So we can pretty much guess that the Steelers will address either their OL or DB need with their first round pick.
But what about our skill positions?
Fast Willie Parker's gone to supposed greener pastures, Hines Ward is getting old, Santonio Holmes might face a 4 game suspension and is in the last year of his contract, Limas Sweed is looking like a bust, Mewelde Moore can't be an every down back in case of a Mendenhall injury, etc ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
That said, we'll need to address our offensive skill positions SOMETIME this draft, preferably earlier. Two guys I really like are Golden Tate out of Notre Dame and Jahvid Best out of Cal.
Golden Tate seems like a Hines Ward clone to me. He doesn't have the typical height you want, and he seems to be a bit short. However, like Hines, Tate has done everything Notre Dame asked of him. He converted from running back to Wide Receiver, played special teams, and produced. He led the NCAA with the most 100 yd receiving games in 2009 on a losing team. That speaks to his dedication and his willingness to work for his team. Sound like anyone else you know? Although he's given a first round pick, I think he might manage to slip to us in the 2nd round. Dez Bryant is supposed to be the number 1 receiver in this draft, but because of character issues, there's a big chance he'll slip to the middle/bottom of the first round. The teams near the end (i.e Minnesota, New Orleans, Indy) seem hardly likely to want to get a wideout like him, and although the Jets want a wideout for Sanchez, it seems unlikely theyll want to take Golden Tate, as they want an outside receiver. (More on who I think they'll draft in the BTSC Mock Draft ;) Shameless plug, I know, but I couldn't resist...). Don't get the wrong idea, though. This guy was the 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner, which is given annually to the nation's best wideout. If you're worried about speed, he also ran a 4.42 40 yard dash at the Combine. And if we're nervous about a team high in the 2nd round taking him, well, we DO have 10 draft picks. It's unlikely that we'll have 10 rookies make the roster, so I wouldn't mind the FO trading up to nab him at all. He seems well worth the price. Sure we'll have an overload of receivers this year, but this way, he'll be able to hone his craft before taking the field.
While Golden Tate is a Hines Ward replica, Jahvid Best reminds me a lot of Willie Parker, from the explosive speed to the errrr injury proneness. At the scouting combine, Jahvid Best ran a blazing 4.35 40 yard dash at the NFL combine despite not having played a down of football since his injury against Oregon last year. As the 2009 Running Back Trophy recipient of the College Football Performance Awards, Jahvid ran extremely well despite the fact that Cal doesn't exactly have one of the best offensive lines in football. That being said, there's no reason to believe we wouldn't suceed in our system. Many draft experts have drawn comparisons between him and Chris Johnson. In fact, if it wasn't for his injury plagued year last season, he could've possible been the number 1 rated running back this year. With backfield committees all the rage in the NFL, we need someone to help out Rushhard. Even with his stellar season last year, he's not exactly a threat to break one for 75 yards every time he gets the ball, which we need if we want our new found passing game to excel. With Jahvid Best, the safeties and corners won't be able to cheat, because with his speed and elusiveness, he'll burn them for a TD. That said, seeing as he is prone to being injured, he'd be a perfect fit here in the 'burgh, as Mendenhall has that starting job locked up.
Question is, we'll probably only be able to take ONE of these two amazing players, if we're able to take them at all.
So, who would you rather the steelers target?