As you may or may not know, I'm the Steelers Analyst for the DraftTek website. It's a computer simulation of the draft. My role as analyst is to categorize needs by position and to comment on the results of the simulated drafts.
Our current simulations are just 2 rounds. I have top needs as OG, NT, and OLB.
OG is there because it's the weakest spot on the roster for starter quality. I'd love to see a big upgrade with the draft of David DeCastro out of Stanford in round 1.
NT is there because of the age of Hamp and Hoke. Hampton is on contract through 2012 and Hoke is year to year. Probably both could be signed for longer if the team wanted. However Hampton is not as consistently good as he used to be and Hoke appears to have been passed by McLendon. This would be the perfect year to pick a NT to study for a year, then replace the Snack in 2013. The computer simulator has been giving me Josh Chapman of Bama in the first round lately. Seems like a solid enough prospect in a thin field of NT in the early rounds.
OLB has been on the list from the beginning of the year when Worilds and Carter hadn't seen any playing time. Harrison was coming off the back surgery and that doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Since then Worilds has played some good games and Carter has done ok for a rook in limited time. Neither has exactly set the world on fire as a pass rusher still. I'm thinking the urgency here probably drops to second tier. A later round guy who can stick to the PS probably makes more sense since there won't likely be a roster spot here next year.
Looking at the roster for over 30 players, it seems that we might look to draft more DBs in years to come as the 3 best players in the backfield (Clark, Troy and Ike) are over 30 and one of them learned to tackle by studying Tomahawk missiles. The learning curve at Safety is a consideration so a 2 year redshirt isn't out of the question. Mark Barron, TJ McDonald, and Robert Lester are all round 1-2 possibilities.
The other standout from the over 30 list is that 2 of the 4 ILB in Foote and Farrior are on that list. Sylvester is an exciting prospect but he needs work to fight through blocks still. RIght now Bama's Hightower and ND's Te'o are slotting around where the Steelers should pick (32). Could be a good intersection of value and need.
Any other pressing needs?