Ranking The Steelers 2017 Draft Needs By Position

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have been eliminated from the playoffs it’s time to quickly turn our attention to the 2017 season and especially the needs of the team when it comes to the draft. Below are my thoughts as it relates to positional need rankings for the Steelers as I sit here in January.

EDGE Rusher – As we sit here today, the Steelers only have two outside linebackers under contract for the 2017 season and they are Bud Dupree and Arthur Moats. Additionally, Anthony Chickillo will undoubtedly return as an exclusive rights free agent. Dupree is obviously a starter while Moats and Chickillo can best be described as depth players. While veteran outside linebacker James Harrison apparently wants to return for another season, re-signing him won’t be enough. The Steelers absolutely need to spend an early-round 2017 draft pick on another edge rusher in addition to double-dipping at the position in the later rounds. Depending on how you view it, an edge-rusher is either the first or second primary need of the Steelers entering the offseason and it’s probably unlikely that they go after a premier free agent player at that position.

Tight End – With the future of tight end Ladarius Green up in the air due to his concussion issues, the Steelers need to look long and hard at the position. Behind Green is Jesse James, but he’s more of a possession tight end that can block and not one that can stretch the field. Behind those two players are Xavier Grimble and David Johnson. The former will be back competing for a roster spot in 2017 as an exclusive rights free agent while the latter is an unrestricted free agent who is unlikely to be re-signed. If the Steelers have any doubts about Green whatsoever moving forward, they should strongly consider drafting one of the top pass-catching tight ends in this year’s draft class.

Inside Linebacker – As we sit here in late January there’s no guarantee that veteran inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons will be re-signed. Even if he is, he doesn’t have many years left and he’s also a weak link in pass coverage. Sure, the Steelers have Vince Williams and Tyler Matakevich behind him on the depth chart, but neither player provide an upgrade in the Steelers pass defense. The Steelers need to consider drafting another inside linebacker similar to Ryan Shazier in the first four rounds of the draft.

Cornerback – The Steelers spent their 2016 first-round draft pick on Artie Burns so he’s their future on one side. The starter on the opposite side, Ross Cockrell, will also likely be back in 2017 as a restricted free agent. Veteran cornerback William Gay will return in 2017 as well as he’s still under contract and we can only hope that Senquez Golson can stay healthy long enough to challenge him for a starting spot. Justin Gilbert is also under contract for the 2017 season but there’s no guarantee he will challenge Cockrell for his job. The Steelers probably need to draft another mid-round cornerback and see if they can develop that player much like they were able to do years ago with Gay, Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis.

Quarterback – With Landry Jones likely to be gone via free agency, the Steelers would then be left with Zach Mettenberger as their backup to starter Ben Roethlisberger. We’ve yet to see Mettenberger take a snap in a Steelers uniform so the jury is still out on him. While I’m currently not a fan of the Steelers drafting a quarterback in the first three rounds of the 2017 draft, I can get behind them doing so from round four on.

Running Back – Currently, no Steelers running backs are under contract for the 2017 season. Sure, Le’Veon Bell will likely get the franchise tag if no new deal is consummated before the start of the new league year so that takes care of the starter at the position. Veteran DeAngelo Williams might decide to play one more season and if that’s the case and he’s ultimately re-signed at an affordable salary, the Steelers should be good shape for 2017. While Fitzgerald Toussaint will undoubtedly be issued an exclusive rights tender in the coming months, there’s no guarantee he’ll make the final 53-man roster. In short, the Steelers would be wise to spend a mid to late round draft pick on another running back.

SafetySean Davis is the future at one spot and veteran Mike Mitchell has two years left on his current contract. That leaves Robert Golden as the only other safety under contract for the 2017 season as Shamarko Thomas is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Even if Thomas is ultimately re-signed for the minimum, he and Golden are nothing more than special team players. Drafting a safety in the mid to late rounds will give the Steelers a few years to see if that player can be groomed to take over for Mitchell.

Wide Receiver – Hopefully we’ll see Martavis Bryant back on the field in 2017 and even if that happens, the Steelers will always have their doubts about him possibly staying out of trouble with the league. Antonio Brown should have a new deal in place by the start of the regular season and Eli Rogers should easily retain his starting slot position. Behind those three players sits Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers. Coates and Heyward-Bey are both speedsters who have problems catching the football. Additionally, both have special teams value. The jury is still out on Ayers, who is probably best suited to play in the slot. Hamilton, bless his heart, is just a guy. In short, spending a sixth-round draft pick on another wide receiver might be advisable even if that player winds up spending his rookie season on the practice squad. The Steelers seem to have a knack for finding late-round wide receivers.

Defensive Lineman – I might be in the minority, but I really don’t’ see this position as being a huge draft need. Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Javon Hargrave are all solid starters and all three can play in the Steelers sub package defense. L.T. Walton made some much-needed improvement in 2016 and it looks like the team might like what they see in former undrafted free agent Johnny Maxey as well. Of the Steelers defensive linemen who are currently under contract for the 2017 season, Maxey and Daniel McCullers appear to be the weakest links. In short, I will be surprised if the Steelers draft another defensive lineman in the first four rounds and I won’t be shocked if they bypass the position in the draft completely.

Offensive Lineman – The Steelers really don’t need to address this position as Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Markus GilbertAlejandro Villanueva, B.J. Finney, Brian Mihalik and Jerald Hawkins will all be back in 2017. Chris Hubbard, one of the Steelers two restricted free agents in 2017, might also be back on a one-year tender. Oh, and Ryan Harris is currently under contract for the 2017 season as well. Quite honestly, I will be surprised if the Steelers spend one of their draft picks on an offensive lineman as I sit here in January.

Punter, Kicker, Fullback – There is no need to draft any of these position groups as Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry and Roosevelt Nix will all be back in 2017.

  • Ike Evans

    Yall are sleep on our ILB’s ….safety is a way bigger need…tight end will be interesting cuz this is a great TE class

  • Ray

    I love Timmons and want him back but he is a liability in coverage particularly against a team like the Patriots. It’s almost a situation you would want a hybrid safety/linebacker type to fill that spot.

  • NinjaMountie

    I’d drop TE lower, mostly because I think J James is more capable than some. I definitely think we need to look at another Safety in this draft before we get past round 4. I definitely agree with edge being the biggest position of need. As far as pure need goes I’d go with: Edge, Safety/ILB, ILB/Safety, CB, WR, TE, DL, QB….blah blah blah.
    They’re going to have to hit some of these in FA. Obviously they will not get a big name OLB so you can assume that being on the draft list. Going to be a fun draft and FA period. We aren’t as broke as normal.
    My opinions will change a million times before draft day….probably before dinner.

  • falconsaftey43

    Pretty much agreed, although you can never discount them drafting a WR high, which I think is fine. If you can get another impact WR, go ahead and take them. Need all the weapons we can get on offense. Receiving TE is high on my list. 5 games out with a concussion is not a good sign for Green.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Jabrill Peppers?

  • kev4heels

    1. Sidney Jones CB
    2. Carl Lawson OLB
    3. Jordan Leggett TE
    4. Hunt RB

  • falconsaftey43

    Guy is so overrated. Good punt returner, pretty much looks lost on defense. Guy only had one pass defended this year, one career INT.

  • NinjaMountie

    I think he’s destined for Safety in the NFL….he’s littleish.

  • WilliamSekinger

    MM has two years left, and he is no spring chicken. If the team wants to start addressing positions when they should start addressing them then this is the time for a safety within the top 3 rounds. If this team is serious about finishing the transition to the Tampa two, they need great safeties not serviceable ones.

  • LucasY59

    there isnt much for QB in this draft so I could see them singing Landry to a 2-3 yr deal (as long as it is inexpensive) and waiting another yr (or two, where they might be able to invest a early rd pick to get a quality guy)

  • WilliamSekinger

    +1. Agreed. I wrote as much above before I saw your post.

  • SouthernSteel

    After the NE game…I think WR is now top need ….crazy how going into the season it was our most loaded position…but once AB was double covered no one else could get open and when they did they didn’t make the plays…

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I’m not going to disagree with you. There just aren’t many hybrid players in the draft out there. Not that would be something the Steelers would employ anyways.

  • StolenUpVotes

    According to PFF we left over 100 yards and a TD on the field due to drops………ouch

  • Caesar

    I’d put WR higher. But really, to me, just another threat at receiver whether it is a TE or WR is a big need. Too many JAG’s and too much uncertainty with Coates and Bryant.

  • LucasY59

    I agree the Safety position needs a difference maker (I think there is a chance they take one in the 1st if the edge rushers they like are already gone)

    *small chance they trade and move to get a guy they like (at either of those two positions)

    if they stay at #30 and dont have a OLB or S worth the 1st pick it is likely a CB or TE that they take instead,

    ILB or RB seem like possible 2nd rd picks

    *Mike Mitchell isnt a bad player, but I think Davis could overtake him as the best Safety by next season, and pairing him with a play maker could return the D to being #1

  • Jeremy McClurg

    Very Early Mock
    1. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St.
    2. Dawuane Smoot, OLB, Illinois
    3. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
    4. Ben Boulware, ILB, Clemson
    5. James Connor, RB, Pittsburgh
    6. Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech
    7. Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

    If Reuben Foster, somehow on god’s green earth make it to pick 30, we shouldn’t even wait for the clock. Someone better run up to the podium.

  • Nick Ewry

    Steelers aren’t going to take a Safety. Mitchell is a Tomlin favorite. He and Davis Andre locked in Andres your starters for at least the next two years.

  • LucasY59

    I think it depends on how fast he runs, could make Tomlin fall in love with him if he goes sub 4.4

    I wish he had more plays in the secondary, he shows what he can do with the ball in his hands, but the only time that happens is when the other team kicks it to him (which is something Tomlin wont let him do as a defensive player)

    I do like that he seems like a sure tackler and could be useful in a sub package but the 1st rd investment might not be worth it (unless he can start forcing turnovers)

  • steelburg

    The CB position will depend on how the team feels about Gilbert. They did a really good job developing Burns and I don’t see why they can’t turn Gilbert around. If Gilbert is focused with no off the field issues I think he will be a player for us. But we do need another slot CB. I agree with the order for the most part But I would move safety and WR just above QB.

  • falconsaftey43

    Yeah I think his draft stock will be 90% based on how he tests. Supposed to be a freak athlete, but I’m not sold on that from watching him. For me, unless he tests off the charts, I’m not even interested.

  • falconsaftey43

    Yeah, have to see if anyone stands out at the combine. Wish they didn’t lose Feeney, I thought he could be that guy.

  • Rotten Sircus

    I wouldn’t touch any of the QB’s coming out in this years draft. Safest bet is to groom Mettenberger an pray Ben stays healthy !!!

  • mem359

    If all goes well (a big if), I would disagree.
    Get Bryant back (without any more suspensions), Coates gets his hand fixed, Hamilton and Rogers gain more experience… the position is loaded again. Or at least, it would be hard to draft a rookie to knock these guys down.

  • disqus_WrRvUyG2DA

    Steelers need to draft replacements for Harrison, Mitchell, and Timmons and switch to Man coverage. Offense is great if we can sign Bell and restructure Browns contract.

  • steelburg

    We have 2 Ben Boulwares on the roster already. There names are Vince Williams and Tyler Matakevich.

  • William Weaver

    I believe the importance of WR is greater then you do. We can hope all we want with Bryant but we have to plan on him not being there and bonus if he is so drafting a practice squad guy isn’t enough. I go first round edge rusher (if there) and second round WR (if there). I would be ok to flip those 2 as well if value dictates. Can’t go into next year depending on Bryant or Coates/DHB.

  • LucasY59

    agree not much for QBs (even the ones taken early wont be that good, and backup isnt a big enough need to take one that early)

  • LucasY59

    exactly what I was going to say

    If they draft a ILB it will be a Sean Spence/Terrance Garvin type to back up Shazier

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I want Jabril Peppers bad!!! Trade anywhere from a second to fourth plus the 30th pick to move up to 15-25 to get him… difference maker and returner.

  • William Weaver

    Not sold on his athleticism after watching him return kicks and punts? Wow. Not sold on him as a defensive player is understandable but the guy is a great athlete. Even so much they use him on offense at times.

  • Plexiglass

    I like Jabril Peppers for the following reasons at #30.
    1. Desperate need for Safety help in coverage after watching Golden and Mitchell look lost. Peppers doesn’t have extensive safety play in college, but will have time to learn and has speed to burn. Is a solid tackler as well.
    2. Can return punts and kicks which the Steelers are in dire need of. I am done watching Coates, Gilbert, and Fitz attempt to return kicks.
    3. Can be brought in to play the nickel LB and replace Timmons (assuming he comes back) or Williams in coverage on obvious passing downs like every 2nd and long from last nights game. Peppers played close to line of scrimmage in college and can be utilized in coverage or blitz options. Played in the slot heavily in pass coverage at Michigan.
    4. Can be an additional weapon on offense in terms of wildcat back with Bell, slot receiver, etc. Most likely wouldn’t be utilized in this capacity, but has the potential if so desired.
    I was cool to the idea of drafting Peppers initially, but after watching our special teams return units all year and watching our ILB’s and safety’s continually get beat down the middle I think Peppers would be a potential option at #30.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I would cut Mitchell… or keep him and still go after Peppers.

  • Jeff Dudash

    I agree. If anything, I think they should find a veteran FA to add some depth and solidify the WR corps. It’s really the role that DHB should play, but that guy has just never been reliable in his career. A guy like Brandon LaFell or Ted Ginn Jr. might be more useful as a #4 WR/ top back up. Rookies are historically slow to develop, so drafting someone next year adds little value to the 2017 team.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I don’t totally agree. He struggled a bit at corner but not at safety… he also had 10 pass breakups. Hooker or the LSU kid won’t be there. Remember this kid is only 21. He has 4.4 speed and can play a hybrid. I want the kid Fish Smithson from Kansas only because his name is Fish.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Davis, and dangerfield are my safety players. I’d use mitchell as a backup if jordan can supplant him.

  • Kevin Reich

    Most have him projected top 10.

  • steelburg

    I like Jalen Reeves-Maybin. He is an athletic guy with good potential. I would like to see him sit behind Timmons for a few years add some weight and maybe replace Timmons some where down the line.

  • falconsaftey43

    I appreciate that you like him, many do. I don’t see where he is credited with 10 pass breakups. cfbstats has him at 0 and sports-reference has him at 1. If he puts up Jallen Ramsey type of numbers at the combine, then I’ll be interested, because he’d have the tools to develop.

    Want a great name? I like him as a late round guy to play a hybrid. Ironhead Gallon, Georgia Southern. Check out his youtube stuff, impressive.

  • Jeremy McClurg

    No it’s not. If anything, the game yesterday should have shown you that wide receiver is one of the least important positions in the NFL. The Patriots do it every year with guys like Chris Hogan. A superstar WR isn’t as Important as all other position besides any special teams players, or a fullback. They rarely block, and they other team can easily shut them down

  • falconsaftey43

    Our offense did well, except for all the drops by sub par WRs…Also Hogan is better than any WR Steelers trotted out there except AB.

  • newguy68

    1. Pass rusher (3/4 OLB)
    2. DBs with man-to-man experience and talent
    3. ILB
    4. TE (I like James, another would be nice)
    5. RB (possible fill this via free agency)
    6. Depth at DL than OL
    7. QB – (possible fill this via free agency)

  • thomas hmmmm

    Hmmm I think this season has proven 1 thing and that is we need a legit #2 receiver. Wheaton is a decent #2. MB is unreliable even when playing he isn’t reliable like a #2 should be.
    Regardless if the team resigns Wheaton or not it should be imperative that the team gets better depth at WR.
    I would rank that higher than TE.
    That loss proved just how cruddy the receiving group is once you get past AB, MB and Wheaton.

    Coates might get better in the offseason once his hand heals but he doesn’t look like he will ever be more than a Mike Wallace type of player.

  • Tab Holder

    We need pressure up the middle and you’ll only get that with another inside guy. I would put DL as another need even if it is rotational. If you get that as well as a CB who can play man and we should do much better against Brady and any other stationary QB.

  • Jeremy McClurg

    Javon Hargrave got better and better this year, and he’ll only get better with Cam Heyward coming back

  • Tab Holder

    We still need a rotation, you saw what happened when we gassed.

  • newguy68

    A name to keep an eye out for RB: Rex Burkhead from the Bangals

  • Tab Holder

    we still need one more in the rotation, you saw what happened when the line gets gassed.

  • RickM

    In terms of need OLB is 100% at the top of the list. It’s just whether there’s someone they like available at 30. But the second need is so up in the air. Will LT be re-signed and what confidence level does the FO have in Green and Bryant? Unless someone is privy to Colbert and Tomlin’s inner thoughts, we won’t know where they rank WR and TE on their ‘needs list’.

    My guess is Timmons won’t be re-signed and they’ll draft an ILB. I think relying on Green to be healthy is foolish, but does the FO? My guess is they will roll with him again. As for Bryant, I think they’ll do what they done so well over the years and take a WR in the 3rd or 4th round. With all the uncertainties about Green and Bryant, I don’t see this as a ‘Ben’s replacement draft’. Landry will be re-signed as the back-up.

  • LucasY59

    I agree with a lot of your points on Peppers, but I dont think Tomlin will allow him return (it took complete inability and injury of offensive players before he would give Gilbert a shot at returning kicks, plus he would be a rookie so there are two knocks against him) *I think he could be a good returner, but the other reasons you like him are why I am considering him as a possibility at #30 (I am hoping Ayers becomes the returner the team needs)

    The biggest positive thing is his tackling (and athletic ability) he is a little raw in coverage, but should have the speed and agility needed to become a good cover guy (and since they already have Mitchell and Davis they can work on that, but still get him on the field in sub packages)

    I think the coverage issues could make him slide (if he had a bunch of INTs and pass breakups he would not last until the Steelers pick) but if he has good measurables Tomlin could decide he is the guy they want (if a good edge rusher is available they take the greater position of need, but I could see Peppers being BPA) it is a classic Colbert “we had him in the group of really special players” scenario that he would use to justify taking a player that doesnt seem to fill an immediate need

    Pairing him and Davis could be a really good Duo of Safeties (I think Davis is more of a FS than a SS, so Peppers eventually takes the SS spot and Davis slides over to replace Mitchell)

  • Ni mo

    Wheaton is not a number 2 he’s a slot and he’s not a good one they have Rogers bye Wheaton

  • LucasY59

    keep Mitchell, let Peppers develop his pass coverage skills (and use Jabril as a hybrid S/LB until he is ready to start at Safety, which will be around the time Mitchell will start to decline anyway)

  • Ni mo

    Get rid of cockroach and sign Trumane Johnson

  • Jeff Dudash

    Besides the Steelers historically not being big players in free agency, is there any reason why they wouldn’t go after one of the biggers OLB FAs this year? They appear to have a good bit of cap room available. Overthecap says $41 million right now; if you leave $5-6m for rookies, $12m for Bell and another $10-15m to resign Timmons and the most of the restricted FAs on the roster, you’ve still got almost $10m you could put into a premier edge rusher such as Chandler Jones or Nick Perry. And that’s still before you do any of the annual cap maneuvers, such as releasing or restructuring.

    This team is close. An edge rusher is a critical position for them and they can’t go into a Super Bowl caliber season with a 39-year-old James Harrison or a 22-year-old 30th round pick as the only option at the position. Seems like this year is an opportunity to spend.

  • Ni mo

    They have Rogers for slot I think he did pretty good for jos first year

  • steelasfreek1981

    Peppers would be the ideal pick but is currently being mocked to Baltimore at 16. As it stands I think 10-12 is where he’ll go. That would take giving up a ton to reach that level.
    Perfect scenario, Steelers trade up to 15, one spot before Baltimore and steal him.

  • Ni mo

    Really ? Cockrell is terrible and WRs they have brown , Bryant , Rogers , Hamilton, ayers , Coates , DHB that will be a waste draft defense

  • Ni mo

    What’s the uncertainty about Bryant ? Was you uncertain about bell also ?

  • Caesar

    Uh, he is under suspension and has not been reinstated, and has failed multiple drug tests. How’s that not uncertain at the Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon level?

  • LucasY59

    another all name guy is Weston Steelhammer (think he plays Safety for Air force?)

  • Ni mo

    I guess you haven’t seen cockrell play all year I say sign Trumane Johnson

  • Ni mo

    He will be reinstated in march and josh Gordon and Blackmon are knuckle heads Bryant didn’t show up for test he didn’t get caught plus he stated out of trouble and he should have got suspended 10 games not the season and you do know the difference between depression and smoking for fun right

  • steelasfreek1981

    logical

  • Caesar

    No, that was Bell who missed a test. Bryant straight tested positive. Multiple times. And rest of your post is gibberish, don’t even know what you’re saying.

  • Caesar

    Would love getting Connor that low as a back up RB for the next few years.

  • Ni mo

    Read the report again Bryant missed test and also bell pull up the report you mans because I called you out on it

  • thomas hmmmm

    Wow you think Rogers is better than Wheaton? Not even on Rogers best day and Wheatons worst day is Rogers better than Wheaton.
    Wheaton is the closet thing to a #2 the team has.

  • steelasfreek1981

    We should take him at the bottom of the second round…….although 3rd sounds even better

  • Pricopea

    I’ll go OJ Howard in the first round, he is a big receiving target who can block, and give Bryant and Coates one more year in the outside to prove themselves, after that its OLB, ILB, CB or safety

  • Ni mo

    Numbers don’t lie

  • Ni mo

    “We are very disappointed that Martavis Bryant has put himself in this current situation of being suspended by the league,” Steelers general manager said in a statement Kevin Colbert. “He is at a crossroads of his professional life, and he needs to understand significant changes need to occur in his personal life if he wants to regain his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler. We are hopeful that Martavis will take the necessary steps to develop the discipline in his personal life to become a successful player and a good teammate.”

    NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that Bryant was facing a year-long suspension.

    In the wake of the development, one of Bryant’s agents, Brian Fettner, told USA Today on Saturday that Bryant plans to check into rehab and undergo evaluation for depression.

    “We’re all stunned, me included,” Fettner said. “We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it.”

    Fettner told USA Today that Bryant missed multiple drug tests. The third-year wideout has been suspended before — he opened last season with a four-game ban due to multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

    Steelers president Art Rooney II expressed concern for Bryant in January, saying, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Martavis is a player who has tremendous ability and potential, and we just have to continue to work with him to make sure he takes care of his business off the field and puts himself in a position to be as great a player that he can be. … We hope the experience he had (last) season will have an impact on him.”

  • Ni mo

    Oops got em he missed multiple drug test

  • Ni mo

    Since when was Wheaton ever a number 2 ? He’s always been a slot he has had one good year on 4 years Rogers is younger and cheaper Wheaton is gone

  • Ni mo

    Wheaton is not better than Bryant , Bryant is the number 2. In his sleep

  • Caesar

    Fair enough, I can admit I’m wrong. I missed all this on him somehow, or didn’t remember it. Still doesn’t change the fact that his reliability for the team is questionable.

  • Ni mo

    Ok and bell ?

  • steelasfreek1981

    No complaints here, guessing the talent drop off at OLB already happened and they’ll probably double dip at that position anyway. They better love a small school kid that they think will drop due to lack of competition.
    Any small school guys come to mind?
    The same played out in last years draft after we passed on Billings and stole Hargrave in the 3rd.

  • Ni mo

    Did you read Bryant’s interview on SI?

  • Kevin Schwartz

    To be honest, unless you get a deal, I’d rather keep the cap room for now. Tuitt and Shazier are going to need new contracts eventually, and if Bryant comes back and stays out of trouble, he’s going to cost a decent amount as well. I get that you want to maximize Ben’s window, but I would want to keep cap flexibility as well.

  • Caesar

    I didn’t say anything about Bell. Relax man, I made a mistake and said so.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Honestly, I really like Wheaton, and I think he’s talented, but there’s some reason that I don’t understand that’s kept him from putting it all together. If he could live up to his potential, I think he could be a WR2, but he has to deal with whatever is holding him back and I wouldn’t bank on it.

  • Ni mo

    Number 2 where on the Rams not the Steelers

  • Ni mo

    At least you not saying Wheaton is a number2,wr

  • Kevin Schwartz

    If he’d put it together, and kept growing, I think it was possible. But, I agree, that he hasn’t done so, and probably works best as a #3.

  • Ni mo

    Ok and who will he start over right now on the Steelers ? Remember he’s aFAhe would want like 2mill a year and Rogers is only at 600,000

  • LucasY59

    that could be a really expensive trade up, I think the ratbirds take a edge rusher, but if they take Peppers that makes for one more OLB that will be available so that works out ok for the Steelers, I could see the Moving about 5 spots, but not much more

    I think Peppers is athletically a top 10 pick, but because he hasnt played a dedicated position through college (LB/S/CB/RB/Wildcat/Ret) he is fundamentally raw which might make teams avoid him early, I could see him making it all the way to #30 (but also like the idea of having great Safeties again, so I wouldnt be against a trade unless they are giving up too much to do so, packaging #30 and future 3rd (2018) plus this yrs 4th or 5th? is the most I would want to give up, maybe even packaging Cobi Hamilton into some sort of deal since they will have more WRs than they can fit on the roster if Bryant returns)

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Dude, relax, I was talking about potential, not what the team should actually do. Ideally, Bryant would come back, Rogers is the #3, and Wheaton walks as a free agent. Like I said, I think he was talented, and still could get it together, but he never did and Rogers fits the open role better than him. He also doesn’t have near the upside of Bryant (but, Bryant obviously has his own question marks).

  • Phil Brenneman II

    1. OLB
    2. CB/S
    3. RB
    4. QB

    I think that is about how I would list it. Definitely need a guy opposite Dupree once Harrison is gone and our pass rush just hasn’t been what we need it to be.

    S and CB I view as about even. It would definitely be nice to upgrade Cockrell, but it would also be nice to upgrade Mitchell. So I guess it boils down to witch of the positions you think is more vital. I think both Mitchell and Cockrell are okay, but obviously we prefer to do better than ok.

    Love me some D Will as a backup but he is old and while Toussaint has flashed, he just hasn’t played enough to make a final judgement. Bell is one injury or suspension away from being a HEAVY conversation to move on from despite his number 1 RB in the league status. Steelers need to protect themselves at the position.

    I actually wouldn’t mind a QB as early as the third. I don’t like the idea of transistion seasons where you draft a QB in the first round and just throw him in the fire. I want a little grooming in there first.

  • gdeuce

    you can get Bryant for very cheap, because he will always be one mistake away from never playing again

  • Alleghenys

    OLB, ILB and another offensive (RB/WR) weapon are my primary interests. Luckily, the OLB class is deep. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see Timmons sign for another year or two. As for a RB/WR, I would have no problem if they picked Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. He could backup Bell, split out wide as a pass-catcher and return both punts and kickoffs. He’s young (20), elusive, productive and comes from an NFL pedigree, so hey may be able to contribute early. (And as a bonus, we’d pick him before the Patriots do.)

  • Slab

    Did you read the SI piece? Bryant said the last time he smoked marijuana was 8 months ago. That’s not a missed test. That’s a guy admitting he was still using a banned substance.

  • gdeuce

    you do know that this was Rogers rookie season from an in game standpoint

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Maybe – but, it’s a free market, and if he comes back, has a huge season, looks like he has it together, and someone is willing to roll the dice on him, then suddenly we’re matching it or letting him walk.

  • Ni mo

    I relaxed Wheaton would be good number 2 for the Rams or tampa but not the Steelers he has been a disappointment

  • PaeperCup

    Jesse James has come on really strong the last couple weeks. Even last night he was on of few bright spots (shoulda reached over that goalline). But I still don’t see him as a true #1. I think he would compliment someone else VERY well though, and I can’t see Greene being a long term or even short term solution.

  • Ni mo

    True and he showed a lot of promise

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Like I said, I agree with you, which is why I said he hasn’t lived up to his potential and I would let him walk. All I’m saying is I think he had the tools if he had lived up to his potential (and, I wouldn’t rule out him putting it together on another team).

  • stan

    Honestly, I think we’re in a situation where we need only worry about the best “back 7” player available. Even if that player is a safety, he could get some playing time in sub packages immediately and we could groom him to replace Mitchell in a year. That’s the same situation we’d be in with an outside linebacker to replace Harrison. Really the only positions where we’re set and wouldn’t need back-ups in the short term is DE (assuming we can sign Tuitt long-term) and DT. Any linebacker, corner or safety would be welcome. I suppose that if we have any questions about whether Bryant is actually going to be back, we might want to think about a WR difference-maker if we can find one.
    I totally disagree on James being just a possession tight end. I think he’s already an above-average starter in the NFL. He can’t go long like Green but really only Kelce is in Green’s class in that area.

  • Alleghenys

    I’ll add that I think another offensive weapon is important given the uncertainty around Bell (injuries/off-field issues), Ladarius (injuries), Martavis (off-field issues) and Coates (he is just not good).

  • PaeperCup

    OLB – Harrison will return at least one more year, but nows a good time to plug in a young stud opposite Dupree.
    TE – Need another target to stretch the field and create mismatches. I like what James is becoming, but nothing wrong with 2 good TEs. No faith in Green being a consistent contributor.
    CB – Didn’t think this was a need until last night. We need to get some big CBs than can push WRs and play man. It’s time to transition.
    S – Davis is solid, Mitchell is up and down. But Safety has long been a position that creates explosive plays for us and is a difference maker. Mitchell is not that guy.
    WR – Depth please. AB, hopefully Bryant, XX, Eli Rodgers. We need another big posession WR. Losing faith in Coates, not sold on Hamilton and ayers. Rodgers will be a good slot guy.
    ILB – We are actually pretty good here. I’m ok with Timmons if he signs, I’m more afraid of finding his replacement.
    DL – need depth here too.
    RB – I hope DWill signs another year, best backup you can ask for and a good change of pace from Bell, but after him we need someone else in 2018
    QB – Not there yet. The next QB we draft I think will be a high pick and Bens replacement.

  • Steel City Slim

    I know we need to draft a safety but I think the Steelers would get more bang for their buck if they switched Mitchell and Davis. Mitchell seems better suited to play in the box as a SS, and Davis as a former CB, seems better suited to play FS.

  • Ni mo

    Facts

  • Ni mo

    I think they need to get Trumane Johnson cb and let cockrell walk

  • Ni mo

    Yeah 8 months ago but did he get caught ? That’s the question he got suspended for missing test

  • Ni mo

    Ok say the Steelers let Bryant go you don’t think NE would take him in a heartbeat ?

  • LucasY59

    I really wanted Tru Johnson last yr (but the Rams tagged him) I like that he is physical and can cover big WRs, he will be expensive again this yr so I dont know if they will have the cap space to sign him

  • gdeuce

    he can look like he has it together, but the teams will always have leverage over him because of his mistakes

  • LucasY59

    I like Connor and Leggett, I think there is a good chance that CB is BPA in the 1st

  • LucasY59

    never mentioned Rogers in my comment, so not sure what the point of yours is…?

  • will

    Can we draft a new defensive coordinator?

  • LucasY59

    I was really frustrated when I saw Golden blow his coverage on the first Hogan TD (covered no one for about 5 seconds…) thought Dangerfield shouldve been playing instead, I think Mitchell will be replaced eventually, but my guess is with a early Draft pick

  • steelburg

    Some of you fans are funny we have struggled mightily with our development of CB’S in the past, no Cockrell isn’t all world but until you can find me a better player or someone beats him out he is locked in IMO as the starter. Cockrell is of similar caliber as Bryant McFadden a CB we had on the roster in 2010 he started 16 games and helped us get to the Super Bowl that year. You named 6 WR you can count on two of them to be consistent on and off the field and that’s Brown and Rogers. They don’t have to draft one but they do need a vet to push them all.

  • SteelersDepot

    Dangerfield is not going to supplant Mitchell.

  • Sdale

    I think you’ll see a contract extension with AB, which will eat up more than $10. Crazy how fast $40Mil goes.

  • Sdale

    Yeah, but if Heywood is healthy, it shouldn’t be as bad. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Dlineman taken to develop.

  • LucasY59

    A good Slot Corner would be Jourdan Lewis from Michigan (dont think they go 1-2 on secondary again this yr (even though the reason the season is over, is due to the secondary getting shredded…) but pick 1 Peppers and pick 2 Lewis could help, I think fixing the pass rush is another very important part to fixing the pass D, but BPA when they pick in the 1st and 2nd might not be OLB

  • Ni mo

    Trumane jones

  • Ni mo

    Cockrell is trash he gets beat constantly burns is better

  • Ni mo

    They 42 mill under

  • Ni mo

    Or crocket Gilmore anybody is better than cockrell

  • LucasY59

    He is an option for BPA with the first pick, I think OLB is by far the biggest need, but I am not sure a quality OLB will still be available at #30, where they go instead for BPA is a total guess right now

  • Brian Miller

    I agree with you man! Who is your best case scenario draft picks for us at ILB so I can watch tape on them?

  • Ni mo

    Yeah and I forgot yes they might have to draft a cb gay is getting old and they not sold on Gilbert , I think Gilbert can beat out cockrell in a full camp

  • LucasY59

    I agree, but with how the Steelers use their FS and SS it doesnt matter that much, both are interchangable

  • Michael Mosgrove

    If he steps up he could. He’s faster, delivers same big hits without penalties and either more experience could be a game changer. He’s also young enough to grow by leaps and bounds. And of coure he is far cheaper.

  • Brian Miller

    I have seen several reports out recently that state that ESPN and NFL network people are MUCH higher on Peppers than actual NFL scouts and player personnel. Would not be surprised to see him slip into the 2nd round.

  • LucasY59

    Crockett Gillmore is a TE for the Ratbirds???

    I am guessing you meant Stephon Gilmore who is a FA from Buffalo? I think he will be just as expensive as Tru

  • LucasY59

    will go quick with Bell, Brown and Tuitt getting new contracts

  • Ni mo

    Yeah my bad

  • Brian Miller

    I like that mix!!

  • Ni mo

    Tuitt contract is not up he has another year for an extension just like shaz

  • Ni mo

    Have you seen Timmons in coverage? I say take him off of passing downs

  • Brian Miller

    I agree for the most part, although I am still high on Rogers, and think he will do big things for us. I think the value of Rogers, Hamilton, and DHB go up exponentially when you have a competent #2 WR…throw in Coates as well, although I am still unsure if his play is still affected by the broken fingers. He should have caught that deep ball in the first quarter.

  • steelburg

    Do you mean Tremaine Johnson of the Rams? If that’s who your talking about forget about it they won’t sign a high priced FA. Even id they did he wouldn’t be worth it IMO.

  • capehouse

    He left a guy wide open in the end zone yesterday for an easy TD. He’s a fringe player.

  • LucasY59

    agree there are concerns that would need to be covered by great physical talent

  • capehouse

    I’d actually say just the opposite. Yesterday showed how important it is to have a solid #2. Every WR after AB made critical mistakes.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    1. OLB
    2. DE /OLB
    3. CB
    4. Safety
    5. ILB
    6. WR
    7. RB

  • LucasY59

    I agree he is a uncertainty, but last night showed how much they missed him across from AB, hope he is able to return (and play even better than he did before)

  • Michael Mosgrove

    You mean like mitchell, golden and Davis all did?

  • Ike Evans

    Not timmons ….i meant dirty red and vw

  • steelburg

    Until that happens Cockrell should be the starter.

  • LucasY59

    Hogan is better because they schemed to use him in ways to exploit the Steelers (I think Hamilton or maybe even Coates couldve done similar things if the pats left themselves vulnerable, and Rogers couldve had a similar performance to Edelman, unfortunately the pats built a game plan, and the Steelers tried to rely on the talent of their B’s, and for who knows what reason kept the same defensive scheme that made it way too easy for bill and shady to beat them)

  • capehouse

    My listing, and I’d say the top 4 could be interchangeable, but without a doubt an EDGE player is a must in the first 2 rounds. Need a Slot CB too, because Gay has dropped off a cliff and you can’t count on Golson. Same with WR, because who knows if Bryant will pick up where he left off. I feel like Green and James is a good TE combo, but Green is another guy you can’t count on. One wildcard pick would be a Shazier-like LB with speed to cover the middle of the field, but I’m hoping Timmons will be back and drop the position need. VW is a capable spot starter, but he’ll be exposed in today’s NFL as a full time starter if Timmons leaves, so LB could be in the top pick mix too.

    EDGE
    SLOT CB
    WR
    TE
    LB
    RB
    DL
    SAF
    QB
    OL
    K, P, FB

  • LucasY59

    In some ways I agree with both sides on this one

    up until last nights game the Steelers #4-5-6-7 WRs were proving your point

    but I also agree with SS, there was no one to exploit the extra coverage dedicated to stopping AB, so there is a need for a good #2 threat to keep the opposition honest (or make them pay for trying too hard to stop AB)

  • RickM

    Just don’t see it Jeff. A really big splash goes against the philosophy that Colbert has shown for years (I think 5 Mill/yr is as high as he has gone). And there are so many key players to be signed in 2027-18..

  • Ike Evans

    At ILB? in the 1st round its reuben foster or its no ILB…..after day 1 i like jarred davis from florida. Both the LSU cats….beckwith and duke riley……elijah lee from kstate could be a sleeper in the later rounds

  • Ike Evans

    Gonna be honest bro……desmond king is the guy at safety imo…..hes the perfect fit, we are prolly goin olb in the first though im in the minority here saying the more tape watch the more overhyped this edge class is to me….id be down with them going corner……this is the most talented cb class ive seen in my few years of looking deep at the draft

  • capehouse

    Ya know maybe I’m confusing Dangerfield and Golden, but I know both of them gave up an easy TD within the last 2 weeks. Mitchell was just fooled by the flea flicker, but he shoulda tackled the WR instead of letting him run by, and I’m pretty sure Davis didn’t give up a score.

  • LucasY59

    I think BPA at #30 could go in a lot of different directions (OLB is the biggest need, but picking at the end of the rd might make it so there are no 1st rd worthy OLBs available, especially when so really good talents at other positions could be still on the board)

    McCaffrey is a possiblity, so is OJ Howard at TE, Jabril Peppers at S (early contributions as a hybrid player in sub package) a CB (lots of talent at that position this draft) maybe even a DE to rotate with the two Stars they already have at the position, ILB (fast play maker to pair with Shazier) I could even see them taking the best OG in the draft if that player was still available (but there are a lot of teams that need OL help so that seems unlikely to happen)

  • VinHuddle

    Agree with ya on D.King. I thought he may have been a mid rd hidden gem type last season before deciding to return to school…good decision by him by the way imo. Think there’s any shot he slides late 2nd?

  • DirtDawg1964

    Golden gave up the first TD.

  • LucasY59

    will be next yr, and if they have to tag him it will be really expensive (15million+) a extension this offseason would be in the best interest of the team

  • LucasY59

    if he doesnt perform well at the combine I think that could happen, but I think he will do very well and someone will take him as a freak athlete they can develop in the 1st

  • LucasY59

    losing Feeney is a big hit, after LJ Fort dropped off (think it was after the Philly game) they shouldve called him up, he had a lot of potential, and couldve been very useful in different sub package schemes, my guess is that the injury concerns kept him off the roster (and not be a priority to call up when the Aints poached him)

  • LucasY59

    what about the kid from Vandy?

  • LucasY59

    I was thinking of King as a slot corner? (him and Jourdan Lewis) agree the OLBs will either be gone or overhyped (guys like Lawson and Harris seem like 2nd rd guys to me) CBs are loaded (which might mean the Steelers wait until Rd 2 or later since talent will drop, kinda like it did with DL last yr)

  • John Pennington

    Need a pass rusher a tightend who can stretch the field cant bank on Green safety and corners someone who can take non tackling Cockrell job and both linebackers spot to get younger and faster who can tackle.Any safety or corners they draft or sign after the draft must be able to support the run and can tackle period.Missed tackles must be addressed this off season period.

  • LucasY59

    I think because there is a lot of CB talent King could easily slide into rd 2 (especially if other teams reach for OLBs, QBs, and OL)

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I have my list as this:

    1. EDGE Rusher. We need more pressure from a 4 man front. Dawaune Smoot, Demarcus Walker, Carl Lawson
    2. ILB. Expecting Timmons not to be back so its a need although we could live with VW. Jarrad Davis, Raekwon McMillan, Marquel Lee
    3. DE. To help give rest to Cam and Stephen without much drop off. Elijah Qualls, Jarron Jones, Montravius Adams
    4. CB. The age of Gay, injury problems with Golson and can Gilbert be productive makes a need here. Damontae Kazee, Corn Elder, Marquez White.
    5. HB. I would not mind if Williams came back but wouldn’t be surprised if not. Kareem Hunt, Matthew Dayes, Donnel Pumphrey
    6. TE. With the questions on Green and James not being dynamic and Gimble all over we could take a look at this position. Michael Roberts, Josiah Price, Blake Hikutini
    6. Edge Rusher. Double dipping looking for depth. Jaylen Reeves Maybin, James Onwualu, Noble Nwachukwu
    7. S or QB. Safety for more of ST and QB for depth and QB has strong possibility of going higher is someone drops. Xavier Woods, John Johnson, Chad Kelly

    Hard to come up with a good needs list because there are really few holes that we know of for starters except edge rusher and so we have to wait and see who is let go to get a better idea.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Im really big on both Lawson and Hunt

  • NinjaMountie

    Greene worries me immensely. I don’t think this guy will ever be healthy.
    As far as James, depends on what you want as a TE1. Is he ever going to be a stretch the field TE…nope. If he improves his blocking, which I think he can, can he be a TE1 in the mold of Heath in his mid to later years? Yup, I think he can. He’s a possession type TE. He’ll learn how to use his height and reach more and tighten up on his routes.
    Would I like a more dynamic TE to pair with him. Resoundingly YES! I just don’t want to spend a high draft pick on one when it could be used better.

  • Aj Gentile

    That seems to high for Boulware

  • Aj Gentile

    Will never happen

  • Brian Miller

    Thanks Ike…I should have specified after the 1st round, since I doubt Foster slides but you never know. I will check out Davis from Florida.

  • Steel Your Face

    Off topic but when will Danny Smith get shown the door?

  • Rocksolid20

    Ever comment I hear about Bryant , always starts with IF . Well IF Bryant comes back , I still think he,s a knuckle head .

  • steelasfreek1981

    30: R1P30

    WR

    COREY DAVIS

    WESTERN MICHIGAN

    62: R2P30

    EDGE

    HAASON REDDICK

    TEMPLE

    94: R3P30

    LB

    ALEX ANZALONE

    FLORIDA

    134: R4P29

    S

    LORENZO JEROME

    SAINT FRANCIS

    174: R5P29

    TE

    JEREMY SPRINKLE

    ARKANSAS

    182: R5P37

    QB

    DAVIS WEBB

    CALIFORNIA

    TJ Watt was available in the 1st but felt it was a reach. Other guys that were intriguing were TE Howard (Gone by 30), Tarik Cohen (RB/KR/OW), Jake Butt TE (Injured but have good value in the 3rd or 4th), Treston Decloud CB (Big and fast-back up safety).
    WR in the first made it hard to get a good edge guy so position was double dipped in 2 and 3.
    QB value in this draft are low so it wouldnt be a surprise if we were to resign Jones and bring in another FA.

  • falconsaftey43

    We shall see, I dont think he will run better than 4.5. Think he will be on par with shaq thomas, only 20lbs lighter.

  • John A Stewart

    With my foot in is

  • PaeperCup

    Gotta do some research on who is available 2nd round and down.

  • William Weaver

    We shall

  • Michael Mosgrove

    that was golden. not dangerfield. lol.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    golden gave up the first hogan td. as for dangerfield he wasnt burned last week. he bit a bit early on a play during the dolphins game but i wouldnt say burned. davis has been solid the entire season. if danny smith would use him properly on special teams instead of doing that stupid sweep from behind on returns hed have a lot better numbers.

  • Taylor Williams

    They still won’t rotate. Tuitt and heyward played 100% of the snaps alot of times

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    No mention of wheaton

  • capehouse

    Yeah like I said I couldn’t remember, but Dangerfield blew the coverage on the first 2 point attempt against the Chiefs but the holding on Harrison negated the play. Either way him and Golden are average players at best.

  • LucasY59

    If they had the players to do so they would,

    Heyward going to IR made it so Tuitt had to play close to 100%,

    with both DEs and Hargrave they will be able to lower it down to under 90% for the two Starting DEs and at least 45% for Hargrave (could even bump up to 55% which would drop the other two down to 85%)

    *Base Defense has all 3 in, so the NT is 25%
    subpackage is where the the rotation happens with Hargrave getting 20-30% of the nickel snaps and the DEs taking 10-15% of them off

  • Michael Mosgrove

    golden is an average player. has shown that for years. dangerfield is young. has ability to grow. plus his ceiling is pretty high actually. he is like bud dupree last year. raw but with coaching could be very good.

  • LucasY59

    future Starting Lineup of RCB Gilbert, FS Davis, SS Peppers, NCB Lewis, LCB Burns, with Cockrell and Golson as CB depth and Golden and Dangerfield as S depth?

    (sorry Will Gay I saw some decline this yr, hope you are able to keep playing through the next season and they can send you off with a SB ring, but think its the final for you, Mitchell is on notice as well, a leader of the secondary/D cannot be a liability)

    *I know it is just as likely that Gilbert continues to bust out, but it would be nice to have a trade work out for once

    **also know it is VERY unlikely the team drafts DBs 1 & 2 again especially from the same college team, but the two Michigan guys have specific talents the secondary needs (I am not a UM fan at all, they have a Harbaugh as a coach…)

  • LucasY59

    Dangerfield isnt that young (I think last TC was his 3rd with the team???)

  • LucasY59

    Zach Cunningham Vanderbilt

  • LucasY59

    then you should hope the team trades him for a early rd pick

  • capehouse

    They’re both 26.

  • Michael Pennant

    We do not normally go into an off-season with a lot of cap space so we should use some of it to get a 2nd tier pass rusher either DL/OLB via FA and also via draft. WR/TE are the next biggest needs. With Coates (dropsies), Bryant(weed problem) and Wheaton(injury prone) at the WR position we are in need of RELIABLE depth. We need more athleticism after Green(concussions) and JJ. If McCaffrey is available we should jump on him, his type of versality is what we need to back up LeVeon and return punts/kickoffs.

  • Ike Evans

    Thats beauty with king. He can play either safety position, slot, or outside corner in a zone….honey badger light lol nah but i liken him a malcolm jenkins type guy where his best is at safety but hes much more

  • Ike Evans

    Great production…great instincts….the inconsistency scares me a bit. Watch the georgia game and its like wow…this kids a superstar….then watch the ga tech game and he looks like a scrub….idk…hes a hard evaluation for me tbh

  • Ike Evans

    Probably not but theres hope cuz i doubt he blows up the combine

  • Steeler-Drew

    Whatever they decide to do in the draft it should be based around beating the Patriots. Perhaps they should just take the approach of trying to outscore them by drafting a TE and WR early. And with all the injuries this year at the receiver position it may not be a bad idea anyway. Especially with questions with Green, Bryant, and Coates. Personally I would want another CB and S early along with the edge rusher but if they are not going to change their defensive philosophy then I would rather see them just stack the offense. Of course hopefully some of this will be sorted out if they fill some positions in free agency. I realize they need to sign Brown, Bell, and Tuitt but if they are going to 43 million under the cap like I have read then they should have some left to sign another key free agent.

  • westernsteel

    Would be surprised if Hamilton is even on the team next year, they need to draft a WR high

  • Clutterbox

    I disagree with some of your list. CB and S are much higher needs than you listed imo. Mitchell and Gay is a liability on the pass and needs to be replace as starters. I don’t care if they have years left on their contract. They are too slow to play those position. I wouldn’t mind if either position are drafted 1st if all the potential 1st round OLB/Edge player from Steelers board have been selected. The 2017 draft is deep on edge rusher and there is no reason to reach at they position if you don’t have to.
    Also I don’t think TE is a high need. I have faith in J. James. He has improve a lot in both his passing / blocking
    abilities this year.

  • westernsteel

    Mitchell has two years left on his contract. He hasn’t played poorly and you will see him start next season

  • LucasY59

    there is a salary cap article posted today, not much cap space after the 3 deals you mentioned

  • LucasY59

    I agree he starts again next yr, IF they do get a guy like Peppers they can use him as a S/LB hybrid (in place of Timmons/VW) on passing downs, but they would be developing him to replace Mitchell, I didnt mean to imply that Mitchell is gone immediately (just that he is somewhat of a liability …missed tackles…) so I doubt he gets another contact after this one is up in 2 yrs

  • Steeler-Drew

    Thanks, didn’t get there yet. I’m working my way up to that article.

  • SilverSteel

    We have the players on D and O to rotate but we will not do it. D Will was very capable of giving Bell a rest many times in the last few games, but we chose to run Bell into the ground – literally. Most teams rotate at RB for many reasons (rest, injury, change of tempo). Gilbert should have been given way more DB rotation to get him ready for games like last night (needed press/man coverage scheme), but we would not even put him in – in garbage time. Gilbert should have taken Cockrell’s spot for the whole Browns game. Unbelievable…

    Dangerfield, Golden, V Will, Gilbert, D Will, Finney, etc… – all are capable guys with little drop off if resting players, if for no other reason than to keep them ready – just in case. I love our coaches, but the stuff that other successful coaches do (and we refuse to), just drives me nuts. There is a difference between – not playing in your fears – and just being reckless. We have an assload of talent and speed on this team – we have been winning in spite of that all season. Sometimes our schemes seem designed to minimize our talent…sometimes – not always.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I like Reddick a lot

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I say it is 50/50…he has down a great job with punter and kicker and for the most part the coverage units have been good…injuries did play a part in this…I would give him a short leash next year and have a guy waiting in the wings.

  • Da Bus Driver

    1st Rd… OLB.

    2nd Rd… CB.

    3rd Rd… S/OLB/ILB (that order)

    4th Rd… OLB if we didn’t grab 2 yet. Or some sneaky good Offensive player who drops and we like. TE would be prudent. Unless we have both Outlaw AND Green back. But I still say it might be best to go OLB again. Or ILB if we didn’t go that way in the 3rd.

  • Steeler83

    I would take a shot on Jake Butt in the 3rd round even if he’s injured the first year.

  • Ni mo

    Cockrell sucks

  • Ni mo

    He’s better than cockroach

  • Steeler83

    You said “a DE to rotate with the two stars they already have at the position”, btw do you think that let Tuitt go after the next year could be an option ?

  • Steeler83

    I would say :
    – OLB
    – SCB/FS
    – TE
    – OLB
    – RB
    – DE/DT
    – CB

  • steelburg

    Your right he is the greatest we should sign him.

  • Donte Williams

    Ike taylor will gay used to get their butts roasted as well. i remember Gay if first stint with us was a huge liability steelers didnt resign him he went to Steelers West every fan was happy we get him back we were like WTF but he has been way better his second time around with the steelers than his first. this is crockrells second year with us lets not put the nail in the coffin on hin quite yet yes he gets beat but he also plays better than some want to give him credit for and who knows some of those beat deeep balls could be the safety not being in position

  • Slab

    No the question is whether or not he can be trusted more or less than Bell. While Bell was definitely suspended for missing tests, there is no indication he continued to use drugs within the last year. Bryant, however, whether he was suspended for testing positive or missing tests has, by his own admission, used drugs within the past year. It is not unreasonable to be concerned over Bryant’s ability to stay clean. Bell, too, but at least Bell managed to stay on the field after his suspension (we’ll see what the offseason does for him….)

  • Slab

    Who said let Bryant go? They shouldn’t let him go. They should, however, plan for the potential that he isn’t available.

  • Jeff Dudash

    See the story that posted today on SD about the cap situation. A new AB contract really wouldn’t change his 2017 cap hit much.

  • Jeff Dudash

    I looked at the 2018 roster. At the moment, 13 of the 22 starters are under contract. And a couple other guys like AV would still be restricted FAs. I’d argue that resigning EVERYONE is poor team building (a great way for your team to get old and in cap hell fast). At most, you’d want to sign AB, Bell, Shazier and Tuitt (~$44m). Combined with the other starters under contract and the normal cost for rookies and backups, you’re still >$25m under the cap for 2018. I really don’t think making a play in FA this year is as prohibitive as you think. Now, you’re right, it isn’t the “Steeler way”. But I also don’t think Colbert’s been in this type of position before where he isn’t flush against the cap. The Steelers did go out and sign Kevin Greene in the 90s. And Farrior since then. To my point, I just don’t see how you can go into 2018 thinking you can win the SB with Dupree, a rookie (taken at pick #30 or later) and Harrison as your primary options at your two most important positions on defense.

  • LucasY59

    No, I think they sign him to an extension this offseason, with how many snaps Heyward and Tuitt take having a early rd depth guy isnt a bad idea (since this season kinda showed how vulnerable they are if one of the 2 go down, luckily Hargrave, Mathews, and Walton stepped up, but at the end when both Cam and Stephon were out it was a little scary, Maxey was a good surprise when that happened and they might just stick with the cheap depth they have, but BPA could dictate who they take in RD 1, and if all the OLB pass rushers are gone, getting a guy like Malik McDowell as a interior pass rusher might be a option)

  • Sdale

    I saw that. Thanks.

  • Brian Miller

    Who are your favorite CBs that you have looked at so far? I definitely think that if O. J. Howard and their top OLBs are gone by our pick in the first then we might take a S or CB.

  • Ike Evans

    Quincy wilson from Florida is the best cb ive seen in this class but his teammate teez tarbor may be an even better fit for us because of his ability to make plays in zone. Im a huge fan of sidney jones and cordea tankersley…..jones may have went ahead of eli apple last year if was in that class but he may be better served in a man to man scheme….same for gareon conely of ohio state. Marlon humphrey of alabama reminds me so much of ike taylor its ridiculous….even down to the questionable ball skills. Jourdan lewis is the best slot corner, then desmond king, then corn elder……….im a real fan of cam sutton from tennessee as well and he would be a great 2nd day pick

  • Brian Miller

    Thanks for the tips, I have a lot of film to watch!!

  • SouthernSteel

    Yeah MB a maybe…Coates I believe will be good next year…but HeyBey and Hamilton not so much…Eli will be average. ..a keeper! but AB has 2 or 3 years left…plus big pay check comming as big a question as MB…so I’ll go ahead and take one if one is there…only if a top WR falls down to us. ..