Steelers 2010 Draft Needs

The Steelers 2009 season showed many holes that the Steelers need to address during the 2010 NFL draft. Below I will list I what I feel the draft needs are going into the draft. These are in no particular order and I will have my mock draft up pretty soon in the coming days.

Nose Tackle – Regardless if the Steelers decide to franchise Casey Hampton or not, the Steelers need a young 3-4 nose tackle in waiting. There are rumblings a future shift to a 4-3 defense may be coming in future years, but I do not see this happening while Dick LeBeau is still in charge of the defense. If one is drafted, you could see one that is a bit lighter and mobile that could transition into a 4-3 interior defensive tackle.

Inside Linebacker – James Farrior has definetly lost a step. A 3 down inside linebacker that has leadership qualities is needed badly. One that can play the pass as well as the run. A future captain for the defense could very well be drafted this year and play both inside and outside while delivering on special teams in his rookie year.

Cornerback – The Steelers drafred Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis in 2009. Burnett is still learning and Lewis barely saw the field. Neither showed qualities of being a shut down corner. William Gay and old man Deshea Townsend are both free agents and both are only fringe nickel corners at best if either are brought back.

Safety – Other than Troy Polamalu, the Steelers are weak at the both strong and free safety. Ryan Clark and Tyrone Carter are both free agents and even if Clark is brought back, father time has caught up with him. You could see both a strong and free safety addressed in the draft. Hopefully both are hitters who can make an instant impact on special teams.

Offensive Line – You can never have enough good offensive linemen. The Steelers have 4 of the 5 starters under contract and Ramon Foster proved he can be a swing guy. A left tackle that can play both sides early on would be a welcome sight. A center needs to be groomed for the future as well.

Running Back – Rashard Mendenhall showed he can fit the role of a 3 down running back, but with Willie Parker likely gone and Mewelde Moore being a 3rd down back only, it leaves the Steelers with a bulky Frank Summers and practice squaders Isaac Redman and Justin Vincent as the only true backups to Mendenhall. If Summers is groomed as a pure fullback, then the Steelers are even thinner at the position.

Right Defensive End – Brett Keisel will be 32 in mid September and Nick Eason is a free agent. A young right defensive end is needed to get groomed fast. Rookie Ziggy Hood is better suited on the left side, but regardless, the defensive line needs younger bodies.

Tight End – Matt Spaeth is a free agent and not a blocking tight end. Heath Miller will be the man for a while, but the other tight ends on the roster are mostly H-Backs. A true duel threat tight end that can both block and catch should be addressed. If nothing else for depth in case Miller were to go down or need a breather.

  • George Drakulic

    Yes – It looks as though a total rebuild is needed. We can’t blame losses on the absence of one or two players out due to injuries. The bench has to step up & fill the gaps.

    Ben has been sacked more times than Europe in the middle ages! Do we have the right people in the correct positions? We definitely have talent! It doesn’t always execute or play collectively as a team.

    Coach, you have your hands full!

  • Elliot Ness III

    If you don’t want a repeat of 2009 then Arians has to go.

  • Jeff

    For the most part, I agree, although I think the center position needs to be addressed immediately. My thoughts:

    – Defensive backfield needs to be addressed immediately. When Troy is in, they all play better, as they don’t have to be as dynamic individually, but when Troy is out, they are all below the line individually. I’d keep Clark to start next year, but draft a quality 3rd safety to contribute on special teams in 2010 and start in 2011. Clark plays really well when paired with Troy. Need to draft the best CB we can, one that can be, or at least fringe on being a shutdown corner. Need to find out if Burnett or Keenan Lewis will be worth a roster spot next year. We still need a young, quality CB either thru the draft (preferred) or free agency. Will have to spend some money in this area.

    – O-line : need to find a center asap. Hartwig is a liability. Might need to have him start in 2010 if we don’t get an experienced one through free agency, but likely draft a young, quality center (kid from Boston College looks good). Find out if AQ Shipley can play, and despite short arms, I think there’s a chance he can. Need to fish or cut bait with Tony Hills, and next year is a crucial one to see if Urbik has any promise. He should be looked at to possibly start as a guard. They overpaid to keep the inconsistent Keomeatu. Willie Colon needs to go, or sign a tender as a backup (assuming Hills can’t cut it, or Urbik can’t play tackle).

    – RB : I believe Mewelde Moore can be more than a 3rd down back. He proved it 2 seasons in Minn, and filled in admirably in 2008 as a starter. That being said, we still need a physical runner to back up and spell Mendenhall. Larry Johnson wants to be a Steeler, will accept a back up role with the team, and I believe he would be a good 2 year stopgap in that role. We can wait until 2011 to spend a draft pick in this area if we get him or equal thru free agency.

    – Linebacker: Need to get a stud that can spell Farrior on passing downs to keep him fresh late in games. Eventually he’d become the successor. I’d still keep Farrior as a starter one more year, but substitute him on obvious passing downs. Keyaron Fox could be growing into this role, but still need to add one in draft.

    – D-line : With Ziggy coming along, I think we’re OK here for one more year. Problem is, this draft is deep in D-linemen. That Cody kid out of Alabama looks like he would be stud replacement for Casey Hampton. They could still get a stud DL in the 2nd round if they want to go that way with the draft, but Cody would be gone.

    What they should do in the Draft :
    1st round : top CB or stud safety
    2nd round : O-line (center, if they don’t get one in free agency),
    or D-line (since draft is deep at D-line).
    3rd round: LB as eventual replacement for Farrior, if Fox isn’t the
    answer. Otherwise, get another DB or another O-lineman.
    4th round: another O-lineman or DB, whichever wasn’t done in 3rd
    5th thru 7th rounds: D-lineman, and some guys that have shown an impact on special teams in college.

  • David Paxton

    They cannot possibly fill all of those needs through the draft. They will probably resign one or two. It would be nice if they could pick up some free agents that are ready to start, especially at corner.

  • TomShim

    Get rid of Arians, draft some O linemen and the best posibble players for the D any position, we need any GOOD young D players

  • thomas johnson

    Yes the Steelers need to fix the offensive line issues and we need a shut down db. When Its 3rd and 1 and we pass it that is not Steelers football. Less look forward to a great draft and 2010 season.

  • Gmoney

    Offensive line help is needed, if given the oppurtutiy the young corners wolud do fine. can’t show if not given the chance.

  • BigMurdoc

    Start with the offensive line, we need athletic linemen to run our new offense. The days of running the ball as a priority in Pittsburgh are over. We are running the spread and need offensive lineman for that offense. Defense needs defensive backs in the worst way. The guys can’t cover a without a sustained pass rush. And a true 1st down back. Mendenhall is not the answer, doesn’t run hard enough. Runs away from contact after first year injury. Athletic lineman 1st pick. Shutdown corner for the second pick. Safety, linebacker, maybe Larry Johnson. Penn St. guy. Fits the offense runs hard.

  • Butch Quickel

    Teams pray for third and long because the Steelers do not stop ANYONE in that situation – hence losses to three of the worst teams in the league. Still, the organization wastes first rounders that don’t play for that side of the ball. Timmons? Wood?

    The best player on the team is Big Ben. Unfortunately, he plays behind an average offensive line and under a coordinator with no creativity and no plays to score touchdowns when the ball is inside the ten yard line.

    Since the defense sucks, the Steelers should concentrate on winning games by offense and specials teams. Draft to keep Ben on his feet and score TDs, not FGs when the ball is inside the ten. That means O-line and a big bruising back. Rice was second rounder. Benson was a free agent. It can be done.

    If the Steelers pick another first round defensive mistake, they won’t see the playoffs for another couple of years. They won’t win their own division and that runner up (either Cincy or Baltimore) is better. The Jets, Miami, Houston, Titans are all getting better while our beloved Steelers are gettting worse.

    The main problem IS the draft. This last two were total busts. Wallace was worth a second, Mendehall wasn’t worth a first. Dixon was worth fifth. Two decent picks out of 14 or so. A blind monkey could do better.

    Keep Ben on his feet!

  • Greg McC

    Plenty of needs to address, too bad the team didn’t have quality drafts in the past few years to stay ahead of the curve. Too many old players to replace at once.

    DT, ILB, CB, SS/FS, C, OT, DE, K

    The team has not had much sucess recently with mid-round picks. The Steelers used to be known for their solid drafts to continue to feed their program for depth.

  • Butch Quickel

    Correction to earlier post:

    Mike Wallace was a third round pick. We failed to trade up for Unger in the second round

  • Greg McC

    If the Steelers sign Casey Hampton to a new contract, they would not need to draft a NT within the first two rounds. Dan Williams comes to mind (Tennesee).

    Assuming things remain the same going into the off-season Draft, the biggest need is the defensive secondary. The current depth is poor. A quality CB or FS/SS to step in right away is needed, obvious choices might be Taylor Mays of USC or at CB, Patrick Robinson of Florida State would be an excellent choice.

    The DLine still needs to replace older players with younger ones, any upgrade on the DLine would be a good move given excellent scouting. Last year’s Ziggy Hood pick was a solid pick.

    It would be nice to see the Steelers pick up a kicker that can actually kick the football consistently through the end zone on kick-offs to avoid run backs for touchdowns. The kicker could be the best special teams pick in many years. Jeff Reed can continue to kick field goals. Pick up a quality special teams coach. Don’t need awesome special teamers if you have a kicker with a powerful leg.

    OLine help would be great, but first you have to have a quality OLine coach to replace the fired one. If, per chance, an OT that can play Left Tackle falls to the Steelers, they may want to take him off the boards.

    A back-up QB is needed, seriously. It only takes a hit or two and the $95 million dollar man is out of commission along with the Steelers season (like this year with Polomalu being out following a Super Bowl year)!

  • anthony vitello

    we also need a fullback guys

  • cj

    Can Mundy play free safety? He’s huge and can lay the wood. DB’s – huge need: corners who can cover and play the run. Ike Taylor is very inconsistent.

  • madmitch

    steelers need playmaker on offence and defence on O-Dexter McCluster ole Miss, on D-T.J Ward saftey agency Trumune Williams CB Greenbay Packer.

  • Rich

    Tebow – If they can in the later rounds

  • admin

    I doubt very seriously you will see Tebow drafted by the Steelers.

  • Johnny

    4-3 Defense will never happen here and are already fading fast in the nfl do to the
    high percentage passing trend.I loved the day’s when D. Dawson ,Tim Lester were
    blowing holes in d-lines for the bus to runover people.

  • Johnny

    They should transform L. sweed to cb if he cant help the offense,we know he can produce
    a hit not soon to be forgotten.

  • Jeff

    I have to blast the Steelers Organization for it’s short sightedness in the draft!

    Picks in round #2 and #4 are meaningless this season… Pick #4 we had to let go… Gone!

    I love Jason Woirlds, but did we need a Linebacker at such a high round when we have, James Harrison, Lamar Woodley and a host of other backups…?

    He is playing special teams when we desperately need a good corner, a good Offensive Lineman and Defensive Lineman???

    Other teams like the pats for example, draft picks are making contributions week to week…
    Their success tells the story.

    Year after year we are going to get late round picks… We have to make the best of the selections.
    We have to take who we need, not what the best available talent is, and have them sit on the bench.

    Besides getting nothing for Holmes and 1st pick and Superbowl MVP for SQAT! Worse decison I have ever seen in the NFL, We need to get rid of Bruce Arians, this message needs to be relayed. These three poor decisions have hurt our season even though we may go 12-4, we may be 15-1 if these three things were done differently?