A Look Ahead at the Offseason and Five Four-Round Mock Drafts

I figured we may need a distraction from the latest shenanigans having to do with our quarterback.

So as I have mentioned in the past, my own computer is gone, so I'm now sharing another one with 3 other people, so I rarely have the time to do write ups. Having missed the last two deadlines I set for my draft reports, I figured this would be some kind of compensation. I've been working on this for the last couple of weeks so bear with me if I missed updating some things over the course of the past couple of weeks.

Speaking of compensation, I'm not going to include any compensation picks we may receive in mine just  yet. I'm no good at predicting those. What I'm planning on doing is giving a little preview of who stays and who goes in free agency, then 5 different 4-round mock drafts.


Let's take a quick peek at how free agency has gone for us so far. (starters are in bold minus Willie Gay-will he be one?):

Charlie Batch, QB, Age 35

Willie Parker, RB, Age 29

Carey Davis, FB, Age 28

Matt Spaeth, TE, Age 26

Willie Colon, OT, Age 26

Darnell Stapleton, OG (RFA), Age 24

Travis Kirschke, DE, Age 35

Casey Hampton, DT, Age 32

William Gay, CB, Age 25

Deshea Townsend, CB, Age 34

Ryan Clark, FS, Age 30

Tyrone Carter, S, Age 33

Jeff Reed, K, Age 30

Danny Sepulveda, P (RFA), Age 26

So there it is, the all-too-long list of players that may have seen their last days in the Burgh. 13 total, 5 of whom are starters, plus 2 others that were starters earlier in the year and could possibly start for other teams. Taking a look at the list again with what I think will happen to each player.

Charlie Batch, QB, Age 35: I think he's retiring, may consider coaching later down the road.

Carey Davis, FB, Age 28: Great guy, but not all that effective of a player.

Willie Parker, RB, Age 29: "I had six great years here with the Steelers...I want to thank the organization and thank everybody." Wants to start (Jan. 26th), knows that won't happen in Pittsburgh anymore. Looks like he's headed to Washington.

Matt Spaeth, TE, Age 26: Tendered

Willie Colon, OT, Age 26:  Tendered

Darnell Stapleton, OG (RFA), Age 24: Released

Travis Kirschke, DE, Age 35: Haven't heard much on him. I'm assuming he has been released.

Casey Hampton, DT, Age 32: Resigned, 3 years $21 million

William Gay, CB, Age 25: Tendered

Deshea Townsend, CB, Age 34: Released

Ryan Clark, FS, Age 30: Resigned

Tyrone Carter, S, Age 33: Released

Jeff Reed, K, Age 30: Franchised.

Daniel Sepulveda, P (RFA), Age 26:  Tendered.


So now let's take one last look:

Staying: Spaeth, Colon, Hampton, Gay, Clark, Reed, Sepulveda. 7 total, 5 starters.

Leaving: Batch, Parker, Davis, Stapleton, Kirschke, Townsend, , Carter. 7 total, 0 starters.


Also look for extensions to LaMarr Woodley, Santonio Holmes, and maybe Ike Taylor, as all have just 1 year left on their contracts. Woodley I definitely see getting one done, Holmes will ask for a lot of money, maybe too much, and Taylor would probably play better fighting for a entirely new one throughout the 2011 season.

Not gonna get too into free agency just yet but look for either a running back we can add to compliment Mendenhall, and a defensive back or two. I'm sure the Front Office already has an idea of who they want. UPDATE: WR Arnaz Battle, Safety Will Allen, WR Antwan Randle El, and OT Johnathan Scott all signed. Showing interest in getting Larry Foote back.

The Draft:

Here's a quick look at the top 5 areas of need.

#5 Running Back

There is a very high chance Willie Parker has seen his last days in black and gold, and I wish him the best of luck where ever he goes. That being said, Mewelde Moore could provide as a sufficient #2/3rd down running back combo that could work very well in our current offense. Still, the Steelers may look at a younger, more explosive running back to be #2, and still use MeMo for a variety of scenarios, primarily 3rd downs.

#4. Inside Linebacker

Without question, James Farrior has lost a step, and though he can still play at a servicable level, this may be a good time to draft his replacement and groom him for the next couple years until Farrior can no longer play at the starting level.

#3. Nosetackle

Hampton is back, but the need for a future replacement is still there. Dan Williams would look real nice at the 18th overall pick if he's the BPA. Look for players like Cam Thomas, Torrell Troup, or Linval Joseph in the later rounds.

#2. Defensive back

This is a no brainer. This team will have a hard time journeying back to the Superbowl if Polamalu is all that holds the secondary together. Tyrone Carter is likely gone, and Ryan Clark is not a definite for staying, so safety is a big need. Cornerback was an issue on this year's roster as well as it took 17 weeks (16 games) for a Steeler's corner to get an interception. There is a big need for a ballhawk to be added somewhere in the secondary.

#1. Offensive Line:

The line improved in 2009, but there is no cornerstone, no stud to build a line around like the Steelers have had in the past. With new offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who has a history of developing stars like Ryan Clady and Jason Peters, Pittsburgh would be well suited to give him a young guy to turn into a successful player.


Alright so keeping in mind the players we have lost and retained, and the needs we'll need to fill, here's 3 different scenarios.

Draft 1:

Round 1 Pick 18: Bryan Bulaga, Offensive Tackle, Iowa

Height-6'5" Weight-314 Age-21 

Makes sense here. Bulaga was at one point regarded as the best tackle in the draft class before some mid-season thyroid gland issues hampered his play. He rebounded and is said to have played extremely well down the stretch. In the Steelers system he could play either side of the line, as he has the skill set to play both positions. As I said above, could do very well with Kugler, a guy known for developing stud offensive linemen.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Round 2 Pick 52: Chris Cook, DB, Virginia

Height-6'2" Weight-212 lbs Age-23

I guess you call Cook a faster, version of Keenan Lewis, who I still wanna see more out of.  He just ran a 4.43 40 at the combine and put up a very solid career at Virginia picking off 7 passes, and has the versatility to play CB and FS. If he could translate to the NFL as a CB he could be a really special player.

No Scouting Report Available

Round 3 Pick 82: Koa Misi, OLB, Utah

Height-6'2" Weight-246 lbs Age-23

It's no secret that we have a kick ass combination of outside linebackers in Harrison and Woodley, but after that, who do we have? Misi is a very solid option as a backup, and flashes a decent ability to get to the passer. With the lack of depth we have, Misi could provide valuable insurance in case Wood or Deebo go down, hopefully it never comes to that.

No Scouting Report Available

Round 4 Pick 113: Linval Joseph, Defensive Tackle, ECU

Height-6'4" Weight-328 lbs Age-22

I'll be honest, I know very little about Joseph. What is apparent is that he has a great build for a nosetackle, and that he was a very good 3 year player for the Pirates. In those 3 years he had 136 tackles, 6 of which where sacks. Seems like he could be a solid player, and the Combine will reveal more about him. UPDATE: Considering his recent ridiculous Combine numbers, Joseph will probably not be available at this point in the draft. Don't be surprised to see us taking a stab in the 3rd round.

No Scouting Report Available


Draft #2:

Round 1 Pick 18: Earl Thomas, DB, Texas

Height-5'10" Weight-197 Age-21

My favorite player in this year's draft, Earl "ET" Thomas was a playmaker and the anchor to the Longhorn's secondary in 2009. In just 2 years, the Redshirt Sophomore Thomas picked off 10 passes (8 this past season), racked up 134 tackles, and forced 5 fumbles. Needless to say that Texas will miss his presence in their secondary next year. What better way for the Steelers to address their lack of secondary playmakers (aside the bushy haired beast we all know and love) than to grab this young ballhawk who could not only perfectly compliment Polamalu in the Head and Shoulders commercials but on the grid iron as well. My feeling is that Ryan Clark will be brought back for a short term contract, maybe even the franchise tag (which he said he would love to have btw), but while he's still here Thomas could learn the ropes and back up both safety positions, just in case the injury bug rears it's ugly head again. Added bonus is that Thomas may also be able to play corner in a pinch. The biggest reason I can see him falling to us is because teams will shy away from his small stature, but trading up to get him is not entirely out of the question. The best attribute he brings to the table however is his versatility, as he has potential to play any position in the secondary. Now that Ryan Clark is back,  Thomas would be developed at a corner, which may take longer than it would at safety, but given the coaches we have, Thomas could be a standout corner in this league.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report


Round 2 Pick 52: J.D. Walton, Center, Baylor

Height-6'3" Weight-300 lbs Age-23

Maybe the best Center in the class (sorry Pouncey fans), Walton was a 1st team AP All-American this year, and just has a knack for the position. Justin Hartwig's services are declining with age, so a Center is going to be a need in the near future. Personally, I'm a big fan of Stefen Wisniewski, who's a native of the Pittsburgh area and will graduate from Penn State next year. Walton may be too good of a prospect to pass up on however, and could be one of those gems that develops into a stud pro bowler after taking the starting role.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Round 3 Pick 82: Montario Hardesty, Running Back, Tennessee

Height-6'0" Weight-225 lbs Age-23

Might be a little high for him here in the third round, (UPDATE: Had a great combine, take that for all it's worth but put on 10 lbs-215 to 225-but he did nothing to hurt himself out there)  but if nosetackles like Torrell Troup Cam Thomas is off the board at  this point then Hardesty might be a good fit here. From the brief footage I've seen of him, he seems like a tough runner up the middle, but likes to spin a lot. Sound familiar? Anyway, he had a pretty good couple of years at Tenn. and is a pretty well-rounded back; had 25 receptions in addition to 282 carries and 14 total Touchdowns. Could be a very solid compliment to Mendenhall.

Mocking The Draft Scouting Report


Round 4 Pick 113: Micah Johnson, ILB, Kentucky

Height-6'2" Weight-258 lbs Age-22

Biggest sleeper in the draft IMO. However, he's gonna have to be able to improve upon his dreadfully slow 40 time. The guy was a beast against the run in college, and is a vocal locker room presence. I'm told he can serve up big hits too. Could be a replacement for Farriror.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Draft #3:

Round 1 Pick 18: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee

Height-6'2" Weight-330 lbs Age-23

Big snack's future replacement is out there some where, and the Steelers would be very happy to give that distinction to Dan Williams, a guy I'm sure is very high on their draft board. A powerful defensive lineman, who's good at taking up space and occupying blockers, exactly what a nose tackle is supposed to be. Current Steeler, and a recent teammate of Williams, is Ramon Foster, who's had nothing but good things to say about "Big Dan". Though it will ultimately be up to Colbert and the Front Office, it definitely helps to have that kind of input. Williams had a monstrous Senior Bowl in which he manhandled the Northern team's Offensive line, and just recently turned in a decent combine. 

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report

Round 2 Pick 52: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

Height-5'11" Weight-193 lbs Age-23

A DB to fit our needs really well, and a guy Ed Bouchette has liked for a while, McCourty is a very physical and surprisingly fast corner who ran a 4.34 at the Combine. One of the biggest things that stands out to me is his 7 blocked punts while at Rutgers. That's not a typo, he really did block 7. Lord only knows we need all the help we can get on special teams, and McCourty brings a lot of potential as a DB as well.

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report


Round 3 Pick 82: Toby Gerhart, Running Back, Stanford

Height-6'0" Weight-231 lbs Age-23

Another guy who provides a solid compliment to Mendenhall and is just a monster power running back. Guy turned in a real nice combine, and would be a nice fit as a short yardage back as well. Look for him to be taken somewhere in the third round, possibly earlier, so it'd be a bit of a steal if he fell this far.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report

Round 4 Pick 113: John Jerry, Guard, Ole Miss

Height-6'5 Weight-328 lbs Age-24

The definition of what we currently look for in our offensive linemen: big, nasty, mauler, who excels in the running game. Another project lineman, who could eventually turn into a solid starter. It'll be interesting to see the progress Kraig Urbik has made in the offseason, but Jerry could be a solid depth player as well.

No Scouting Reports Available

Draft #4:

Round 1 Pick 18: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

Height-5'10" Weight-194 Age-23

A speedy, athletic corner who could contribute at a very early stage, Wilson was a playmaker for Boise in his 4 years playing there. With the uncertainty at corner spot #2, we could very well be seeing a corner very early on, or hope that either Keenan Lewis, Joe Burnett, or William Gay will be able to take, and hold the position at a decent level of play. Wilson could take that spot day one, and break the traditional long-term development stages that we usually send our rookies through (would make ownership happy) or be a good fit in the nickel from very early on. Wilson also doubles as a punt returner, making him all the even more intriguing of a prospect. One note of caution though, Wilson was suspended for 3 games for violating team rules back in 2007, so that'll be something to look into. He doesn't seem like a bad guy though, so I'm not overly worried.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report

Round 2 Pick 52: Maurkice Pouncey, Offensive Lineman, Florida

Height-6'5" Weight-315 lbs Age-21

Once again, I'll admit, I don't know much about this guy, other than the fact he seems to be a BTSC favorite. He has the versatility to play all over the line, but would most likely play guard or center for this offense. Could be a long term replacement for Hartwig, or an early starter at the Right Guard position. The biggest concern for him at this point is whether or not he can handle the powerhouse defensive linemen that are ever so present in the AFC North.

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report


Round 3 Pick 82: Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan

Height-5'11" Weight-193 lbs Age-21

A young corner with a high potential, Warren did not wow at the Combine and ran an abysmal 40 yard dash time of 4.59. Still, the Combine is one of the most overrated ways of measuring a football player's talent, and Warren was no pushover at Michigan. His 6 career interceptions may not look like much, but considering 4 of them came in this past season, tells me he has the ability to make plays on the football, something our current CB's are severely lacking. Anyway, Warren would be incorporated into nickel and dimes eventually and would have a shot at breaking into the rotation in the next couple of years if he can show the flash he brought to the Wolverines at the NFL playing level.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Round 4 Pick 113: Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama

Height-6'5" Weight-312 lbs Age-23

Going into the 2009 season, Mike Johnson was widely regarded as one of the top interior linemen prospects in the draft, but since then has fallen due to questions about his ability to translate to some NFL blocking schemes. Still, Johnson could again provide depth, and would be yet another project for Sean Kugler to attempt and mold.

 No Scouting Reports Available

Draft #5:

Round 1 Pick 18: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

Height-6'5" Weight-331 lbs Age-23

For the love of God, it is not "Lupati" it's "Iupati"-it's an I, and I as in inconceivable (kudos to anyone who can tell me what movie I'm referencing). Anyway, Iupati is another one of these guys coming out of American Samoa, which has recently become a bigtime football factory. Current Steelers Troy Polamalu and Chris Kemoeatu (One of Iupati's Idols) both hail from the Samoan/Polynesian area of the Pacific. Similar to Kemoeatu, Iupati is a road grader in the running game, something we learned at the Senior Bowl practices, but also similar to Kemoeatu, struggles with pass protection at times, something we saw all too well at the actual Senior Bowl. Unlike Kemo however, Iupati still has a lot of growing to do, both mentally and physically, and one can only assume that his pass protection skills will improve, and ultimately end up being better than Kemo's. In any case, Iupati is one of the highest-rated guards to enter the draft in a while, and he may very well live up to the hype, and could probably start day 1 at right guard for the Steelers.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report

Round 2 Pick 52: Jahvid Best, RB, Cal

Height-5'10" Weight-199 lbs Age-21

There is no way in hell the Steelers pass up Best if he falls into the second round. Colbert has always been a firm believer in taking the BPA. Best, a very similar player to recently released, Willie Parker, flashes out standing speed and incredible agility. Though he doesn't have the 40 of C.J. Spiller, he seems to be superior in his ability to make the defender miss. Best also seems to be a classy guy, very humble, gives credit to his teammates first, and has a competitive, driven work ethic. Would be an excellent compliment to Mendenhall.

WalterFootball Scouting Report

Mocking the Draft Scouting Report

Round 3 Pick 82: A.J. Jefferson, CB, Fresno State

Height-6'0" Weight-193 lbs Age-22

I honestly have not heard anything about this guy until this very moment I am typing this, and as a 3 year starter he didn't have a single interception. Jefferson did turn in a monstrous combine in which her ran a low 4.4 and a 40+inch vertical. Still he could be a project and flashes some potential.

No Scouting Reports Available

Round 4 Pick 113: Myron Rolle, S, Florida State

Height-6'2" Weight-215 lbs Age-24

Ah yes, the second coming of Christ. Rolle is wanted by just about every fan base in the NFL, and for good reason. In our case, Rolle will bring a nice bonus at safety and maybe a shot at Special Teams. If anything else, Rolle could potentially educate Big Ben on a few of the more basic aspects of common sense.


Also Consider:

Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama

Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri


-All ages are how old the players will be on December 31st 2010

-All height and weights are from

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