In the same spirit of the mock draft round up done late last month here on BTSC, let's take a look around the web to see what the draft 'gurus' think the Pittsburgh Steelers will do with this April in the 2010 NFL Draft. I tried to use many of the same sites that were referenced in our last round up, if for no other reason than to see how some of them may have altered their picks for the Steelers. It's all in good fun as we try to collectively get a better understanding of all the prospects out there hoping to take their games to the next level.
Let's get started...
Draft Countdown: Mike Iupati, OG - Idaho
The analysis: In recent years the Steelers have drafted with an eye toward the future but after a disappointing post-Super Bowl season in which they missed the playoffs that philosophy might have to change a bit. One area where Pittsburgh could use an upgrade is the offensive line because Ben Roethlisberger got hit way too much and their running game was rather pedestrian in 2009.
Idaho’s Mike Iupati is exactly the type of big, tough, physical blocker that Pittsburgh looks for. A mountain of a man at 6-6 and 330 pounds, Iupati is a mauler in the run game but also pretty athletic and still has considerable upside. With the ability to play either guard or tackle at the next level Iupati would certainly be able to find a home somewhere along the Steeler’s offensive line.
Another option could be Clemson’s C.J. Spiller, who would be a perfect replacement for the aging and injury-prone free agent Willie Parker as the "Lightning" to Rashard Mendenhall’s "Thunder". It appears as though Pittsburgh intends to keep free agents Casey Hampton and Ryan Clark but if either were to leave then a nose tackle (Dan Williams?) or safety (Earl Thomas?) would all of the sudden jump to the top of their list of needs.
Don’t be shocked if the Steelers throw everyone a curveball in round one either as that's been their M.O. on Draft Day the last couple of years.
Draft Countdown's previous pick: C.J. Spiller, RB - Clemson
NFL.com (Bucky Brooks Mock Draft 2.0): Terrence Cody, DT - Alabama
Read on before casting your vote...
The analysis: Casey Hampton's impending free-agent status makes it imperative the Steelers find a replacement at nose tackle. While Cody's weight may concern some, there is no disputing his ability to control the point of attack in the middle.
Brooks of NFL.com's previous pick: Patrick Robinson, CB, FSU
Walter Football.com (3 Rounds) - updated 02/23/10: Dan Williams, NT - Tennessee
The analysis: Casey Hampton will be 33 in September. He's still an effective player, but he's not the dynamic force he once was. Hampton is also a free agent, and while he could be franchised, Pittsburgh will be looking for a long-term replacement.
Dan Williams had an incredible Senior Bowl week. He looked great in practice and commanded double teams during the game. He would be a great nose tackle of the future for the Steelers.
Other 2010 NFL Draft Possibilities:
1. Trade Up - The Jaguars can't really afford the No. 10 overall pick, so they'll be desperate to move down. The Steelers, meanwhile, would love to add Rolando McClain to their defense.
2. Earl Thomas, FS - If Ryan Clark isn't re-signed, the Steelers will have a huge hole next to Troy Polamalu.
Round 2: Perrish Cox, CB/KR - Oklahoma State (hate this pick)
Round 3: Jamar Cheney, ILB - Mississippi State (like this pick)
Walter Football's previous 1st Round pick: Earl Thomas, FS - Texas
The Steelers don't normally get a chance to draft a top tier tackle. This All-American is a bruising run blocker who will help the team run more consistently. He'd likely start at RG but has the quickness to move to RT in coming years
Round 2: Nate Allen, FS - South Florida
Round 3: Donovan Warren, CB - Michigan
Round 4: Willie Young, OLB - North Carolina State
Round 5: Darryl Sharpton, ILB - Miami
Draft Tek's previous 1st Round pick: Patrick Robinson, CB - Florida State
Draft Daddy (updated 02/21/10): Dan Williams, NT - Tennessee
The analysis: Williams is high-motor and blue collar, qualities the Steelers want for their defense.
Draft Daddy's previous 1st Round pick: Perrish Cox, CB - Oklahoma State
NFL Mock Draft King (updated 02/10/10): Earl Thomas, S - Texas
The analysis: The Troy Polamolu loss crushed the defending Super Bowl champs any chance of a repeat. The Steelers gave up a league most 5 leads in the 4th quarter this past season which was the main reason they were on the outside looking in on the post season tournament. With the possibility of Ryan Clark leaving via free agency, look for Pitt to select this ballhawk out of Texas who has the ability to stop the run, with the ability to capitalize on the oppositions mistakes through the air with the ability to take it back to the house. The Steelers could also go with C.J. Spiller here to work with Mendenhall if he slides, or possibly a Receiver as Hines Ward is on his last legs.
NFL Mock Draft King's previous 1st Round pick: Earl Thomas
The Football Expert (updated 02/04/10): Kyle Wilson, CB - Boise State
The analysis: The Steelers build their team on the offensive line and defensive front seven. They also think long term meaning just because their front five is a weakness does not necessarily make them rush out and draft a player in the first round to "solve" that problem. Championship rosters are not built on plugging rookies in immediately all the time. In this case it appears the tackle class is deep enough for them to take a shot here, but I’m not comfortable with it at this point.
Adding to my consternation, the Steelers just selected two corners in the middle rounds last year. However, Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett failed to make an impact. This team is built to win right now and if a player who can get on the field as a rookie crosses their path I anticipate them pulling the trigger. An aging by the minute Townsend had to take over for Gay, and both are now free agents which could leave them without anyone reliable to pair with. Maybe I just love the kid’s RV. He knows how to roll right? Seriously, he was a rare standout at the Senior Bowl and just might rise this high.
The Football Expert's previous 1st Round pick: Mike Iupati, OG - Idaho
The Draft Matters (updated 02/13/10): Patrick Robinson, CB - Florida State
The analysis: With or without Troy Polamalu, the Steelers need another defensive back to help bring this defense together. Ike Taylor hasn't been playing at a very high level and both starting safeties from 2009 are set to hit the free agency (Troy not included). Patrick Robinson made some great plays in the Senior Bowl, but was also suspect at times. He has tons of potential and his hard-hitting nature makes him fit in well the defense in Pittsburgh.
The Draft Matters previous 1st Round pick: Donovan Warren, CB - Michigan