AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Sports

April 10, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: What direction will Steelers go in the draft?

OPINION — WITH THE NFL’S free agency period pretty much at a standstill now, I think it’s time to take a look at what I think are the Steelers’ needs in advance of the annual draft in two weeks.

The Steelers generally enter the draft with the best available athlete mantra when it comes to making their selections and I don’t think this year will be any different with the exception of offensive line, cornerback and quarterback.

Those are the only three positions where I just can’t fathom General Manager Kevin Colbert pulling the trigger to pick, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see a player from any other position (besides kicker and punter obviously) selected with the No. 17 overall pick.

The Steelers aren’t in desperate need of a quarterback or even a back-up, so they can wait to select one until the later rounds when they can take one to groom behind Ben Roethlisberger.

The cornerbacks are in pretty decent shape with Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen and William Gay at the top three spots and Curtis Brown as their No. 4.

I know, I know we’re basing Allen on his performance over the last few games last year, but that showing was better than what Keenan Lewis gave us prior to earning the starting spot last year.

And Brown has done diddly squat since coming into the league, but the Steelers can wait until the middle rounds to take another corner to compete with Brown.

Not too many like the make-up of the Steelers’ o-line of Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Mike Adams, but you know what, I do.

The key to them as a group is staying healthy and Foster has been the only one to do so lately, but the law of averages says it has to happen eventually, so why not in 2013?

As for running back and receiver, I think they can wait until the second or third rounds to pick up quality players that can help or even start almost immediately.

Many fans are clamoring for speedy West Viriginia receiver Tavon Austin or Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, but Lacy’s skill set doesn’t match the new zone blocking scheme the Steelers are installing and Austin’s teammate Stedman Bailey is the better overall receiver coming out of Morgantown this year.

I don’t know that I’d take a safety this year — even though Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro would look nice in Black and Gold — nor would I take a defensive lineman.

I’d give Steve McLendon the opportunity to show what he can do in the middle of the d-line and Brett Keisel still has a quality year left in him, while Cam Heyward deserves some more playing time and Ziggy Hood hasn’t been horrible.

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t talked about the linebacking corps and there’s a good reason for that -- I’m just not sure if they should go with a linebacker either.

I think the Steelers are in a good spot with Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons on the inside and am hoping that LaMarr Woodley wakes up and uses all the criticism he’s received this offseason as motivation to live up to hefty contract.

I’d like the Steelers give Jason Worilds the opportunity to prove himself more thoroughly this year rather than just give up on him. Remember, he did have 5 sacks in limited playing time in 2012 while James Harrison was rehabbing from injury.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t have a problem if the Steelers took a Georgia Bulldog with their first round pick — outside ‘backer Jarvis Jones or inside ’backer Alec Ogletree.

By this point in previous years, I had already zeroed in on which player I wanted the Steelers take to take and this year, I’m still not sure, which could be a good thing or a bad thing.

That’ll only make the first round all the more exciting for me, because I won’t have to worry about being disappointed when they take someone else.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: April should bring welcome return of local racing

    MOTHER NATURE’S last stronghold on winter may slowly be releasing her grip as the calendar changes to April and racing begins to get under way throughout the region. 
    Locally, nothing has happened yet, but that may soon be changing. Mercer had to postpone their “Chiller Thriller” to this Saturday (April 5), weather permitting, featuring the NDRL Northeast Super Late Models, NDRL E-Mods, Crate Late Models, and Stock Cars. Mercer’s regular season opener featuring their weekly divisions of “410” Sprints, “358” Modifieds, “305” Sprints, Stock Cars, Mod Lites, and Mini Stocks has now been pushed back to April 12. 

    April 6, 2014

  • Dishing off Mercer boys bow in Guerino finals

    The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
    The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
    In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Bonds ruined opening day for Pirates fans

    As this column begins today its 47th year, longtime readers no doubt expected to find what they have found at the beginning of every baseball season — predictions for upcoming summer.
    And as I sat down last week to start to put together some ideas for today’s entry, that is fully what I anticipated would fill this space.
    Well, I’m as surprised as you are; 2014’s season prognostications must wait until next week.
    I just can’t get past the fact that club president Frank Coonelly thought the celebration of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first winning season in 21 years should include Barry Bonds.
    You gotta be kidding me!

    April 3, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide