The Steelers 2010 draft is now in the books. The 3 day event started slow paced on day 1 and 2, but day 3 was a whirlwind. I am still trying to catch up and will likely work through the mid morning. It was an old school draft so to speak. "In Colbert We Trust", I need to always remind myself this. I started to lose the faith after Friday night, but after the 4 rounds on Saturday, everything makes much more sense. Here is a quick recap.
Round 1 was as good as pick as any, especially if you like versatile offensive linemen. Florida center Maurkice Pouncey should be with Steelers for a long time. Pouncey will begin at right guard in camp and try to unseat Trai Essex. At some point in his career, Pouncey will likely move to center after Justin Hartwig is done. The pick fit a need and Pouncey was great value at #18 overall.
Round 2 & 3 on Friday was a bit unnerving. The Steelers drafted tweener Jason Worilds from Virginia Tech and small school receiver Emmanuel Sanders of SMU. Worilds is listed as a defensive end, but projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Dick LeBeau\'s defense. Like most outside backers on the Steelers, he will pay his dues on special teams. That according to linebackers coach Keith Butler. Butler said he will not see the field much as a rookie. LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison very rarely need spelling and that is a good thing. Sanders is a bit of an enigma. He played in June Jones spread offense so his stats are deceiving. He is small and fast. The Steelers hope he can compete for the #4 or #5 receiver spot and be the future at the slot. He will have lots of competition at camp though and I really thought the Steelers should of addressed the secondary with one of the 2 Friday picks, but we found out why they didn\'t on Saturday.
After sleeping on the Friday picks, Saturday came quickly and we were off to the races again. It was almost like the movie Groundhog Day as the Steelers selected another tweener from Ohio State named Thaddeus Gibson. Now let me say, I like Gibson more than Worilds, but once again he will be used on the outside at linebacker and will pay his dues on special teams. It will be interesting to see if he starts camp on the right or left. He could be the future after James Harrison hangs them up.
After Gibson, the Steelers drafted Tennessee tackle Chris Scott with their first of five 5th round picks. Scott is a former teammate and friend of current backup offensive linemen Ramon Foster. Scott has versatility to play guard and will need it to earn a roster spot. He will be worked on the left side to start camp, but will also get time on the right as well. Very physical according to offensive line coach Sean Kugler.
Even after the first 5 picks were made, I was still a little uneasy with the secondary not being addressed. Then the reason surfaced as to why. The Steelers made a trade with Arizona to bring back cornerback Bryant McFadden. They dealt the 5th round pick they received from the Jets for Santonio Holmes and also got a 6th round pick to boot. If you are following at home, it means we basically traded Holmes for McFadden plus received a 6th round draft pick. Like I said earlier, "In Colbert We Trust"! More good news followed as it was announced that McFadden had his contract extended three years and the Steelers drafted Crezdon Butler, a corner from Clemson. Butler is big and strong and fast, but will be project and might likely be headed for the practice squad if he does not make the 53 man roster.
Then things got real interesting after Utah linebacker Stevenson Sylvester was drafted with the final 5th round pick. Sylvester will work inside and he too will be a project. The Steelers steal of the draft might be their 1st 6th round pick. Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer did not have much film on him not in the option offense, but there is enough film to show he is a power running back that can run inside. He could be the short yardage back the Steelers have been aching to have for a while. Depending how he advances in camp with his blocking and knowledge of the offense, could mean a fullback/running back hybrid role and a back to keep Rashard Mendenhall fresh. He has ADD and the medicine he takes was the red flag at the combine. It should be a non issue though. His nickname is Diesel, so now we have a Diesel and a Tank as Frank Summers looks to be back compete with Dwyer as well.
Closing out the 2010 draft were the selections of CMU receiver Antonio Brown and Ohio State defensive lineman Doug Worthington. Brown will compete with 3rd round pick Sanders for a slot depth job, but Brown is an exciting return man as well. He very well could be the better of the two receiver wise as well. Sanders better not take him for granted as I like the chances Brown has to crack a roster spot. At worst he should be able to be hid on the practice squad. Worthington will have a ton of work ahead of him as a 3-4 end and he too could be headed for the practice squad after camp.
In closing, I feel much better about the draft. I wish the Sanders pick would of been used on a safety though. I am not thrilled with Worilds or Sanders, but understand why and how they fit. Hopefully what I have seen on film of both them is just a mirage. 2010 should teach us patience as a fan group though. Colbert nailed it by bringing back BMac and few holes have been filled as well. If Dwyer and Brown make the 53 man roster along with 4 others, it should be an interesting class to watch in future years. Overall I grade the draft a B-. At one point I had it a D-!