Addition Of Mike Mitchell Now Means Steelers Can Bypass Safety Position In Draft

On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers dove head-first into the free agency pool to start off the new league year and they emerged from the waters with Carolina Panthers unrestricted free safety Mike Mitchell. Mitchell, who signed a five-year deal worth $25 million, will presumably tale over the free safety spot that Ryan Clark played for so many years in the Steelers defense. However, being as the Steelers like their safeties to be somewhat interchangeable, Mitchell’s past playing experience inside the box as a strong safety will also likely come in handy.

Now that the dust has settled after Mitchell’s signing, what does this mean when looking forward to the 2014 NFL Draft?

For starters, the Steelers now don’t have to address the safety position at all in May as Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas figure to be the duo that will roam the Pittsburgh secondary for several years after Troy Polamalu retires. This should essentially now put an end to mocks sending Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor to the Steelers in the first round.

If the Steelers do decide to address the safety position in the draft, they can do so in the later rounds, but with so many other needs on the defensive side of the football, they might be best served passing on the position altogether. However, should a player such as Florida State safety Terrence Brooks drop to them in the fifth-round, he might be worth a selection with an eye toward grooming him as short-term backup and potential starter down the line.

With the recently re-signed Will Allen presumably set to be the third or fourth safety in 2014, the Steelers have effectively shored up the deep part of their secondary over the course of the last week and can now look to fill in other holes in the draft.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • blackandgoldBullion

    1 day into FA, and you can easily see that all those mock drafts were absolutely useless! Okay, not useless, but imagine how they will change until the draft. So far so good, as I am praying that someone like a CB Gilbert falls to them, otherwise Ebron. I will not change my mind unless something crazy happens before the draft.

    Although my favorite scenario is to trade down if at all possible. Let some crazy team or a team with a boatload of picks get crazy and you can add a 3rd round pick perhaps. This year they would benefit greatly with that potential move. Tough to pull off but I’m praying.

  • steeltown

    Yes sir, Polamalu, Mitchell, Thomas, W.Allen and Golden.. nice depth there… now lets focus on CB, OLB and DL

  • dkoy85

    After this signing, I’d be happy with Dennard at 1.15 assuming Tomlin and Colbert came away impressed after his pro day. After CB, WR, and DE the rest of the draft can be about depth- which is very nice for a change. Still hoping the get some depth at CB in FA.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Haven’t heard any reports from his pro day. Not that it matters any because I love his tape but I wondered if Dennard was able to run a better 40 time?

  • 804Stiller

    I was totally against drafting the big WR or hybrid TE at 15 but with the recent re-signings and acquisition of Mitchell, I would be good with Gilbert, Dennard, Evans or Ebron if they drop. We just need this pick to be a playmaker rather than another glue guy. I don’t think we draft OLB that early though. Jones was a first rounder and Worilds just got paid as a quality starter. So, they have to pan out. We need depth at the position whether it be a value FA later on or drafting the position in a later round. Shoot, it sucks if we have to look for a DE early again. After drafting two in the first round in recent years, we shouldn’t be in that position. I wonder if they are comfortable with the ILB situation with Williams and Spence and Garvin for depth……….

  • dkoy85

    In a way I’m hoping he doesn’t improve much on his 40 time. I’d like to know 1 of the top 2 CB’s are on the board at 1.15 if they want to go that route. I’m anxious to hear any reports that came out of it.

    I really like Fuller and hope they trade back to get him (win win). I think Benjamin has a chance, albeit a small one, to fall out of round one and with the extra pick in the 3rd or possibly 2nd they could trade up to grab Benjamin essentially landing 2 first round talents. Crazy scenario I know- but stranger things have happened.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’d be happy with either CB. I would rather they add a guy like Benjamin or M Bryant in the second round if there still available. Not sold on Evans so I’m just hoping for anyone but him he looks really slow for his size.

  • steeltown

    He topped Gilberts combine numbers in the vertical (36inch) and broad jump (11’2)

  • James Kling

    I agree that the necessity for a S early isn’t there, and that we could still pick up a guy later if we find value (e.g. Brooks). But considering how the percentage of snaps in sub-packages has increased in relation to base, we could do worse than taking a guy even as high as R2 or R3 if we really love him. You have Mitch at FS, Shark at SS, and the rook can come in on packages, or possibly flip-flop Shark and a bigger SS type down the road. The Devil’s Triangle. We need speed, and now we have it, nothing says we can’t add more in this passing era.

  • Biggie

    I like this signing of MItchell, shores up Safety prior to draft in which I didn’t like either top FS (Dix, Pryor) at 15. My major hope is that Gilbert or Evans are there, but have high doubts they will be. After that I’d go with Mosley, Nix as my top choices. Dennard, Ebron would be ok, but not sure either deserve #15. Tuitt is another I’d consider.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Dennard did? His tape blows you away physical man corner would allow us to play aggressive. With those combine numbers he’s got explosive written all over him something we’ve lacked for too many years with our DB’s

  • steeltown

    Yep.. I still believe Gilbert goes first, so Dennard might actually be there when we make our selection

  • steeltown

    I agree, Polamalu is not getting any younger, W.Allen is on another one yr deal and it appears they see Golden as purely a special teams ace

  • dkoy85

    He MIGHT have a bit of a learning curve ahead of him by transitioning into zone BUT with his physical style of play and natural abilities I expect he could contribute right away considering the depth we have at CB.

    “If you have red paint, paint the barn red.” Direct quote from Colbert. So who knows, maybe if they draft him they’ll let him play to his strengths.

  • Douglas Andrews

    If he’s there at 1.15 I say turn in the card asap!

  • Douglas Andrews

    With better safety play we can play more man to man. Playing Zone with the CB’s off gives the qb a lot of time and holes to pick us apart. If we can get back to playing aggressive hopefully we can generate a better pass rush along with creating some turnovers.

  • dkoy85

    That would be great. Things are looking up.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I agree but, Ill bet we would still snatch a guy like Ladler the Safety out of Vandy if he was there for us in the fifth or sixth round.

  • Ike Evans

    Still snag a guy….,if the value is there….this may not work out. Never know..,can’t have too much talent….I’m actually dissapointed. This is a good safety class

  • j m

    He refused to run a 40 at the Pro Day, which speaks volumes in my opinion.
    How do we expect a DB who runs in the 4.5s to run with WRs who run in the 3s and 4s? And why in the world would we take him at 1.15?

  • j m

    He didn’t run the 40 at his Pro Day.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Great off season so far i wish we would have cut ike and signed verner along with mitchell then our secondary would of been solid but hopefully we get a lockdown cb in the draft along with the rest of the pieces we need i believe NOW that if woods gets away from us that that means that they are drafting DT in the 1st/2nd rd more likely first if gilbert/dennard are gone and plan on moving mcclendon to his natural position which i think they are gonna do i think they may let woods walk not because they dont value him but because they giving him a chance to start and make the money he deserves on another team

  • Matt Manzo

    This really allows us to go after 2 cbs a WR, and DE in the first 4 rounds! Maybe throw in an OLB too?! TE could move up too?
    The Mitchell signing changes the 1st 3 rounds for me.

  • Douglas Andrews

    They look much better than 72hrs ago. Now all we need is to get a few more of our FA’s signed or possibly add another DE or NT. Cody is still out there from the Ravens I’m sure he would be a cheap acquisition.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Thanks. Hopefully his 4.5 40 from the combine helps him slip to us at 1.15 fingers crossed!

  • shawn

    YES YES YES !!!

  • shawn

    EXACTLY !

  • shawn

    NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND …. there is no proven ability here and if a FS they like drops i could easily still see them taking a high pick with one … this guy is middle of the road at best … why not shoot for a top guy if u can get one !