch? Will we make a move to keep Lefty? In any event, Dixon needs to show improvement, and a very late/UDFA QB is not out of the question.

Nate Washington is a UFA. His inconsistency drives us mad, but he does show talent. So do we keep him? My gut says someone offers him more than we do, and Sweed moves to #3, leaving a question for depth.

OL is in transition: Chris Kemoeatu is UFA, Willie Colon is RFA, Trai Essex is UFA, Max Starks is UFA, and Marvel Smith is UFA. I'm tempted to turn the whole lot over, seriously. But I think Colon will be kept, and if we were smart we'd move him inside, with his ability as a RT swing man noted. Kemo has beeen just OK, IMO. Essex could be retained on the cheap for depth. Starks is going to get a better offer elsewhere. Smith is done.

DE Orpheus Roye is a UFA. Maybe we keep him cheap, but IMO we really need to move younger.

LB Keyaron Fox UFA, LB Andre Frazier UFA, LB Arnold Harrison RFA. Fox should be a priority sign if for no other reason than STs. Frazier gives depth and can probably stay cheap. Harrison, not sure what his injury status is, perhaps he could battle for depth at the min.

CB Anthony Madison is RFA; I don't know that I'd make him a priority. CB Bryant McFadden is UFA, and I would make him the top UFA priority, over Starks, Washington, and Kemo. McFadden can be a starter for us, IMO, and I think maybe his scant playing time this year catches our FO a break.

S Anthony Smith is RFA, and frankly, I don't know what to think. He has so much potential, but seems like a minor head case, and hasn't shown strong development.  Maybe we keep him for depth, maybe.

TE Sean McHugh is RFA; who cares. CB Fernando Bryant is UFA; who cares. P Mitch Berger is UFA, but with Sepulveda returning, adios.

So here's a very rough early mock.

1. DT/NT Terrence Cody, Alabama, JR, 6'5", 368#.   If he declares, could go higher than our pick. Mount Cody is simply the biggest, baddest DT in this draft, and would give us a natural successor (3-4 or 4-3) to Hampton, who is looking tired to me. NTs are a tough commodity to come by, and the 3-4 needs a solid nose.



2. FS/CB Derek Pegues, Miss. St., 5'10", 195#, 4.49 (est.).; Quadruple threat. Played FS at MS, and could be a solid backup/nickel/dime guy. But also played some corner, so he has that flexibility. Oh, and he's a dangerous PR/KR, too, so he'll contribute right away. Maybe keep Anthony Smith a year to see where Pegues fits in? (Cf. Eugene Wilson.)



3. CB Domonique Johnson, Jackson St., 6'2", 190#, 4.38 (est.). Might go off earlier, as speedy CBs often do. Coming from a small school might offset that. Has the physical traits to be an outstanding CB, and would have time behind Taylor, McFadden, Townshend and Gay to learn the trade. Has a little KR experience. (Cf. Ike Taylor.)



3c. OT Troy Kropog, Tulane, 6'6", 298#, 4.90 (est.). This guy is going to move up the draft boards, and to get him with the Faneca comp might be a steal. Great lateral movement, which we need to seal against speed rushers, Kropog might need to add some weight. Who knows if Tony Hills will ever amount? Have a feeling this guy could be a LT anchor. Graded out at a superb 89% in 2007. (Cf. Ryan Diem.)

4. DE/DT Alex Magee, Purdue, 6'3", 295#. Not great 4-3 stats as a DT, might be an interesting DE in the 3-4. Speed is a plus. (Cf. Jarvis Green. Possible alternate, DE/DT Ron Brace, Boston Coll.)

5. ILB/SS Kevin Ellison, US, 6'1", 228#, 4.64 (est.). Plays SS for USC but could easily switch to 3-4 ILB. Sooner or later, Foote and Farrior will be gone. Timmons will be a stud. Who else we got? Humpal? Key Fox? Get this kid in now, and give him a year or two. Could be a terror roaming the middle.  (Cf. Dawan Landry.)

6. OT, Eric Vanden Heuvel, Wisconsin, 6'8", 324#. Strictly a RT, allowing us more flexibility with Willie Colon, who by eyewitness accounts appears to be a guard playing out of position.  Get someone with some reach out there who can maul, OK? Just a big SOB. (Cf. Drew Strojny.)

7. WR Deon Butler, Penn State, 5'10", 173#, 4.47 (est.). Even if we don't lose Washington, we've seen that WR depth is an issue (Dallas Baker was pressed into action, and subsequently shitcanned). Butler, like teammate Jordan Norwood, is a speedy player who's simply playing for the wrong team. Penn State has the WRs to be a major passing offense, but we all know Joe Pa is stuck in another millennium. Both Butler and Norwood could be great late-round steals. (Cf. Cedrick Wilson.  Possible alternate Norwood.)

7T. Drew Willy, QB, Buffalo, 6'3", 214#. If either Batch or Lefty stick, we're using the 7th round pick we got in the Mahan trade for a practice squad/developmental guy. 33 TDs to 5 INTs since the middle of last season.  Got the Bulls to a bowl.

Don't know if we're due for more than 1 comp pick; I added one in R3, but possibly we're due for more.









« Last Edit: Dec 09, 2008 at 14:07 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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