Drafting Rolando McClain


As a Bama fan nobody was more exciting to watch on the defensive side of the ball than Rolando McClain. I have seen first hand his ability to take charge of the game, something that as a Steelers fan I've see in guys like Polamalu and Harrison (and will hopefully see more from guys like Timmons and Hood).

It has been my hope for a long time that the Steelers draft McClain. Initially he was ranked in the neighborhood of the 18th pick, but since the end of the college season he's steadily risen. And is ranked by many as the #1 ILB and between the 5th and 9th best prospect overall.

Recently Mike Singletary came out and declared his mancrush. San Fran has the 13th overall pick. With the 18th pick the Steelers are not likely to be in a position to draft him unless they move up. At 10, 11, and 12 are the Jags, Broncos, and Dolphins. With the Dolphins possibly losing Jason Taylor and Jason Ferguson, it's doubtful that they'd pass up McClain. That leaves the Broncos and the Jags. McDaniels, as we all know, is Bill Mini-chick, and is likely to trade down for more picks. The Jags also seem to be open to trading down since they traded this years 2nd rounder last year and are in need of a slew of players.

Last year NE traded their 23rd pick to the Ravens for the 26th and the 162nd (5th round). Then they traded both of those to the Packers for the 41st, 73rd and 83rd (that's a 2nd round and two 3rd rounders). Not a bad value, getting three picks for their 23rd overall 1st rounder. That's a team moving down. I think that if the Steelers could trade their 1st and 5th rounder to move up eight places they'd do it in a heartbeat, especially considering the compensation picks they'll get. But the Ravens weren't trading up to the 10th pick, they were only moving up three from 26th to 23rd. For the Steelers to move up to the 10th, 11th, or 12th it would be more expensive. 

Last year the Jets moved up to the 5th overall pick for their first-round pick (No. 17), their second-round pick (No. 52), plus QB B. Ratliff, defensive end K. Coleman and safety A. Elam. That's pretty pricey, but also there were a couple of peculiar circumstances that allowed such a move. Rex Ryan, a former Raven coach) wanted to bring in his own guys (Marques Douglas and Jim Leonhard) and was trading players to Mangini (the former Jets coach). Already knowing the players, plus entering into an obvious rebuilding situation made such a trade possible. Even if there was such a situation for the Steelers (as of now) they don't have the depth on defense to make such a trade.

It's hard to put a value on picks but here are a few recent trades for position in the draft: 2007 the Jets moved to 14th overall by trading their first, second, and fifth round picks (25, 59, 164 over all). 2006 the Broncos moved to 11th overall for their first and third picks (15 and 68th over all). Also in that year the Steelers moved up to get Holmes (25th over all) for their first, third, and fourth picks (32, 96, 129 over all). That was the price to move up 7 slots.

I think the most likely team to trade is the Jags. They have holes all over the place and are missing their 2nd rounder, but more than anything else, the Jags need to sell tickets. Selling more tickets to Florida people is spelled this way: T-E-B-O-W. Since Tebow isn't first round talent it means moving down. 

What the Steelers are looking at to get the 10th pick is their first rounder (18th), plus either a third and a fifth or a second and a sixth/seventh. Top ten picks come at a premium. The Jets had to give their 1st and 2nd despite throwing in two starters and a back-up QB. I suspect the Steelers will get two compensatory picks (probably a 4th and a 5th for MacFadden and Washington) so losing two picks won't be too detrimental, but it isn't cheap either.

What do you guys think?

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