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Author Topic: Feedback: Steelers draft needs  (Read 1532 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Apr 21, 2009 at 14:07 »

Trying to put together something for draft day, sort of a quick guide.  Most teams have draft boards that aren't just a vertical list in order of preference, but instead have a vertical (team needs) and horizontal (value) articulation.  Just wanted to get some feedback on my team needs listing.

Remember, it's more than just what we need based on who was lost or how the units played last year.  For example, the OL is bad but young, so there may be some scant improvement; the DL is solid but old, and without depth, so the only way to go there is down.  At ILB, we have Farrior, Foote, and Timmons (and Key Fox), but Farrior (age), and Foote (contract year) portend two gaps to be filled sooner than you might expect.


My list, in order.

OG.  Stapleton is a multi-position backup at best.  Kemo could be upgraded.  45-50 sacks per year, with the IOL the weakest point, is unacceptable.  Both OG positions need upgraded, so 2x the need.

C.  Hartwig is in a contract year, and I doubt the FO renews.  Reportedly not entirely thrilled with him either.  Gave up a lot of sacks, despite being an upgrade over Mahan.  No starter in Stapleton.

DE.  Age, depth, and twice the need.  Time to groom successors, and the entire D suffered in '07 when Smith was injured.

CB.  A hole to fill (McFadden), an untested successor (Gay), and an aging nickel/backup starter (Townshend).  Fernando Bryant is JAG, although coaches liked Roy Lewis enough to earn him a spot for a time on the 53-man, and Tomlin coached up Gay as a R5 pick no one thought would start 2 years later.

WR.  Best case, Sweed steps into Nate's role without a hiccough.  Worst, he keeps dropping balls, Ward or Holmes gets injured.  Ward is in a contract year and no one knows how long the Energizer can keep going.  Baker, Nance, et al. don't look ready to contribute.

FS.  Ryan Clark is solid at FS, but he's in a contract year, and Anthony Smith is gone.  Reportedly, coaches like Ryan Mundy, but liking a R6 guy in practice is a long way from loving him as a starter.

NT.  Best case, Hampton keeps plugging as solidly as ever, and Hoke and Paxson are the able backups.  Worst case, Hampton shows more signs of slipping play and bad conditioning, Hoke is 33, and Paxson is JAG.  Contract year for Hamp.  Need to find a successor to the most important line position in the 3-4 sooner or later.

OT. FO apparently is happy with tagging Starks and think Colon is their RT.  OK, I hate all that, but immediate need this is not.  Could use a future LT, and Hills is a big enigma.  Essex provides adequate depth.

SS.  Polamalu is a winged god of terror, but he does get banged up, and Ty Carter is Ty Carter. 

FB.  We're getting away from the traditional blocking back approach, for the worse IMO.  Davis and McHugh are just guys.  Could easily upgrade late, in a class with half a dozen very solid FB prospects.  Or we could just keep Davis doing... whatever.

TE.  Contract year for Miller, and a show-it year for Spaeth, who was taken too early.  McHugh is JAG.  Could use a monster blocker.

QB.  Things look decent, so long as Ben stays healthy and Dixon develops as expected.  Batch is nearing the end of the line.  Could look for a developmental guy late, like Nate Davis if he really falls.

RB. I expect Mendenhall to be a monster, Parker to still be an important player despite injuries, and Moore is a jack-of-all-trades back.  Liked Russell but not crying too hard over losing him.  A legit short yardage guy could be squeezed in.

K.  Skippy is a freakin' whack, but he's a solid kicker.  Contract year, so a decision next year.

OLB.  The two best OLBs in the business, an untested 2nd year man in Davis, and some guys who showed good STs stuff (Bailey and Woods).  Have to be a helluva bargain.

P. Sepulveda's healthy again.



See any glaring move up/down suggestions?  Some might cry OT, but I don't see that as being reflective of the FO's actual board.
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 21, 2009 at 15:33 »

I would flip OT and WR due to the contract status of Starks and Colon.  I don't know that the FO likes those two - as opposed to those two being less frightening options than what was available via FA.

I think that we have to assume that Sweed will take a step forward a la Timmons.  Sweed appears to be following a typical Steeler draftee route to playing, and there really haven't been any inklings (bad attitude, dumb as a rock, etc...) that he is unable to take that step forward.
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 22, 2009 at 17:23 »

I would flip OT and WR due to the contract status of Starks and Colon.  I don't know that the FO likes those two - as opposed to those two being less frightening options than what was available via FA.

I think that we have to assume that Sweed will take a step forward a la Timmons.  Sweed appears to be following a typical Steeler draftee route to playing, and there really haven't been any inklings (bad attitude, dumb as a rock, etc...) that he is unable to take that step forward.
]

Ditto, here.  I'm very nervous about a post-Starks plan -- even if that includes bringing Starks back for , what, half of this year's current cost?
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 22, 2009 at 18:26 »

Leapfrogged OT over WR.  Had a long-ish but elegant response last night; browser crashed.  All day at work, same thing.  Who knows.

Anyway, post-draft, my guess is they extend Colon.  No such leverage with Starks.

Thanks for the feedback... hope to post a draft board later this week. 
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 22, 2009 at 19:15 »

I was gonna suggest moving FS ahead of WR.  But the flip is better b/c everything that is now ahead of WR should be.  Those first three spots are right-on.  And IMO they should take the BAA such that the aggregate haul is higher, rather than reaching slightly for one position and thus downgrading the whole.  Likely easier said than done, though.  Wouldn't mind them trading up to the mid 20's to make sure they get their guy.  Heard Gosselin say there were only about 20+ players who deserved a Rd 1 grade this year.
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 23, 2009 at 06:43 »

I was gonna suggest moving FS ahead of WR.  But the flip is better b/c everything that is now ahead of WR should be.  Those first three spots are right-on.  And IMO they should take the BAA such that the aggregate haul is higher, rather than reaching slightly for one position and thus downgrading the whole.  Likely easier said than done, though.  Wouldn't mind them trading up to the mid 20's to make sure they get their guy.  Heard Gosselin say there were only about 20+ players who deserved a Rd 1 grade this year.

Definitely agree that you take the BPA rather than even a slight reach for need.  We may have some spots to fill, but this is still the SB winning team.

Gosselin is very good on draft projections, IMO, although I was trying hard to think of players worth trading up into the 20s for.  Oher was about it, and I doubt he makes it out of the top 10.  IMO, we're in the cat bird's seat.  Just be patient and get the players you like.
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 25, 2009 at 09:07 »

Well, got about half of a big value board done.  Ranked OG, C, CB, OT, and WR.  Doesn't look like I'll finish: some yard work to do despite the fact that my back feels like lava, pure pain.  Also, new computer arrived and I need to migrate stuff and play a bit.

But it is interesting as an exercise to articulate the players and needs horizontally and vertically.  Came up with some very new ways of looking at value clusters than just listing who might be available at which round.  As Gosselin says, for example, OT and C are hot and heavy early, dead later, but OG is the opposite.  Looking at it now, I think we'd be better served getting a C early but waiting for an OG or two.

Oh, and my WR ratings are completely off CV.  For example, most boards have Derrick Williams, WR, PSU as a late R2 to mid-R3 guy.  I have him in the trade down from 3.96 or trade up from 4.132, so more a R4.  But Deon Butler, WR, PSU, most boards have him R5-FA, and I ranked him R3, a good 3.96 value.  Lots of movement like that.  I also put a fair number of smallish OTs in the OG rankings.  Robert Brewster, Ball St., Gerald Cadogan, PSU, Gus Parrish, Kent St. etc.

Oh, BTW, it is so nice to have kickass speed and a 24" screen on the new iMac.
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 25, 2009 at 10:44 »

Seems like every year, one position is hyped as primed for an early run in the first round.  Counter, there is a position discussed as having a lot of depth that will be available through the middle rounds, only to be raided early and often.

Last year it was OT that had players taken throughout the first round, with many originally projected as guys to be selected into the mid-to-late 2nd round (ie, Sam Baker to ATL).

I can't recall if there was a position hyped, only to run dry in the early goings.

I'm wonder if WR will be a position that, although hyped as a position where 5-6 guys will be taken in the 1st round, doesn't become a position where more guys are taken late 1st and a few falling into the mid-to-late 2nd round.

The flip side is 34 DE.  My guess is that Jackson, Hood and Gilbert are gone before 1.32, with many projections saying Hood may be at 1.32 and Gilbert is an early 2nd rounder.
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 17, 2009 at 11:06 »

burn in hell you dirty spammer
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2009 at 11:32 by jonzr » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 17, 2009 at 11:24 »

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thanks once again.
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