Maximum Grilled Steelers Forum
Dec 19, 2014 at 01:59 *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home   Forum   Help Calendar Media Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 1.11.10 Steelers Mock  (Read 2334 times)
Finnegans Wake
Global Moderator
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 12196
Offline Offline

Posts: 22,400



« on: Jan 11, 2010 at 14:57 »

The trick to being a successful draft guru is to create enough mocks that you can cherry-pick the hits and ignore the rest.  But I do try to keep a somewhat stable group of targeted players as I sort through the mess, and not just keep adding in flavors of the week.  Some of this will necessarily change after the Indy numbers come out; player stats and subjective eval is part but not all, and you can't learn speed/height/etc.

This mock is not intended to offer a comprehensive snapshot of all player targets by round; I have another thread dedicated to that, in progress.  This is just one possibility, if current player values were to hold until the draft.

Round 1.  The premise most of us are operating under is that the offense has the talent, but not the direction, and that the defense has the direction, but its talent is aging and injured.  While restocking the defense is an obvious need, this could lead to missing out on the best talent available at an impact position of need.  The offensive line has been the source of much analysis, but the consensus seems to be that the lack of investment in the line has yielded negative results too often.  It may be too early to assess some of the younger players (Urtbik, Foster, Legursky), and impossible to tell about others (Hills).  But with the biggest proponent of keeping Willie Colon at RT having been Larry Zierlein, the chance to kill two birds with one stone could open the way to a surprising first round pick.

The Steelers would be wise to invest in a tackle who can get his feet wet at RT and switch to LT next year.  Brian Bulaga, LT, Iowa, was getting top-10 talk for much of the past year, and the junior has declared.  But there's a good chance he won't go top 10.  The senior talent at OT yields two probable R1 talents: Russel Okung, LT, Okla. St. (top 5), and Trent Williams, RT, Okla. (late R1-early R2).  Okung won't last, and Williams is strictly a RT.  (USC's Charles Brown is a finesse LT who should fall to R2, and Miami's Jason Fox will likely be a R2 selection due to injury.  Fox can play LT, and would be a player of interest at our R2 pick.)  Bulaga nudges out two other juniors as R1 targets, Anthony Davis of Rutgers, and Bruce Campbell of Maryland.  

Bulaga missed three games with a thyroid condition, but assuming no downstream effects, his biggest downside appears to be the Curse of Robert Gallery.  Like Gallery, he's a big, nimble Hawkeye at 6'6" 312# who can run a sub-5.0 40.  Blaming Bulaga for the sins of Gallery doesn't stack up for me, though.  In the Orange Bowl, Bulaga didn't get matched much against probable top-10 pick Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech, which would have been a good eval match.  Anthony Davis, at 6'6" 325#, looks like he could be a dominant OG or RT, and possibly even a LT, but I do have some questions based on an estimated 5.38 40 and some weight issues.  Campbell, 6'7" 310#, has battled injuries and had to play on a very bad Maryland squad.  He only has 17 starts (all at LT), but like Bulaga he runs a sub-5.0 40, and is probably going to blow people away with his workouts.  Dubbed "the Vernon Davis of offensive linemen," Campbell could have the most upside of any OT in this draft.  But there are a lot of questions there, and Campbell's R2 grade has been angling upward, to the point that he's getting some top-10 talk himself.  Bulaga seems like the best combination of athleticism, performance, and likelihood to be available at 1.18.

Starting Bulaga at RT, where he can become acclimated to the game, would have several benefits.  First, his wingspan and footspeed would be an improvement over Willie Colon's.  Second, Colon could become a dominant RG, putting Essex and Stapleton out of the picture.  Third, a real showdown at LG between Kemo, Foster, and Urbik can only be a healthy competition.  And fourth, if he can swap tackle spots next year with Starks, we'd actually have a very solid LT-RG-RT combo.  The biggest upgrade then would appear to be C, where Hartwig is adequate but not dominant.

Round 2.Ryan Clark's play suffered almost as much as the cornerbacks' after Troy went out with his injuries.  He's about to turn 30, and there's no guarantee the FO will retain him.  The saftey backups -- Ty Carter and Ryan Mundy -- proved abysmal.  It is absolutely essential to draft a FS who has some positional flexibility and can cover strong if needed.  Taylor Mays is over-rated, more a linebacker than free safety in my book.  Strong safeties Eric Berry (top-5) and Earl Thomas (mid-R1) can man either spot, but won't last to R2.  But there are a bunch of talented juniors who should be there at our R2 slot who may offer surprising value.

I don't care for VT's Kam Chancellor in coverage; ditto UGA's Reshad Jones.  Deandre McDaniels of Clemson has character issues and is not declaring.  That leaves senior Nate Allen, FS/SS, S. Florida, Morgan Burnett, SS/FS, Georgia Tech, and Robert Johnson, FS, Utah as my three favorites.  Allen is 6'1" 206#, and runs a 4.50.  He's a smart player and a leader on the field, which is why I think LeBeau would like him, and he's got 10 career picks.  Burnett is 6'1", 210# and runs a 4.54, and has 14 picks.  He may be a little less polished, but he won't be 21 for a couple of days, making him a "young and moldable" Tomlin type, 2 years younger than Allen or Johnson.  Johnson is 6'2", 200# and runs a 4.52.  "The Human Eraser" is listed as a R4 prospect by NFLDS, but he has the size, speed, and dominance, not to mention 13 career picks.  He may rise to R2 on good workouts, but for now I'll target him in R3.

The wild card in R2 is Dexter McCluster, RB/WR/KR, Ole Miss.  McCluster just killed Okla. St. in the Cotton Bowl, and looks natural as a RB and receiver.  His size at 5'7", 168# is going to scare a lot of folks off, and his 4.42 speed makes him a smaller, poor-man's CJ Spiller.  But man does his game tape pop.  Smaller, slight playmakers (think DeSean Jackson more than MJD or Sproles) are starting to make inroads in the big man's game, and McCluster could be a COP back to replace FWP, a viable slot receiver on multi sets, and a KR/PR to complement or replace the similarly diminutive Stefan Logan.  Really, replacing FWP and Logan with one guy would allow us the option to bring in a kickoff specialist, for example.  In 2008 he had 655 yards rushing, 625 receiving, and in 2009 he had 1129 yards rushing and 520 yards receiving.  If he can survive the SEC he should be a sparkplug in the NFL.

Round 3.  Cornerback is a contentious position.  William Gay (like Bryant McFadden) looked clutch in spot duty, but stank when given a full-time shot.  His lack of in-season improvement does not make me think it's going to get any better for him next year: he's a nickel back only.  We invested in two CBs, and Joe Burnett showed some good (and bad hands), while Keenan Lewis didn't dress most games.  In short, hard to tell what we have.  Deshea Townshend is just getting old, and not getting any taller.  It wouldn't hurt to add another player to the mix, but short of a Joe Haden in R1, our best value may come here.

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, Indiana (PA) is 6'1" 205" and runs an estimated 4.48.  NFLDS compares him to another small-school prospect, Ike's LL teammate Charles Tillman.  AOA has a shoulder injury (dislocation, torn labrum) that may drop him in some evals.  He ranks ninth in the nation in kickoff return average at 29.7 and 16th in punt return average at 12.5 while scoring five touchdowns, tied for the most in the country in all divisions.  Aside from the fact that he's big, fast, and can catch the ball, he also plays in a zone system very similar to DL's Cover 3, playing 10 yards off.  I think he can transition here effectively, and as a bonus he can offer depth at FS.  Boise St.'s Kyle Wilson is 5'9", 186# and runs 4.42.  He's also a KR and a major playmaker who was very active in the win over TCU.  He can play man or zone, but his height may be a disqualifier as a starter.  NFLDS compares him to Dre Bly, and that says to me nickel back.  

My third choice in R3 is the Human Eraser, Robert Johnson, discussed above, if we pass on FS in R2.  Another consideration is ILB Micah Johnson, Kentucky.  I like Johnson almost as much as Brandon Spikes, and he is a big hitter.  He does have some injury concerns though which put him at the bottom of this R3 group.

Round 4. 3-4 NTs don't grow on trees, and the two guys at the top of the draft, Dan Williams of Tennessee and Cody Wallace of Alabama, are likely R1 picks.  After that, you get a lot of guys without the frame or the strength to anchor the middle and soak up double teams.  Central Florida's Torelle Troup's resume reads like a guy who could fit here, and as a R4-5 rated DT at NFLDS, he's certainly a value.  The UCF Knights are 10th against the run nationally, and Troup is a space-eater.  The crucial stat for me will be lifts at Indy: NTs of any worth put up the bar at least 30, and usually closer to 35 times.  Less than that, and he's just a 4-3 DT, IMO.  

If a series of previous picks (e.g., McCluster in R2 and Johnson in R3) were to push CB down the board, one intriguing player is Oregon's Walter Thurmond, onetime teammate of Jairus Byrd.  Byrd had an incredibly productive rookie season, and Thurmond is even more athletic.  At 5'11", 182#, his estimated 40 time is 4.53, but he was lost for his senior season with a knee injury.  If he has rehabbed the knee and can run at Indy, he may be worth a good look, although he may run a bit slower than he will in future.  NFLDS has him rated a R5 prospect, but like Johnson I would pull the trigger earlier, if the medicals check out.

NT Jerrell Powe, Ole Miss, is a junior who has not yet declared.  6'2" and 340#, he runs an estimated 5.16, which is pretty good.  He's a guy worth watching, and if he declares we'd need to see the Indy numbers. 

Another consideration might be USC's RB Joe McKnight, a junior who appears to be getting out from under a cloud of suspicion at USC.  I consider him a COP back, and even at 5'11" 190# with 4.42 speed, he could easily be a draft day faller.  I think some team will take him by R3, but draft day brings funny things.  McKnight would be a nice speed runner who can also be a part of the receiving game and can return punts.

Round 5. I'm assuming two R5 picks, with a compensatory pick for Nate Washington.  Nate got starting time but a smallish deal, so I don't see an earlier pick.  Continued below...
« Last Edit: Jan 12, 2010 at 12:46 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
Steelerdipwad
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 3673
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,656



« Reply #1 on: Jan 11, 2010 at 16:04 »

I certainly wouldn't mind taking an OT in the first. I think if I had a choice, I'd take Brown because I think he has quicker feet, but I wouldn't complain if we took Bulaga. I saw a lot of Campbell since I live in Maryland and he's definitely a notch below those those guys IMO. The problem I'm having here is Hoke at NT, because unless they sign Casey or someone like Wilfork, that's what we're relegated to until a NT develops. IMO, you write off next year if you do that.
Logged

"Fanatics are picturesque. Mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason." - Friederich Nietzsche
Finnegans Wake
Global Moderator
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 12196
Offline Offline

Posts: 22,400



« Reply #2 on: Jan 11, 2010 at 16:35 »

I certainly wouldn't mind taking an OT in the first. I think if I had a choice, I'd take Brown because I think he has quicker feet, but I wouldn't complain if we took Bulaga. I saw a lot of Campbell since I live in Maryland and he's definitely a notch below those those guys IMO. The problem I'm having here is Hoke at NT, because unless they sign Casey or someone like Wilfork, that's what we're relegated to until a NT develops. IMO, you write off next year if you do that.

The presumption is that we'd tag Hamp if we didn't go NT early.  Should have said that.
Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
aj_law
Global Moderator
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 5539
Offline Offline

Posts: 15,219


« Reply #3 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 09:25 »

Dude, why spend so much time on darft mocks? Just follow what these guys say and you're sure to get all the information you need.
Logged

We suck because our drafts have been THE SUCK.
Finnegans Wake
Global Moderator
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 12196
Offline Offline

Posts: 22,400



« Reply #4 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 14:05 »

Round 5. I'm assuming two R5 picks, with a compensatory pick for Nate Washington.  Nate got starting time but a smallish deal, so I don't see an earlier pick. 

There are some intriguing players that I have listed in R6-7, and I am basing my R5 picks off of NFLDS rankings.  But these suggestions seem less interesting to me than the R6-7, so I might bump one or more up here to ensure getting them. 

One player who is definitely worth a R5 pick would be ND's C Eric Olsen.  Olsen played last year at LG, and moved to C this season, allowing one sack in 450 pass attempts.  I think a strong group of underclassmen and the traditional devaluation of centers might drive down where this guy gets taken, and at worst he can provide some depth at IOL, at best he can push to bolster the middle, which I consider the second priority behind fixing OT.

FS Major Wright, Florida, may have made a mistake in declaring early.  In what I consider a strong safety class, his 165 tackles, 10 PD and 8 INTs doesn't put him at the top of the numbers pile.  He also had a very strong supporting cast, and teams may nick him for that.  The 5'11" 204# 4.53 junior would be too hard to pass up here, though.  I suspect he falls to R3-4 at the least, but R5 is not out of the question.  Safeties are more in demand than they used to be, but after the initial bunch gets taken, the rest may drop.

A trio of SS prospects who don't look like they have the ability to play FS are also worth checking into for depth.  SS Kyle McCarthy, ND is 6'0", 210# and runs a 4.58; Toledo's SS Barry Church, who hails from the Pittsburgh area, is 6'1", 219# and runs a 4.56; FSU/Rhodes Scholar SS Myron Rolle is 6'2" 228# but is estimated to be a bit slow at 4.67.  Rolle's smart enough to learn the defense, but will he be any faster than Ty Carter?

A dark horse candidate is a former walk-on for UConn, Marcus Easley.  NFLDS unambiguously lists him as WR/FS/KR/ATH.  Is that it?  This kid is 6'2", 216#, and has been clocked at 4.39.  He went from being a special teamer to a receiver who notched nearly 900 yards in the Big East.  Is he the next Mike Wallace?  The next Josh Cribbs?  I dunno.  But he sure has some nice measurables, and has shown he's willing to work towards getting better.  Draft him here and figure out where to play him later.

Round 6.  Assuming we get a R6 comp for Bryant McFadden here.

The old draft day breakdown always dileneated value more cleanly than this fancy new three-day Goodellapalooza promises to.  First day was three rounds, and that was where most of your impact players were, the top 100 give or take.  R4 was where you took guys who had inexplicably fallen, or guys who you wanted to roll the dice on in a big way, the big sleepers.  Rounds 5-7 are mostly backups, practice squadders and cuts, especially if your team is as deep as the mighty Steelers.

Except now the mighty Steelers aren't so deep.  They're old and thin on defense.  So Even R5-7 picks can yield players who can not only make the 53-man roster, but who could be developed into starters.  Think back to when we were previously not so deep, the early aughts, and realize that that era was when guys like Keisel and James Harrison got their foothold here.

Two players who I hope the Steelers have on their radar, and who I think may be around at R6, are DE Danny Batten, S. Dakota St., and OLB Arthur Moats, James Madison.  If that's our R6, I'd consider it a good round.  Moats won the 2009 Buck Buchanan award (top defensive player in FCS); Batten was third.  Austen Lane, a much-hyped DE from Murray St. will get drafted higher than these two, but only came in sixth. 

Batten, at 6'3" 250#, with 4.68 speed, reads more like a proto Steelers OLB, but I like his productivity as a DE (227 tackles, 43.5 TFL, 21.5 sacks 2007-09) and think he could use a couple years to add some weight to become a 3-4 DE.  It really doesn't make any logical sense, but I just sense he could have a little bit of the Aaron Smith magic if he were developed properly.

If Moats reminds me of a Steeler, it's clearly James Harrison.  At 6'0" 250#, with 4.58 speed, he's about Harrison's height, but also super-productive like Batten (200 TT, 46.5 TFL, 29 sacks 2007-09).  Moats just seems like a guy you want to keep at a lower weight and buzzing around at OLB.  Both these guys would take some coaching, but they're interesting players.

Other developmental prospects include DE James Ruffin, N. Iowa, 6'4" 264, who looks closer to being an actual 3-4 DE than Batten, and ILB Josh Hull, PSU, who made his name filling in at MLB last year when Sean Lee was injured.  Hull isn't flashy or spectacular, and 4.73 speed is something to note, but he's 6'3", 240# and a reliable, productive tackler.

Round 7.   There is some question as to whether the Steelers will receive a comp pick for Byron Leftwich.  Given the scant number of starts and small deal he garnered in Tampa, I doubt that we wind up with a tenth pick, but it is possible.

Andre Sexton, ILB/SS, Okla. St., is an intriguing prospect.  He played his first two years as starter at SS, then switched to LB.  At 6'0", 224# and running 4.58, he could provide a nice thump as a run stopper at either spot. 

DT Weston Kade of UGA, 6'3", 325#, may have the frame to bulk to NT.  There are a few NT prospects at the bottom of the draft, but many have significant injuries. 

Thomas Austin, G/C, Clemson, is a 6'3", 310# prospect who's played both C and LG, although he appears most comfortable at C.  His play at LG his senior year may drop him, and in R7 he'd be worth bringing in for a look.

Assuming two comps (none for Lefty), here are a couple of prominent permutations.

The Fix the OL, then right to defense version

1. Brian Bulaga, OT
2. Nate Allen, FS
3. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB
4. Torelle Troup, NT
5. Eric Olsen, C
5C. Marcus Easley, ATH
6. Danny Batten, DE
6C. Arthur Moats, OLB
7. Andre Sexton, ILB/SS

The Fix the OL, but... Ohhhh! Is that a shiny nickel? version

1. Brian Bulaga, OT
2. Dexter McCluster, RB/ATH
3. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB
4. Torelle Troup, NT
5. Eric Olsen, C
5C. Major Wright, FS
6. Danny Batten, DE
6C. Arthur Moats, OLB
7. Andre Sexton, ILB/SS


Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
Steelerdipwad
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 3673
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,656



« Reply #5 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 14:59 »

McCluster? I don't think he's "another Ray Rice". At least Rice was up around 200 lbs when he got drafted, and 210 when he came to camp. I doubt McCluster could carry 185. You might be right, but I'm betting that when the combine rolls around, he's lucky to weigh in at 175. IMO, we already have one of those, Logan. I like the first version of your mock better.
Logged

"Fanatics are picturesque. Mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason." - Friederich Nietzsche
Finnegans Wake
Global Moderator
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 12196
Offline Offline

Posts: 22,400



« Reply #6 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 15:05 »

Quote
Insert Quote
McCluster? I don't think he's "another Ray Rice". At least Rice was up around 200 lbs when he got drafted, and 210 when he came to camp. I doubt McCluster could carry 185. You might be right, but I'm betting that when the combine rolls around, he's lucky to weigh in at 175. IMO, we already have one of those, Logan. I like the first version of your mock better.

 :huh:

Not really sure where you get the comparison to Rice.  Not from what I wrote or implied.

Quote from: Finny
The wild card in R2 is Dexter McCluster, RB/WR/KR, Ole Miss.  McCluster just killed Okla. St. in the Cotton Bowl, and looks natural as a RB and receiver.  His size at 5'7", 168# is going to scare a lot of folks off, and his 4.42 speed makes him a smaller, poor-man's CJ Spiller.  But man does his game tape pop.  Smaller, slight playmakers (think DeSean Jackson more than MJD or Sproles) are starting to make inroads in the big man's game, and McCluster could be a COP back to replace FWP, a viable slot receiver on multi sets, and a KR/PR to complement or replace the similarly diminutive Stefan Logan.  Really, replacing FWP and Logan with one guy would allow us the option to bring in a kickoff specialist, for example.  In 2008 he had 655 yards rushing, 625 receiving, and in 2009 he had 1129 yards rushing and 520 yards receiving.  If he can survive the SEC he should be a sparkplug in the NFL.
Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
Steelerdipwad
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 3673
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,656



« Reply #7 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 15:28 »

Jackson? Is he that good of a receiver? I just remember him coming out of the backfield. I guess if he smokes his 40 at the combine, he might draw that kind of interest, but I think he'll still be there in the third.
Logged

"Fanatics are picturesque. Mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason." - Friederich Nietzsche
Finnegans Wake
Global Moderator
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 12196
Offline Offline

Posts: 22,400



« Reply #8 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 15:47 »

Jackson? Is he that good of a receiver? I just remember him coming out of the backfield. I guess if he smokes his 40 at the combine, he might draw that kind of interest, but I think he'll still be there in the third.

The Jackson comparison is for size only.  Just saying, the rubric of excluding players under a certain height/weight seems to be crumbling, with MJD, Sproles, Jackson, et al. 

FWIW, I don't think he'll kill on the 40, low-4.4's seems about right, but I do like his quickness and play-making.  Maybe he lasts to R3, I've gone back and forth on that.  Just thinking some team at the end of R2 might think he's a neat gadget guy.
Logged

Out of my mind on Saturday night...
Steelerdipwad
Old School Member
*****

Karma: 3673
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,656



« Reply #9 on: Jan 12, 2010 at 16:06 »

I gotcha. As long as they don't get the itch to jump for a Dez Bryant type in the first, I think I could live with that. But it really seems that they've been drafting the "fun" positions too long, and they need to use the first and second picks on the boring building block guys for the next few years. Ziggy was a nice start last year, an OT and FS in the first two rounds would be a great continuation of that IMO.
Logged

"Fanatics are picturesque. Mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason." - Friederich Nietzsche
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal
| Sitemap
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!