#1 – Let It Rain A Few QB\’s Early – Let\’s hope the Panthers start right off the bat by selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton number one overall in the draft and a few other teams follow suit other than the 49ers, Cardinals & Titans. There is an outside chance the Dolphins and Patriots could indeed draft a quarterback in round 1 and not only would it drop a few players down to the board, it opens up the possibility of teams trying to trade back into the bottom of round 1 with the Steelers to draft a quarterback like the three teams I mentioned above. The Vikings, Redskins and Bills are also outsiders that might look to trade up as well and you need multiple teams fighting to get up there. Even if no trades take place, the Steelers are not in the market for a quarterback and everyone taken just pushes another player down the draft board.
#2 – Let Them Draft Low Character, Medical Risk & Non 3-4 types – The Steelers have already ruled out some 40 players off their draft board because of either character issues, medical risk or not fitting the 3-4 defense. Players like Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith instantly come to mind when talking first round players with character issues and there are several more scattered throughout the draft. The same goes for players with medical issues and defensive players who are a better fit for a 4-3 defense. Every time one comes off the board it pushes another player down that the Steelers might have identified as 1 of the 100 players that can help the team.
#3 – No Trading Players During Draft – Despite the ruling my Judge Susan Nelson to lift the lockout, it looks like the trading of players will still not be allowed during the draft. This helps the Steelers if you indeed want them to try to trade out of round 1, because players like Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb and Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer will not be option for the quarterback hungry teams. Even though the Steelers traded for Bryant McFadden last year, it is very unlikely they would trade for a player this year during the draft so it really does not hurt them not being able to trade for players.
#4 – No Free Agency Until After Draft – This goes along with the trading of players way of thinking as well. The Steelers are not usually active as far as signing the higher profile free agents and they would rather teams not fill a need during the draft by signing a free agent and moving on to their next need. The Steelers are usually a great drafting team and want to force other teams to draft just as well. Hopefully free agency does open though after the draft so the Steelers can then get busy signing their handful of undrafted free agents.
#5 – Let TE\’s & ILB\’s Fall – The tight end and inside linebacker position are not huge areas of need for the Steelers, but they certainly might have eyes on drafting both of those positions in the second half of the draft. Both positions are not deep in talent and the longer it takes for players from those two positions to come off the board, the better the chance the Steelers might find one fall into their lap.
Enjoy the draft everyone and make sure you are following me on Twitter and like us on Facebook so we can talk about the draft as it happens and discuss the Steelers draft picks. I will also be doing full recaps of the players drafted by the Steelers immediately after they are selected so keep checking the site and subscribe to the RSS feed to get the updates as they happen. Go Steelers!