By Jeremy Hritz
Another week closer to the NFL Draft, and the needs of the Steelers have not changed. Last week, I posted the first edition of my mock draft, and without surprise, I have the Steelers selecting inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower with their first round selection. While my belief has not changed about the pick, it is a strong possibility that the Steelers will go after an offensive lineman with their first pick. If he happens to fall to the 24th overall spot, Cordy Glenn, whose name has been associated with the Steelers in numerous mock drafts, could be the Steelers’ pick. It is not a secret that there is a great need on the offensive line for the Steelers, both at guard and right tackle. Already solid at center and left tackle, the Steelers would greatly benefit from an upgrade at both guard positions or right tackle. Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster are the predicted starters for next season and have proven that they can be adequate at the position. At right tackle, Willie Colon will return from his torn triceps injury, and if he stays healthy, he will provide some experience at the position. Regardless, the Steelers need offensive lineman to protect their oft-beaten Ben Roethlisberger, and if Glenn is available, he could be the man to do just that. So what do we know about Glenn?
Cordy Glenn is a mammoth of a man standing at 6’5 ¾, 345 pounds. At the combine, he ran his 40-yard dash in 5.15 seconds (sixth fastest for offensive lineman at the combine) and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times (only seven offensive lineman at the combine posted more repetitions). His combination of size, strength, and speed are impressive, but it has been noted that Glenn sometimes struggles with his weight which beckons memories of the much-maligned Steelers offensive tackle Jamain Stephens, who was cut promptly after a three seasons because he was too out of shape to complete the infamous Bill Cowher 40-yard dash conditioning test.
The Steelers are all about players that are versatile and can shift positions, especially on the offensive line. Glenn fits that mold. At Georgia, Glenn started games at right and left guard and right and left tackle, though he is projected as an offensive guard in the NFL. He has proven to be a durable prospect and has played in all 53 games during his four years in college. Glenn’s sturdiness would be welcomed to the Steelers’ offensive line which is frequently marred by injury.
The few knocks on Glenn are that periodically he can play too high and that he is susceptible to speed rushers; however, his strength is his run blocking and his ability to make blocks at the second level, something that the Steelers will need if they want to improve their ground game in 2012.
It will be interesting to see what the Steelers decide to do if both Glenn and Hightower are available at the 24th overall pick, and it will speak volumes about what they believe is their greatest team need moving forward.