In an article for the Observer-Reporter titled 'Underlying Draft Theme Disturbing for Steelers', Dale Lolley makes note of the previous injuries suffered by three of our first five picks: Limas Sweed (wrist), Tony Hills (leg), and Dennis Dixon (ACL). And he doesn't hint that these injuries are insignificant:
In the case of Sweed, a talented 6-4 receiver with good speed and hands, it was ligament injury in his wrist that required surgery last October.
He had first-round talent. But wrists are important for receivers - being connected to their hands and all - and the question marks surrounding the injury were enough to push him to the second round.
Lolley, who many of us really enjoy, especially on his fantastic blog NFL From The Sidelines, seems more enthusiastic on his blog. He does mention in detail, like he did in the previous newspaper article, that he was most mystified by the Dennis Dixon selection. But he also was more supportive and confident in the Limas Sweed and Tony Hills selection.
To his credit, Lolley doesn't say it's a foregone conclusion that the Steelers strategy to not reach for needs will fail. He merely points out that this strategy is a change of pace from recent Kevin Colbert drafts, when the organization reached to fill depth chart needs. Many of those reaches are no longer with the team.
Perhaps we'll try to get Mr. Lolley on for a Q&A about his thoughts on the draft, but I guess I would have to summarize his stance as, cautiously optimistic.