Six First-Round Candidates For The Pittsburgh Steelers

Taylor Decker

Man, the NFL Draft is only six weeks away. Hard to believe. As we go through the first wave of free agency, we can get a clearer look at who the Pittsburgh Steelers might take 25th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Of course, the draft can – and does – always surprise, so by no means in this list concrete. I left off some players who could fall, outside linebacker Shaq Lawson most notably. Just in the way I left off Bud Dupree last year, despite him being my #1 guy, I won’t assume he will be there, but if they are, they will absolutely be in the conversation.

Here are six players I’ve been able to whittle the last down to. These are in no particular order though if you remember my last mock, I had the team taking Andrew Billings.

Andrew Billings/DT Baylor: So let’s start with him. Steve McLendon is now living his big city dreams in New York. The nose tackle market is barren, a weird time to try to find one in an age of pass rushers that are still rare to find, especially a week into the new year, making the actual position a need.

But Billings is much more than a run stuffer. He’s a rare athlete for his frame who showed the ability to get after the quarterback last year, racking up 5.5 sacks despite a bum ankle. He’ll give you that pass rush while helping to stuff the run in sub-package. His frame in itself is interesting. Though he isn’t the 6’4 type, he has 33 inch arms on a not-even 6’1 frame.

The Steelers like drafting underclassmen, defensive lineman in the first round (Hampton, Hood, Heyward) from Power 5 schools. Billings checks every single one of those boxes.

Vernon Butler/DT Louisiana Tech: Like Billings, but a smaller school, and more length/height. Butler is 6’3/5 with 35 inch arms and a more appealing option to play defensive end in a base front, though like McLendon, that idea may be better in theory than practice. But Butler is another one of those remarkable athletes who can play the one or the three while giving the prospect of a starting nose tackle.

He’s a senior from a non Power-5 school, and the last one of those – at any position – was Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. And the last non-QB before that was Troy Edwards in 1999, before Kevin Colbert arrived. But if you’re into your horiscope and the stars aligning, Edwards also went to La Tech.

The bottom line: from a historical perspective, Butler doesn’t add up, but if you go into the evaluation blind and just watch him in a vacuum, he makes sense.

Mackensie Alexander/CB Clemson: Yes, I am putting a cornerback on this list, despite my silent protest and  “no CB since 1997” stat I’ve been graffiti spraying since I’ve been writing here. I have watched enough of Alexander to know he’s a talented corner with the frame, speed, and fluidity to succeed in the NFL. Mike Tomlin and Colbert camped out at Clemson’s Pro Day and you can bet Alexander was one of several players on their shopping list.

I’m not blind to the possibility of upgrading the cornerback position, but it’s not as bad as popular perception. And until the team brings in another corner, the numbers are thin.

Noah Spence/OLB Eastern Kentucky: I know Spence feels like a lock as a top-15 pick, but I still have the feeling he’s going to go later than people think. And if he’s there at 25, he has to be in the conversation. Sure, there are some serious off the field concerns, and after dealing with Martavis Bryant, it isn’t fun to think about Spence landing in the same situation, but they are two different people, with different stories, and to blame Spence for Bryant’s problems is plain unfair.

Given the upside he has a pass rusher, and the clear long-term need at the position, he shouldn’t be discounted.

Reggie Ragland/ILB Alabama: Now we start to round things off with some slightly off-the-path ideas. I’ve hinted at Ragland for awhile. Though Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier are starting at inside linebacker, and it might be the lost group on defense you’d point to as an issue, we’re all aware of Timmons’ mileage and Shazier’s injury history.

Ragland isn’t just an inside linebacker and that makes him much more appealing. He’ll never be a true outside linebacker but can play on the edge or with his hand down in some fun sub-packages. That could allow him a better path onto the field.

He might not time fantastically but I think he’s a strong athlete when you look at his background and even watch him on tape in some instances. He seems like a great individual that is easy to gravitate towards in interviews and someone the team should really be high on, at the least, on a personal level.

Taylor Decker/OT Ohio State: And a new name to the group. One I’ve never mentioned before, though I wrote this before Ryan Harris put on his Steelers’ attire, concluding their Miss America Pageant of tackles to catwalk through Pittsburgh.

But if they’re smitten for Decker, Harris’ presence isn’t going to discourage them enough of taking him. The possibility of adding a tackle is certainly one I have to be willing to adapt to, even though I’m still high on Alejandro Villanueva.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • NinjaMountie

    I haven’t been one to jump on the 43 speculation, and I understand that we’re in sub-package football more than not. However, with their interest in traditional 43 ends and the willingness to just let McLendon walk with seemingly no worries, does it not make you wonder if there is a bigger defensive shift going on than suspected?

  • srdan

    I could live with any of the defensive guys. I would prefer spence.

    And I agree on the “Harris won’t change their mind on a tackle” but I think he changes their mind on the round he’s needed. With Harris and AV, that would be a crowded room.

  • JM_3

    I think Billings and Alexander are the front runners. I love Spence’s potential, but I don’t think they’ll take a risk on him after the current situation w Tav.

  • Big Joe

    I agree with all but Spence. I take your point but I wouldn’t go there no matter what. Locker room strength and culture aside, I’m just too uncomfortable with the risk involved with that idea. With Harris only on a 2-year deal, I’d rather overload at OT with Decker and keep 9 OL this year (if AV isn’t viewed as a long-term solution at LT). Adams can’t play LT and I think Decker could play both so the former would be cut. Of course, this is only if we’re left with no other options at 25 as I agree with your selections. I’ve got the same, with Doctson being the other possible if no other option exists and he falls to us.

  • vasteeler

    i cant imagine passing on Billings if he’s there at 25. billings in the middle of cam and tuitt is a huge upgade over mclendon and their pressure would do wonders for the secondary, the possibilities of blitz packages would be endless, that would immediately be one of the strongest and athletic fronts pound for pound, i think they’re counting on a Dt to improve the backend and thats probably why a cb hasnt been signed, plus tuitt is only going to get better, linebackers should run free all day behind those 3

  • Daniel

    Billings is my option it would give tuitt and heyward the help needed plus pass rush will make our cornerbacks look better too.

  • Brian Miller

    All valid and I truly believe most if not all of those guys will be there at 25. I think it would be very difficult for me to pass on Billings, would love him or Ragland at 25, but Alex if all of those guys are there who do you think the Steelers would take?

  • vasteeler

    no way they take ragland over billings, if they grade out evenly steelers always go with need and bpa

  • Daniel

    Love billings the guy is strong..I saw a clip where he took on two lineman and still got the sack

  • NinjaMountie

    I don’t think they’ll take Spence either. I’m in favor of Billings if the option presents.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    There are some good choices there Alex. I think the Steelers will get a good player at 25. I had Taylor Decker as their selection on my first mock draft and would still consider him even though I think he might get taken earlier than 25. He would be a huge upgrade at that position. I see you didn’t think there was a safety worthwhile of that pick. Have you soured on Darian Thompson or do you just think he’ll last into the second round after his combine performance? Vonn Bell seems to be moving up in some mock drafts. Cravens seems to be, too. What about Sheldon Rankins as NT? William Jackson or Eli Apple at CB? Someone will definitely fall to the Steelers with all of the talent available.

  • AndyR34

    Interesting Alex! They all have their warts and risks. Like others, I am of the mind that they would pass on Spence due to the risks, but it is way too difficult to make a judgement from here. I think Decker gives them the chance to cut Adams, but they are/were highly-regarded Ohio State tackles (hm-m-m?). But my biggest problem…although I had the same one last year…is figuring out how this defense is going to be better than last years defense…no matter who they draft. DL is likely the only position that will make a significant impact in their rookie year.

  • vasteeler

    they dont have to be overwhelmingly better just an avg pass defense would have taken them to the super bowl last season

  • Birdman

    If Munchak likes Decker, I’d be fine with them taking him. They gotta protect the franchise.

  • Big Joe

    I wouldn’t characterize letting Mac walk as being with “no worries.” I just don’t think they were going to overpay him just to keep him for 35% of the snaps. He wanted to play more and the Jets gave him the opportunity to do so and for more money. I don’t read anymore into it than that though, to your comment on a broader shift than we think, drafting Billings in 1 and Ward in 2 could feed a 4/3 – 3/4 hybrid for a long time if the DL stays healthy. Dupree and another typical 4/3 DE as well-rounded LBs could really get some pressure and stop run game.

  • falconsaftey43

    I think Decker would be a possibility. He’d be a day one starter at LT.
    Guy is flat out nasty. That OL would dominate, and have really good
    depth. I’d prefer a stud defensive guy, but if it breaks that Decker is
    the best guy there, I’d be cool with it.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Nice list Alex. I am thinking OT definitely isn’t happening at this point but I understand why you had him. Spence I don’t risk in the first round. I am okay with character concerns so long as they don’t come in the first.

    I am already on record as saying Alexander is my ultimate pick at 25 so glad to see him on your list. There is almost nobody who could fall to us I would take over him. In fact, I was looking into Hargreaves some yesterday and I think I would even take Alexander over Hargreaves if given the choice. So for me he is a guy I run up on the stage for.

    Wouldn’t complain about Billings or Butler and not sure who I would ultimately like more though I think I still lean Butler.

    I forgot to mention Ragland. I am not too high on him but I do think ILB is a little more of a need than most have been talking about. He would come in at 4th or 5th for me of your listed guys.

  • vasteeler

    Colbert stated that they will be a hybrid defense, tomlin has wanted this for a few years but the steelers didnt want to step on lebeau’s toes until the older guys on defense were released/retired

  • Big Joe

    Depends on how teams eval these guys but Thompson is a 2-3 rd guy and Jackson is a likely rd 2 guy. Neither is rd 1 talent.

  • WreckIess

    Spence is still one of my favorites, but Mclendon leaving did make me warm up to the idea of Andrew Billings. I can ignore Spence’s past because there really hasn’t been any other issues since he was dismissed from Ohio State and you rarely ever hear about someone relapsing on ecstasy. Billings is just a monster out there. I mean the guy was squatting 800 and benching 500 in high school. I can just see him collapsing the pocket while Bud comes and cleans the QB up for a sack.

  • PittsburghSports

    I just don’t understand how you say Billings is a rare athlete. What about his athleticism stands out? I feel like I have to force myself to like this pick in the 1st rd, but he does check a lot of those boxes, so I guess I’m comfortable with the pick, but definitely not my favorite.

    Overall, not liking this list. I’m not willing to spend a 1st rd pick on a NT, and I’m not so sure Butler is a 1st rd pick, unlike Billings. Plus, Butler is just not going to happen for the simple fact history says it’s not. I just don’t see the Steelers going CB in rd 1 either because of history, and the fact we can grab one in rd 3 or 4 if we want, and there’s not a huge difference, but I do like Alexander. I’ve been waving the Noah Spence flag around all off season, but after Bryant’s suspension you can forgetaboutit! lol I don’t care if he’s 2 years sober, we just can’t take a chance. I like the Ragland pick, but filling in the MLB depth is more of a 4th to late rd pick or even an UDFA. I do like the Decker pick, but we have 3 OTs already, plus Adams and Hubbard are in the mix. Too many good defenders available, and capable depth on our own team to have that as BPA.

    My 6 candidates, which I know most don’t think Jones and Ward are 1st rd picks, but they are DEs in our system, and although there’s good depth on the D line in this draft, there’s a real lack of guys with measurables that fit what Heyward and Tuitt do, so I think we have to jump on one of these guys early if we want one. I realize they don’t have the playing time the Steelers look for in 1st rd picks, and that might rule them out, but they check all the other boxes. I also think Lawson and Calhoun have the best chance of falling to us, and they are the best OLBs at that spot in the draft. Safety is still our biggest need and we might have a chance to draft the best one available at 25, so I added the one player who I think is the best in Joseph. My 6th spot would probably go to either Billings or Mack Alexander, but I hate the picks, and just for the sake of being different I’ll throw in a curveball and add my favorite WR in the draft who is an incredible route runner and will make everyone forget about losing Bryant this year and Wheaton next year.

    1) Chris Jones DE/DT, Mississipi St.
    2) Jihad Ward DE/DT, Illinois
    3) Shaq Lawson OLB/Edge, Clemson
    4) Shilique Calhoun OLB/Edge, Mich St.
    5) Karl Joseph SS, W. Virginia
    6) Michael Thomas WR, Ohio St.

  • taztroy43

    Any possibility they go D. LEE? would they even be interested?

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Thompson has his pro day in late March, so I think he will have the opportunity to impress and move back into first-round consideration.

  • Big Joe

    Don’t think a CB has been signed because it’s an avg FA class and the prices are inflated. We have 5 CBs on roster already, not speaking to talent level, so drafting one gives us our typical 6. If we go 5 and 5 again due to shortcomings at the safety position, we have all of ours barring injuries.

  • PittsburghSports

    After his Pro Day and Combine he looks to be going right where Shazier went in the draft around 15.

  • Doug McFee

    Why is Paxton Lynch not in the discussion here? We have Landry Jones backing up Big Ben and that’s it! When do the Steelers invest in a QB of the future? If Lynch is there at 25, I’m taking him, period!

  • Daniel

    Defense is more of a need pass defense finished almost last

  • steelburg

    I would definitely agree with the second half of your statement. But I would have to disagree with taking Spence although I am a fan of Spence. There is just way to much risk involved with taking him in the first round. Originally I was on the lets draft Spence bandwagon but after seeing what is happening with Bryant a 4th round pick we can’t take that chance with a 1st round pick.

  • Big Joe

    Don’t know anyone that has had him in rd 1 consideration so if you could offer some names of those who have, I’d appreciate the opportunity to research the way they scout.

  • vasteeler

    there were good corners available and average cb’s would have still been better than blake, traditionally the steelers have prioritized pressure from the front 7

  • Daniel

    Yea I’m not taking any chances either

  • PittsburghSports

    Other than what Colbert said, what interest in traditional 43 ends have you seen?

  • vasteeler

    Paxton Lynch??? come on Doug thats all i’ll say is no doug, it aint happening

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Lynch is a project……he would be #3 on the depth chart

  • NinjaMountie

    Did they even offer McLendon? Any attempt to keep him? I haven’t heard anything but could have missed it or it may not have been reported. That’s why it seems to me they had little worries in letting him go. They only have a very under-performing McCullers who was a project to begin with now. Just seems strange to me that they basically have no NT now and that’s interesting.

  • Daniel

    Yes they offered him a 2yr contract

  • vasteeler

    jason jones and we dont know who else they have been eyeing behind closed doors in free agency and the draft

  • NinjaMountie

    Jason Jones. Isn’t he a 43 DE.

  • Big Joe

    He’s too light for OLB and would have to move inside to the Will position which is where Shazier already is. Do you think he can play Buck in the NFL?

  • NinjaMountie

    Missed it. thx.

  • vasteeler

    on another note brandon boykin is garnering interest from atlanta , so he’s more than likely the next to be gone

  • PittsburghSports

    No. He was drafted as a strong side DE, but played 3tech DT his first 4 years and has flipped between 3 and 5 tech since, but is at best rushing the passer from the interior. Dave discussed that in the original post. Although he seems thinner than we’re used to, he’s not an edge rusher.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Well, Alex, for one. Alex had him as their first-round selection in his initial mock draft.

  • PittsburghSports

    where’d you see that?

  • NinjaMountie

    I googled it now and have found that the Steelers were interested in bringing him back but no contract mention yet.

  • Paul RK

    you don’t draft Ben’s replacement until Ben only has 2 years left

  • vasteeler

    he played 4-3 DE in the lions base and moved inside on passing downs, he allowed them to mix and match, opponents never knew where he would rush from

  • Big Joe

    I remember his article and liked his thoughts but I’m not seeing anyone else who thinks Thompson is a rd 1 guy, though the ones who have him going in rd 3 are pushing my believability line. I can see rd 2 more likely.

  • falconsaftey43

    Not sure how you don’t see that Billings is a rare athlete. Strong as all get out with great quickness. Just watch his highlights, not saying he’s a perfect player, but there is no doubting his athletic ability.

    I think Jones/Ward are more 2nd round, but could sneak in the 1st. I do think there are some more DE types if you look. Kaufusi, Kamalu, Gotsis, Heath, Jefferson, Latham. Some mid round guys in there.

    I love Joseph in the first, guy is a baller. I’m hoping on Calhoun in the 2nd, but not bad in 1st.

    I question the validity of the “history” of 1st round picks. They haven’t drafted a S in 1st round since 2003…well they had Troy so didn’t need it. Had never drafted a non-power 5 QB till Ben. Not saying it’s invalid, but I’d have to go back and look at how many non-power 5 guys were actually considered 1st round guys that the Steelers passed on for me to write off a player becasue of that. Could very easily be that there just aren’t a lot of 1st round talent non-power 5 players. CB is the only one I give a little credit to, they’ve had needs at CB for a long time, and seem to have passed over to draft others. Still it’s a small sample size to draw any real significant insight into.

  • NinjaMountie

    I see your point but having reread the posts on him (as I have never seen him play and don’t watch the Lions at all) he has played in a 43 as DE most of his career. There is mention of his ability to move inside but even they called the interest in him intriguing; I assume because of the departure from our traditional player type.

  • PittsburghSports

    I know what he did for the Lions too, but he’s not a traditional 43 DE, and I guarantee that’s not why the Steelers were looking at him. He was brought in to rotate with Heyward and Tuitt. It’s like McLendon. Can he play DE in the Nickel? Yes. Is it what he does best? No.

  • Big Joe

    I’m aware of the value of the front 7 but since Blake isn’t on the team and the other CBs were overpriced, I’m good with staying pat at the position until the draft.

  • CodeNameJerk

    I’m firmly on the DT in the 1st round hype train, whoever it may be.

  • vasteeler

    I agree i don’t think we have a choice now, wouldn’t mind seeing boykin back but it looks as if he may sign with Atlanta

  • Big Joe

    For business purposes and comp pick calculation, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have offered him something for him to bounce other offers off of. It only makes sense for them to have done so.

  • PittsburghSports

    I don’t know where you just got that info from, but he played strictly 3 tech DT his first 3 years. Mixed a little bit of 5 tech his 4th year, and has moved in between the 2 since

  • 58Steel

    I think Chris Jones may have the highest ceiling of ANY DL in this draft. He’s raw, so I don’t know that I’d take him at 25. Another one of those “in-between” picks that might not quite be 1st round material, but likely won’t be there at 58.
    I’ve been on the Ragland train from the start. I know he may not have a “spot” on the Steelers defense, but I think Butler/Tomlin are the type to find a way to get good players on the field.
    Billings: YES, especially with McClendon leaving.

  • Sam Clonch

    If all you care about is the future (i.e. you’re a bad team with a middling QB who isn’t going to win anytime soon anyways, think Chicago/Jets/Eagles/Rams) then you draft a QB now. However, most people agree that the Steelers are on the cusp RIGHT NOW, and so you draft to improve the team NOW instead of years down the road. Ben CAN get us rings with a better defense. Why would you not help him do so by drafting a maybe for years down the road?

  • Daniel

    Bleacher report

  • Doug McFee

    Do you remember the garbage QB’s the Steelers were burdened with between Bradshaw and Roethlisberger? I do!! Watch some tape on Lynch. He’s got great potential and the most upside of any QB in this draft. We passed on Marino in 83. I like the kid and if he is there are 25, I’d take him!

  • Sam Clonch

    I guess everyone is just crazy but you then. The NT position is way more important than everyone thinks, and the CBs are way better than they are given credit for. Maybe you should get out of sports and start investing in the stock market since you’re obviously a Warren Buffet in hiding.

  • vasteeler

    That’s debatable but nevertheless I see his versatility alone being an upgrade over mac

  • Big Joe

    If Ragland was selected, it would be for Timmons’ spot and that would show Vince Williams that they don’t have him in their plans moving forward beyond depth.

  • PittsburghSports

    Well I watched an interview of him, and he states he can play 5 tech, but is at best rushing the passer from the interior. You can debate all you want, but I’ll believe the horses mouth. I do think he’s very versatile though. I’m not using him as a smoking gun for a move to a 43 though.

  • 58Steel

    I think that’s exactly the case.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Ranking my top three from your list would be:

    1. Billings
    2. Decker
    3. Alexander

    There’s no question the Steelers are looking to upgrade their defense in the draft. It’s just a question of how value shakes out in each round. But it would be silly of the Steelers to ignore a stud OL. In the end, I think the Steelers draft picks will be (in no particular order) DT/S/LB/CB/WR. But as we all know, BPA and value in the early rounds could shake that up.

  • Daniel

    There wasn’t an article on it. it was either tweeted or instagramed thru bleacher report site

  • JM_3

    Cam, Tuitt, and Billings would be a nasty combo

  • PittsburghSports

    I see the highlights of Billings, and no doubt he’s athletic. He;s a 1st rd pick, but what exactly is rare about it? Point to something. When you’re talking athleticism it should show up in his work out numbers, right? I just don’t see it.

  • Al Webber

    It depends who falls. Corners are normally overdrafted so Alexander and Apple may well not be available. If they are picked early then the DTs and ILBs will fall. If there is a run on the DTs then the corners may still be available. There should be someone good to pick.

    My favourite would be Billings. I also like the idea of Ragland. At the moment Timmons is in the last year of his contract. There is a good chance he will be extended, but if Ragland is available, then bringing him in and grooming him for a year and getting him to play in some sub-packages would make a lot of sense. A lot of mock drafts have him off the board before 25 though. If he isn’t there someone else would drop.

    With the Harris pickup I wouldn’t rule out OT, but I don’t think it’s likely. Unless someone does a DeCastro style drop then it’s unlikely they go OT, or any other position on offence, in the first. I also think guard might be just as likely as OT now. I think they would prefer to extend DeCastro but if they can’t agree terms then franchising a guard isn’t really an option as the OL franchise number is based on left tackle money. They could choose to let him go and draft a potential successor who would be ready to step in for 2017. Given Foster’s age, having a good young guard around wouldn’t be a bad idea even if you could resign DeCastro. I think OL in round 2 or 3 is still quite likely if the right player is there.

  • vasteeler

    they will remain a hybrid

  • Doug McFee

    Why? Because Lynch is a rare commodity. The Steelers have some holes on Defense for sure. My inclination is to draft the best DE available at 25. But, last night I put on the Lynch tape and I was thoroughly impressed. The kid can play and with a few years of training camp, film study, pre-season games, and tutelage from Big Ben, the kid could be our next franchise QB. Strike when the iron is hot – draft this kid at 25 if he’s available! I’d like to hear what the editors here think of drafting Lynch at 25?

  • Daniel

    Yes sir…I’ve been saying that since I saw his tape.

  • vasteeler

    Stephen A is speculating RG3 to the steelers as a backup, I just dont see that happening

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    *Screaming A

    Fixed it for ya

  • Big Joe

    Yah. Not a chance in Hell. He doesn’t fit the offense and can’t read the entire defensive field from reports. Why would that be a good back up?

  • vasteeler

    yeh where does he come up with this stuff??

  • harding36

    Running nearly a 5.0 flat in the 40 at his size is rare. His lower body strength is rare. And the way he looked in position drills at his size was really impressive. You just don’t see many guys that are that powerful look so fluid in those position drills.

  • vasteeler

    I have no idea, but he listed the cowboys and steelers as possible backup qb destinations for him just a few minutes ago, is he better than vick yes but i doubt if he’s better than landry

  • PittsburghSports

    Exactly. A 245 Nickel, where Jason Jones would play the same role Heyward and Tuitt do as a backup. Will they ever put a guy like Jones out there with both Heyward and Tuitt, and play something like a 335 Nickel? Who knows. It’s interesting to think about, and I’d welcome a package like that, there’s really not much evidence of it. There was a very, very small percentage of plays last year where one of the OLBs either put his hand on the ground or lined up inside as a 4i/5 tech. We’re talking like a dozen plays all year. It is something to consider, but seeing is believing.

  • Doug McFee

    Alex Kozora, give me a lucid argument as to why the Steelers should not consider drafting Paxton Lynch at 25?

  • CP72

    I know William Jackson probably didn’t make the cut because he’s not from a Power 5. I just think you have to take a hard look at plus 6′ and sub 4.4.

  • AndyR34

    I’m not going to argue as it is ALL speculation at this point. Since I am an admittedly glass half-full guy, I just fail to see how they are going to be better. Can Cam & Tuitt play better (?)…maybe, but marginally. I don’t see anyone better than Steve or C. Thomas on the team at the moment, but that may be a failure of imagination. Will Deebo be lots better…will JJ…will Timmons? Unlikely. Shazier (?)…possibly…DuPree…we hope so. And even with Blake ‘gone’, I don’t see the DB’s as having improved at all. Golson will need to be super and Cockrell much improved for the backfield to be better. Gay’s arrow is not pointing upwards, and I doubt that Mitchell’s is either. Any injury in the backfield and it they will be worse. Just my take…just my opinion. I’ve been both right and wrong before…and will be so again.

  • vasteeler

    i gotta take colbert at his word, the olb’s arent generating enough pressure and he seemed genuine when he stated they would transition to more of a hybrid and would look at players wh dont fit a 3-4, but no wholesale move to a 4-3 seems imminent

  • falconsaftey43

    You and I have differed on our opinion of work out numbers for awhile now so I don’t want to get into that again. As far as what I think is rare, I believe he has a combination of strength, quickness, agility that is very hard to find in a DL prospect. I don’t think a guy like him comes out every year. Honestly I’d be surprised if he is there at 25, to me only Buckner is a better DL prospect (Nkemdiche from a pure talent point is the best though). If you don’t think he has a rare skill set, that’s fair enough. Everyone has their own take.

  • CP72

    He’s fun to watch.

  • Daniel

    AB 2.0 n first rd

  • falconsaftey43

    Lynch can really struggle with his accuracy and Ben will be the QB for the next 4-5 years. Think you have to wait a few more years before addressing the next QB.

  • vasteeler

    ultimately the draft will tell the tale, secondary coaching from carnell lake is my biggest concern

  • Kenneth Wilt

    CB in round 1. DT in round 2. S in round 3. OLB round 4.

  • CP72

    I think Ragland is WAY OVERRATED. Don’t see any special traits with him. Think he ends up a two down player.

  • PittsburghSports

    You might want to look into that. He ran a 5.05 at 311 lbs.

    Nkemdiche 4.87 at 294 lbs
    Hargrove 4.93 at 309 lbs
    Henry 5.00 at 303 lbs
    Ridgeway 5.02 at 303 lbs
    Collins 5.03 at 311 lbs
    Chris Jones at 310 lbs
    Rankins 5.03 at 299 lbs
    Clark 5.06 at 314 lbs

    I could just keep going on here, and I know it’s 40 times that mean little, but you mentioned it. I don’t see any of Billings athletic numbers jumping out as being rare. His tape is great, but if you’re suggesting he’s a rare athlete, than that should show up in the workouts.

  • vasteeler

    i agree

  • PittsburghSports

    Athletes stand out at workouts, correct? Regardless of how great a player he is, or how excellent his tape is, an athlete shows up in the numbers. Am I wrong? What exact number stands out as rare?

  • NinjaMountie

    It’s in the articles on him here at the depot. Like I said, I don’t know anything about him other than what I’ve read here.
    I agree, I don’t think we’re moving to a 43. I didn’t think we would. I’m wondering if the shift in personnel is more drastic than I thought it would be is the only point I was making. All things together just makes me wonder.

  • Doug McFee

    Actually, the Steelers MUST address the QB situation NOW. Landry Jones is no back up QB. Accuracy? 66% Completion Percentage in 2015. That settles that!

  • Sam Clonch

    Just feels like you’d be giving up on on Ben. Why draft a guy who’s going to sit on the bench for years? What will the team even look like by then? Ben would obviously be gone, Brown would be over 30 and with Bryant out and Coates an unknown the WR corps is a mystery, who knows if Bell will be effective next year let alone in 3-4 years, OL could be vastly different with both tackles, center and left guard all looking at new contracts between then and now.

    It’s a huge crystal ball! But what we know is we have an elite offense right now who can score on anyone. Absolutely strike while the iron is hot! And it’s white hot right now!

  • Al Webber

    That only works if the players are available. If Hargreaves, Alexander, Jackson and Apple are all off the board (which is possible) then there might not be a CB with a first round grade there. Reaching for a need is how you wind up like the Browns.

  • Doug McFee

    I’m not throwing Big Ben to the curb, Sam! In fact, I believe he has 3-4 years of elite QBing in him. However, anything can happen and without a capable franchise QB, our team becomes a lower 1/3 tier team. We had garbage between Bradshaw and Big Ben. All I’m saying is that the Steelers need to invest in a potential franchise QB – the Packers did it and it paid dividends for them. At 25, the Steelers would be making a very solid commitment to the position and the future. All I’m saying.

  • falconsaftey43

    Again, we’ve talked about workouts before and we value them differently. I judge athletic ability by what I see on the field, and to me he shows rare athletic ability on the field.

    We both think he’s a good player and 1st round talent, can we just leave it at that?

  • NinjaMountie

    He, like the majority of us, probably doesn’t think that QB is as big a hole in a SB caliber team as other positions that are of a more immediate concern.
    Also, these are 6 first round prospects…not all of them.

  • Sam Clonch

    If I had a choice I’d rather find another AB in the sixth!

  • falconsaftey43

    Completion % does not equal accuracy. Completion % can be inflated by a lot of things like screen passes etc. His tape shows he can struggle to make the easy throws. Doesn’t mean he can’t improve. I’d like Steelers to address the backup QB spot too, but in FA with a Vet or late in the draft.

    To me, Lynch is Oswieler, who is not an elite QB. For me to take a QB with Ben still having 4-5 years left, he has to be a flat out stud, and I don’t see that in Lynch. If I thought really highly of Lynch, I’d give it some consideration.

  • Tom Jackson

    Now that McLendon is gone a versitile NT who can play sub package as well is definitly as high on the board as any other position. A guy who can start at NT and can rotate in sub packages easily could average over 50-60% of our defensive snaps this season. And thats without Heyward or Tuitt getting hurt. So I would like Billings.

    Overall a pretty good group you assembled there, Alex. If you would know Spence is gone by 25 which OLB/Edge prospect would you substitute him with?

  • Daniel

    I’m talking about Andrew Billings. 2.0 because he has the same initials as Antonio brown

  • Kelly Walker

    The thing Steve did is he proved he could play DE at a decent level. When Tuitt was out and Cam Thomas failed miserably the moved McLendon outside and started McCullers at NT. It worked out very well if you ask me.

  • Cols714

    The Browns don’t reach for needs, they just draft sucky players.

  • Cols714

    Big Ben is not old yet.

  • Sam Clonch

    I’d prefer Spence over anyone (barring a ridiculous fall by Ramsey, lol). Nothing helps a pass rush better than an elite pass rusher! Only read a little about the guy, but unlike MB who’s never really dealt with his issues, it sounds like Spence has. Has been clean and humble since getting kicked out of Ohio. Still don’t see him falling to us though.

  • Daniel

    Lol

  • PittsburghSports

    You’re right, I think he’s a great player, but my original post questioned Alex saying he had “rare” athletic traits. I was looking for someone to tell me exactly what’s “rare” other than saying it shows up on tape. I’m not doubting his athletic ability at all, that’s why I like him in the 1st, and I think he’ll go on to be a great player. Just nothing rare about it. His 40, VJ, BJ, shuttles and 3 cone were all par for the course. Now his instincts and football smarts? Now those look rare.

  • Sam Clonch

    Well I’m not super high on the Billings pick, but it makes more sense than us taking a WR in the first round!

  • Daniel

    You will be if we take him and shows his talents as he starts

  • Doug McFee

    Fair enough.

  • CP72

    I think if you go for that hybrid type I like Deion Jones. That guy is a baller.

  • Given the loss of McLendon, I think D-line goes from being moderately high need (mostly for depth) to urgent need. I know the Steelers don’t draft strictly for need, especially in the first, but some things just make sense, and if I were doing a mock I’d certainly have Billings or Butler going to the Steelers. Which one, I’m not sure. I’d say Billings at this point given where he comes from, but it’s really either/or. Basically, this is one of those years where need could line up nicely with best available when it comes time for Pittsburgh to make a pick, and there appear to be two great possibilities.

    I’ve been saying for a long time that the Steelers won’t go CB in the first. It’s not because of the history, it’s because the CB position, with Gay re-signed, is fine for now. Sure, maybe it’s Alexander, but only if Colbert & Co. see him as a truly special player above the other options, and I doubt that’s the case. If it’s not D-line, I think it’ll be one of those pass rushers who, like Dupree, falls into their lap. But even then, there’s a massive hole to fill between Heyward and Tuitt, and there’s really no suitable other option at this point other than a high draft pick.

    And once they lock down D-line in the first, they can go safety in the second, given the deep draft class, then CB and/or WR, then O-line later on.

  • CP72

    Well it’s taken a while but you and I finally agree on something….

  • Sam Clonch

    Hey, I’d much rather be proven wrong in this than proven right brother!

  • Sam Clonch

    Hey all, sorry but I’m continuing this from a thread me and Doug had going on another page. I’m tired of flipping around.

    Any team with an elite QB is one hit away from being a lower 1/3 team. Why don’t the Ravens, Giants, Falcons or Packers draft a QB? Who are their backups?

    What’s a lucid argument that any of them don’t draft Lynch before the Steelers?

  • Big Joe

    Obviously he didn’t prove himself since the coaches never used him there again and Tomlin said he’d use what he had on bench if he thought they could do the job. That tells me we thought more of his effort than the coaches did. He stopped the run well but got nearly no pass pressure

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Plus given the re-tasking of our DEs to supply more pass rush (and less two-gapping), adding another INTERIOR pressure guy fits.
    I don’t see us taking Decker in rd1. Seems as if all the FA moves have been to fill holes on O AND allow us to focus almost exclusively on D in the draft.

  • Brian Tollini

    My 6 most likely would be the same except replacing Spence and Decker with Rankin and Dodd.

  • vasteeler

    Lol i disagree, you’re actually one of the few that i follow and you seem to actually watch the steelers as opposed to some others

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    He had been identified as a fri he rd1 prior to the combine. His poor 40 led a lot of sites to drop him.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    No Blake and no Cam Thomas. Upgrades right there.
    Blake seemed like ~75% of the deficiency in our secondary. And Thomas was, well, Cam Thomas.

  • Sam Clonch

    What team with a good/elite QB isn’t a hit away from being a crappy team? Why wouldn’t the Ravens/Giants/Falcons/Packers draft Lynch if all they cared about was having a QB in waiting?

    Why didn’t the Broncos draft a QB instead of Von Miller? Wouldn’t a top QB prospect have been better than a defensive end?

  • SteelHorseman

    If we are going to take a LB who is ultimately be given a red shirt year behind Timmons, why not Jaylon Smith?

  • Alex Kozora

    If they’re going to take a tackle, it might as well be a top-tier guy. That makes more sense than a 6th round pick who is destined for the practice squad because he isn’t beating out Harris for the 3rd spot.

  • SteelHorseman

    Jets run a 4-3 and signed McLendon. I think it’s just the steelers parting ways with an older veteran like usual

  • Sam Clonch

    Well, Ragland wouldn’t be the starter, but would probably get playing time and come into his second year pushing Timmons. Jaylon watches the season from the sideline and starts his second season basically as a rookie. Smith is also a little light IMO. You’d get too many suggestions from fans to move him to safety!

  • Michael James

    That’s fair and you may like him at 25. Nobody critisizes you for that, but most of us simply don’t want to spend a first rounder on a QB project when we have our SB window right now, our defense needs help immediately and Ben still has at least 4 more years left.

  • Alex Kozora

    Part of it is understanding his makeup and frame. Billings isn’t built the way say, a Hargraves or the Ole Miss kid are. He is much bigger, thicker, even if the weight is the same. He’s stocky, not lanky. So to pull that comparable time off given his frame is impressive.

    I’ve seen clips of this dude chasing the ball 20-30 yards downfield. Not something you see often in those types.

    And watching him in drills, where you also see athleticism, you saw how well and fluidly he moved for again, his size and frame.

    I think Jones and Ward make a lot of sense and like I said in a previous podcast, one of those could very well wind up in Pittsburgh. I like Lawson but like I wrote, there is a good chance he is off the board well ahead.

  • Pghomer

    I have been thinking the same thing ‘horse’. I think you would have to do it by round 2…he may even be gone by then…but I think it is worth the risk. They do have some experience with S. Spence…but no guarantees I know. If you get rotational DL in 1st I think everything else could get pushed back to take a chance on J Smith!

  • Alex Kozora

    The team wants players who can win now and Lynch does not accomplish that. Ben has 3-4 years left and there will be other chances for QBs.

  • Alex Kozora

    Ragland wouldn’t redshirt. You can find ways for him to get on the field. And with Shazier’s injury history, having that depth is nice. Smith may never be the same again and that’s a big difference between the two.

  • harding36

    Billings broke the Texas weight lifting record of Mark Henry, widely regarded as the strongest man ever, for combined lifting. He squated 805 pounds, benched 500 and deadlifted 705.

    And he ran a 5 second 40. You can argue that others ran as fast at a similar weight, but those players are considerably taller than Billings, have significantly different builds and are plainly not as powerful in the lower body.

    On a different note, what is the point of taking issue with Alex saying he has rare athletic traits, when you agree that he’s athletic? I get that you enjoy debating people and driving your points into the ground, repeatedly, but you’ve now argued with Alex and others about whether he has rare athletic traits while simultaneously conceding that those traits are evident on tape.

  • SteelHorseman

    I actually agree with Alex on most of this. Here’s my 6:

    1) William Jsckson
    2) Kevin Dodd
    3) Andrew Billings
    4) Noah Spence
    5) McKensie Akexander
    6) Robert Nkemdeche

    * jaylon smith supersedes all of medical is optimistic

  • Brian Miller

    I would hope not, but I would seriously consider Ragland over some of the other guys like Decker, or Butler.

  • PittsburghSports

    Now that’s something that seems rare, that I didn’t know about. No doubt he looks like a ball of muscle. Awesome functions strength.

    The point in finding a difference between being a great athlete and a rare athlete seems obvious. I see it as 2 different categories. If you’re gonna use that term, there better be something that backs it up beside tape, because athletic ability is easily measured.

  • SteelHorseman

    Obviously, the medical has to be optimistic with smith to draft him. As for Ragland being on the field, maybe he will get on the field, but he won’t be s significant contributor. Look at the steelers recent history of getting rookie lbs on the field. Dupree got time because woirlds unexpectedly retired and the steelers were desperate for a pass rush.–with very mixed results, I might add. It took Timmons years to get on the field after he was drafted, snd they still can’t get Jarvis on the field as the lead in year 3. Shakier spent year 1 injured and riding the pine even though they wanted him to start. Ragland might play, but he’s not baking a difference as a rookie, take the greater talent, catch him mentally, and let him heal.

  • PittsburghSports

    You’re confusing me. Hargrave isn’t thick? Did you not see the bubble butt on that guy lol? He’s less than an inch taller. Does short mean you’re slow? Tall means you’re fast? Is hustle an athletic ability or heart? He looked good in drills, but wouldn’t fluidity show up in quickness and agility drills? I know he has great athletic ability but it’s not rare. Rare is what Aaron Donald has. The things that seem rare on Billings are his instincts and football knowledge, and combining that with his athletic ability makes him a 1st rd pick.

  • Agustin-ARG

    I think Decker, Ragland and Butler will be off board.
    So, my ranking is
    1. Billings
    2. Apple
    3. Alexander
    4. Spence
    5. Jackson III

  • JM_3

    I think he might be there for us. Didn’t blow up the combine and the media said he didn’t do that well in interviews. I agree w you that I think his past is behind him, but I don’t think the FO will take a chance on getting burned.

  • Sam Clonch

    Probably right, especially with the Bryant stuff fresh. It would be a pleasant surprise for me at least.

  • PittsburghSports

    Oh and another note. I looked at Billings measurables on the mock draftable database and his broad jump stands out in the 89th percentile. That measures lower body explosion, so that’s a real good number. Not sure I wouldn’t call it rare though.

  • Alex Kozora

    No, it’s about frame. Yes, Hargrave is up there too as a crazy athlete. But the other guys aren’t built like Billings and so when he moves like someone who is lanky, it opens your eyes.

    We don’t really need to dig down into semantics anyway. We know this guy is a “insert positive adjective” athlete for his size. Why get down into the muck and have a debate when he basically agree? The dude can move crazy well for his size and that’s all that matters.

  • Alex Kozora

    And let’s be very clear about what I said. I didn’t say he was a “rare athlete” full stop. I said “rare athlete for his frame.” He is built like a tank and can move very well and fluidly for it.

  • Paddy

    Billings
    Jackson

  • PittsburghSports

    lol ok maybe I read into the words too much, but you didn’t answer my question. If he’s so fluid, why didn’t it show up in testing, like his shuttles or 3 cone. Frame or not, he had some real poor times.

  • Dennis Nevinsky

    If Lynch is there for the Steelers, I think they will be able to make a trade back for some nice draft picks.

  • PittsburghSports

    Because if he’s not rare for a NT, which is what I thought you were saying, can he really be that NT type player that effectively translates to the Nickel as well? That seems to be the issue even when Hampton was still around. Does that type of player even exist? I know he’s got long arms, but McLendon was pretty good as a NT too, and I was a huge fan of his, and I know he’s not a great pass rusher, but the Steelers basically refused to put him on the field. I think Billings is a better player than McLendon though, or at least will be. Better athlete anyway. What I’m basically getting at is I don’t want a NT in rd 1 lol. I wouldn’t hate it, but I’m just worried they won’t use him in the Nickel.

  • Sam Clonch

    I’m not certain. Everyone picking after the Steelers has pretty solid QB situation, and the Steelers have never NOT picked in the 1st round under Colbert. Actually, you’d have to go back to the ’60s to find a draft without the Steelers making a 1st round pick.

  • Alex, re a hybrid defense…do you see a place in Pittsburgh for LB/S tweeners like Killebrew, Cravens, Cash, etc.? Or would you rather they stuck to ‘purely safety’ prospects like Neal, Von Bell, Karl Joseph, Thompson? Along these lines, do you see them waiting till the second round to grab a safety?

  • harding36

    Have you seen that Frozen movie? There’s a song in it you should listen to.

  • Alex Kozora

    I imagine that if they’re investing a 1st round pick on him, the plan is to play him in nickel. Use every avenue to get him on the field. And with his skillset, yeah, I think he can play in sub-package.

  • Alex Kozora

    I dunno man, I don’t have all the answers. Maybe the ankle was still a problem. Maybe getting 311 pounds on that thick frame in the air isn’t his thing. Gravity’s a pain.

    But you can’t sit there and watch his tape, and watch him move in drills, and think he’s anything short of a great athlete for the frame he has. If you agree to that, then is it really worth squabbling over one word when our points are basically the same?

  • Kelly Walker

    Tomlin kept starting Blake as well. He also started Hood over Heyward which in the beginning was probably the correct call, but he didn’t make the switch when it was clear Heyward was the better option. It isn’t just the fans that thought Blake, Hood, and some other former Steelers were starting when they clearly had better options in house. As for McLendon maybe Tomlin didn’t rotate him to DE because he wanted to keep him fresh for his NT snaps. NT needs to eat up 2 blockers as often as possible and McLendon is no Hampton or Steed.

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure, they’re not playing 100% of the time but the team has made strong efforts to get their guys on the field. Jarvis played nearly 60% of the time his rookie year. Dupree played about half the time last year. Like you said, the goal was for Shazier to start. So sure, Ragland would find time.

    Listen, I get the pick is a little “out there.” I mean, I can be all chalk, put a CB on here, be boring, whatever. It was near the bottom of the list of the six. I’m just saying he’s a talented player who is a better athlete than people think and is a likeable, smart kid, that is hard to ignore. Anyone with that baseline set is going to be worthy of interest.

  • PittsburghSports

    LOL are you like a total hypocrite or what? You are responding to MY POST. If you don’t want to continue driving your point too, then why even enter the ring? Just skip my post and talk with someone else.

  • PittsburghSports

    I definitely think his athleticism is a plus, I’m just worried about how that works in the Nickel. I don’t want to hate on him, because if he’s the pick at 25 I don’t want to be disappointed lol. You know I’ve mentioned before I love the idea of a 335 defense, so if something like that can happen, I’m in love with this pick. However, even if he does rotate at DE, what’s the snap count going to be for him this year and 2-3 years down the road? Will he even be at 50-60%?

  • Superdriller316

    Here’s a little nugget that Daniel Jeremiah passed along on telecast from the combine. No corner has been drafted with 0 INTS. Not just in the first round, not any round.

    Here’s another. Since Kevin Colbert has been in Pittsburgh, he has never drafted a player from Alabama. Not in the first, not any round. 1998 was the last time they took a player from Alabama, and that was Deshea Townsend.

    Now can history be changed? Absolutely it can, but that’s history.

  • Alex Kozora

    Let me think out loud here. Let’s assume Pittsburgh’s defense plays 70 snaps per game. 30% of those are in base. 21 snaps.

    We want Heyward/Tuitt to play, on average, 80% of the time. Leaving 20% each (28 snaps total) to be picked up. Let’s assume Billings gets 3/4 of those. 21. So 42 snaps of 70 per game. That’s 60%.

    That isn’t too far off from the Poe/Dareus/Brandon Williams’ of the world, who played around 70% last year.

    No one is saying Billings is going to play 100% of the time and if we’re looking snap-for-snap, sure he loses out to pretty much any other player or position. But if you can get a guy who is giving excellent snaps on that 60%, it’s worth taking. Especially when you look at the NFL average for the top NTs and figure he won’t be that far off.

    And again, there is some injury protection at play. Right now, there is very little if Heyward or Tuitt goes down.

  • SteelHorseman

    Alex, I’m not giving you grief about being unorthodox. I appreciate that aspect. As a fan though, I would be truly disappointed if Ragland were the pick because he doesn’t give them more than they already have, and he doesn’t seem like the kind of transcendental talent who is worth taking as a luxury to develop and integrate into the defense over years. I think you are onto something with the pass rushing nose tackle. I just feel they have to improve their pass defense as a whole, whether that’s through pass rushers or secondary. That said, the steelers will take the best player available because I don’t think they think they have glaring needs

  • PaeperCup

    What, wheres hunter henry?! Jk…I’m really big on Mac Alexander. With all the hype this guy has gotten WITHOUT intercepting a pass in college, that’s pretty impressive. I thought I read somewhere that no CB has ever been drafted who failed to register a career interception….in any round. So for him to have first round talk around him is quite intriguing. Other notable numbers, he’s had 33% catch rate, one of the best in the nation. He hasn’t allowed a td in over 29 games as well. And qb passer rating against him is one of the nations best as well.

  • Superdriller316

    Just saw a tweet from Chaream Williams that said Tomlin and Colbert were over chatting with Andrew Billings parents at his pro day.

  • Ike Evans

    Words cannot describe how overrated i think alexander is…especially for us…hed be much better on a man team like the giants where all you have to worry about is covering your guy…..but when youre in zone playing 10 yards off your man most of the time….you gotta bring some other things to the table and this guy does not imo….and i dont see the fluidity in his hips like others do….ragland is good but my feelings would be hurt if we went ILB in the first round…..god…i hate this draft………lets just take one of the dlinemen and call it a day….hopefully one of the safetys really impresses tomlin at their pro day and we take a flier like we did on golson last year…..

  • Alex Kozora

    Not really because you’re asking to take a LB off the field. Probably an ILB. And I don’t know if they’re going to evolve past using that extra DB in 3rd and long.

  • renoir

    horoscope , your english teacher is shaking their head….jk…and I just never see this team picking a cb in the first, odd how against the idea that we seem to be…

  • Alex Kozora

    And the last Kentucky played drafted before Dupree was Jeff Brady in 1991.

    I’m all for historical trends but hyper-specific ones like that…I don’t get on board with.

  • Alex Kozora

    Good eye, man.

  • vasteeler

    you make a good point

  • AndyR34

    W/O starting a big argument, I agree that those two underperformed. My only point is that there is no evidence that we are better without them. I understand your emotional response, but again you have no facts to prove we are better. We might become better, but there is no guarantee.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    No argument here Andy. Beyond the emotion though it’s hard to miss a guy who was rated the worst CB in football (PFF for what that’s worth). C Thomas actually had a couple moments this last year – I specifically remember a stop near the goal line I think vs KC – but taken as a whole u would have to be Perry Mason to convince me that we cannot find a better backup for $2mill/yr!

  • PittsburghSports

    Cool, thanks for thinking so I didn’t need to lol. I personally want a DE in rd 1, and there’s no way he’s reaching 50% so that’s not necessarily my argument against. Either position is probably not ideal to take in rd 1.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Absolutely correct. The one thing I do wonder about in that scenario is their willingness to have so many first rounders (who gotsa get paid at some point) on one line.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Kevin Dodd or Emanuel Ogbah instead of Spence as Spence isn’t on my radar.

  • Doug McFee

    Fair enough and I agree. Just threw in Lynch to see what the folks are thinking. Makes sense! Oh, the kid is going to be a solid pro IMHO. Thanks for getting back to me. Keep up the awesome work!