Yes, sorry its another draft thread. But, I haven't done one in a while so I decided to try something new this time since my last two draft posts were complete 1st round mocks. This time I've come up with some guys I have my eye on for the Steelers throughout the draft. I've tried to address all our needs, but obviously can't really take into consideration "best player available" since the other teams aren't really in this conversation. I focused mostly on the defensive side (pretty much a defensive overhaul really), since I think we could really use some new talent and youth in pretty much all phases of the defense. Here we go:
1. Mike Iupati G, Idaho
So much for defensive overhaul right? Well here's where I get some offense in. I really like Iupati and love the idea of getting the best interior lineman of the draft. Iupati is versatile enough to play almost any position on the line (probably except LT) and would be a great upgrade at RG where we could really use some help. Since some think he can play RT he must have above average pass-blocking skills for a Guard, and everyone agrees he's a mauler in the run game. With the Rooneys saying we want to reconnect with our run-game, I think Iupati is a great pick here.
2. Cam Thomas NT, UNC
Dan Williams will go early in the 1st round, and "Mount" Cody has scared people just enough to fall into the second round, but not far enough down for us to land him here. Even still I like Thomas more than Cody, he's simply less likely to have a heart-attack at age 27. With Casey Hampton's contract situation unclear (he'll likely get the franchise tag, which still leaves us with no one in 2011), we need to prepare his replacement as soon as possible. With a good combine Thomas can solidify himself in the second round and would be a good pick to groom for the future. If we aren't sold on Thomas though I would be ok with Travis Ivey in the 7th round.
3. Myron Rolle FS, Florida State
Yes, I'm one of the growing Myron Rolle supporters. Ryan Clark will probably be resigned but we still need depth and youth at both safety positions. I think Rolle has the physical tools to do well on our defense. He's a great tackler and while he didn't grab many picks in college I think Dick Lebeau will put him in position to thrive. With his intelligence (he's a Rhodes Scholar for those few of you who don't already know) and Troy's instincts we could have if nothing else the smartest safety tandem in the league. Some scouts were concerned that he went to study at Oxford for a year and therefore hasn't played competitive football since '08; but I think those concerns should be put to rest since nfl.com's Mick Mayock said he was physically "ripped" at the Senior Bowl.
4. Kam Chancellor FS/SS, Virginia Tech
Admittedly I stole this pick from SteelCage, and you probably think im crazy taking two safeties in a row; but with Tryone Carter likely leaving and Ryan Mundy showing nothing so far, we could use two new safeties. Chancellor lined up all over the secondary at VaTech and would be great for depth behind Troy and Ryan Clark (and eventually Myron Rolle). Its hard to predict where he'll be drafted since I've seen him go as high as the late second round and as late as the 5th, but he'd be great value here. He's got great size and is a big-hitter in the secondary.
4B (comp pick for McFadden) Cameron Sheffield OLB, Troy
Sheffield would provide depth for us for a few years before hopefully taking over for James Harrison. He's pretty versatile and has steadily improved his pass-rushing skills throughout his career. Learning from Harrison and Woodley for a few years could make him a star.
5. Jamar Chaney ILB, Mississippi State
I previously had Quan Sturdivant here, but as Big Jay pointed out he did not declare for this years draft. I like Jamar Chaney better here anyway, but I didn't put him here before because I think its a bit unlikely we can get him here. I think he's a fringe 4th-5th rounder and I'm not sure we'll be able to get him in the middle of the 5th. Chaney is very experienced having played in every game he's been eligible for. He has experience at outside linebacker as well, so he could provide good depth behind our starters while learning the position and our defense. He'd be a good heir to James Farrior.
5B (comp pick for Washington) Keiland Williams RB, LSU
Williams is extremely explosive and could be a good replacement for Willie Parker and complement to Mendenhall. He has some trouble running between the tackles, but is great bouncing outside and is extremely fast. his real value will be in returning kicks. As a change-of-pace back for Mendy and a return man, Williams can fill Parker's and Stefan Logan's shoes so we can use the extra roster spot on special teams depth.
6. Adam Ulatoski OT, Texas
Finally staying with the offense, Ulatoski has decent size (6'-6", 310lbs with room to add more weight) and could provide depth behind Starks and Colon. He protected Colt McCoy's blindside and is one of the more intelligent and durable Tackle prospects in this draft. He could be a steal.
7. Boo Robinson DT/DE, Wake Forest
This could be a huge steal in the 7th round. He missed the Senior Bowl which has his stock plummeting. I saw some earlier reports that had him above Cam Thomas and with that kind of upside he could turn into a great player to play opposite Ziggy Hood in the future.
Possible UDFA's include:
QBs John Skelton as a project to groom as backups for Ben.
Chris Hawkins CB, LSU
Chris Chancellor CB, Clemson
Chris Hall C, Texas