Steelers Draft Stategy Wide Open After Offensive Line Signings

The recent moves by the Steelers to keep in tact most of the offensive line and depth from the 2008 season now opens up the chance to truly draft the best player available in the upcoming 2009 NFL draft. Free agents Chris Kemoeatu, Willie Colon, Trai Essex and Max Starks are all back in the fold with only Marvel Smith and Kendall Simmons being allowed to get away, both of which were injury concerns going forward. Headed into free agency and the draft, it look that drafting an offensive lineman in round one would be a priority. Now the Steelers can let round one come to them and choose the best player available with the pick. The Steelers will indeed likely address the offensive line still with at least two of their picks, but do not have to be locked into doing so with the first pick. Going into the draft, the Steelers have 4 major position needs. The offensive line, with priority being a center, the defensive line, with nose tackle being a priority, cornerback and lastly a wide receiver to challenge for the number 3 or 4 role on the team. I see these four positions as being the ones the Steelers look to use most of their draft picks on. The luxury now with having a Super Bowl winning offensive line back in tact, is the Steelers can let the draft come to them and not have to be locked into one position in the first few rounds.

  • jim johnson

    “The luxury now with having a Super Bowl winning offensive line back in tact, is the Steelers can let the draft come to them and not have to be locked into one position in the first few rounds.” are you insane? you realize our line is terrible right? we’re really playing russian roulette to think we can win again with that awful line.

  • admin

    You do realize we did WIN the Super Bowl, don’t you? The line got better as the year progressed. At no time am I saying the line will not be addressed in the draft, but as you also should know, the Steelers never participate in high dollar free agents, especially lineman. The line will at least now be cohesive from day one and should only improve. Mix in a few good draft picks and it should be cohesive for a while.

    Are you one of those Steeler fans that is never happy? You guys complained about the oline all year long, yet we still won our 6th championship. Give it a rest.

  • Don Ivie

    Forgive me if I’m not jumping up and down about the 0-line remaining in tact. Yes, the Steelers won the Super Bowl, but anyone with eyes would have to admit it was in SPITE of the O-line. The Steelers ranked 23rd, yes 23RD in rushing and gave up 46 sacks. Ben’s sack total was second only to Matt Cassel’s 47. But Cassel also had 47 more attempts than Roethlisberger. 8 more sacks allowed in the postseason led playoff teams as well. Maybe another year together will help, and maybe they could make up for their weak line AGAIN, but I’d hate to count on it.

  • admin

    Of the 49 sacks allowed in 2008, 25 were in 5 games versus the Eagles(9), Ravens(3), Giants(5), Ravens(3),Titans(5) and I think we can agree all 5 of those defenses were the better ones in the league. Also in 2 of those games, Kendall Simmons and Marvel Smith were in the starting lineup. The other 11 games totaled 24 sacks which was almost a full sack a game less and just slightly higher than the NFL average a game. So yes, I think the OLine came together pretty good and should be fine with a bit of an easier schedule on the way. The running game is a whole different story to itself and I firmly do not believe Parker is an in between the tackles runner. Having Mendenhall in 2009 will help the running game.

    Be well!!!