We'll go into it more tomorrow and this coming week, but I think most of us Steelers fans are fairly excited by the additions of RB Rashard Mendenhall and WR Limas Sweed. But, amidst our elation that our offense would have ben more weapons at its disposal in 2008, we also realized we hadn't addressed two other significant areas of need: help along the offensive and defensive line.
Many of the more intriguing defensive ends and defensive tackles are already off the board (Balmer, Groves, Campbell, Merling, Laws, et al) there are still some talented d-linemen available that could potentially step in and contribute as early as this season. Some names:
Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas: A serious injury sent his stock plummeting during his senior year, but as a junior, Harrison was dominant for Arkansas. I'm not sure about the specifics of the injury, but I know it was knee related, but not serious enough to sideline him during his senior year, which to me, means this is a tough football player that might be abel to clog holes and be effective even when not at full strength. I don't think there's any way he lasts until we pick in Round 3, so I would even consider moving up and giving up selections in later rounds to take him. If we want to ever play more 4-3 in the future, Harrison would be a great fit.
Cliff Avril, DE, Purdu: Avril would give the Steelers another pass-rushing threat, something every team would like to add. He's a bit undersized and would need to put on some weight and get pushed around a bit in practice some before he was effective in the running game, but I wouldn't mind letting him work his way up behind Woodley and Silverback.
Dre Moore, DT, Maryland: Can't say I know much about this guy, but I've heard several of you guys mention him, and have done so as a potential 3rd rounder.
Kendall Langford, DT, Hampton: A big, athletic body that may be a smidge undervalued due to his level of competition and prior coaching. Might be a steal if he reacts extremely positively to an NFL strength and conditioning program.
Frank Okam, DT, Texas: Definitely not a 3rd rounder, but could be a solid addition in the 4th or 5th. At one time, Okam, was a potential top 15 pick. I also know he was a 4.0 student in college. I think he'll be plenty interested in football and have a productive career, even if he's never Pro-Bowl caliber.
Those are but a few names Steelers fans. Rest easy...for now at least. There'st still fantastic talent still available, and I feel confident we'll be welcoming a defensive player to the family early on Sunday.
By the way, who else might we have our eye on?
Steelers 2008 Draft Is Now Over
STEELERS DAY TWO SELECTIONS
Bruce Davis, DE, UCLA
Tony Hills, OT, Texas
Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon
Mike Humpal, LB, Iowa
Ryan Mundy, S, West Virginia
Analysis on the second round picks to follow the conclusion of the draft. I absolutely love the Dixon selection, giving Pittsburgh a third exciting playmaker on offense in the 2008 Draft. Lots to like here.