I wrote a similar post a few weeks ago and got some good feedback so I wanted to revisit the idea. I've put together 5 different draft scenarios for our Steelers. I didn't use trades, and didn't use any names more than once. Obviously there are hundreds of scenarios you could put together with these names alone, so I encourage you to mix and match and come up with drafts of your own. Before I start, here are the Steelers' Top 10 Team Needs as I see them.
3. Offensive Tackle
4. Nose Tackle
5. Defensive End
10. Wide Receiver/ 3DRB
1. Aaron Williams CB/S, Texas
2. Marcus Gilbert OT, Florida
3. Kendrick Ellis NT, Hampton
4. Derrick Locke RB, Kentucky
5. Richard Sherman CB/S, Stanford
6. Charlie Gantt TE, Michigan St
7. Brandon Bair DE, Oregon
A lot of debate between Harris or Williams assuming both are there at 31, but I think Williams has more upside to start at either cornerback or safety while Harris is best suited for the slot in nickel packages. Sherman has similar versatility to Williams, and in an ideal situation we could put Williams at CB and Sherman at S. Gilbert and Ellis are both massive linemen who would probably serve as backups while they develop before taking over for Flozell Adams and Casey Hampton respectively. I like Locke and Gantt as replacements for Mewelde Moore and Matt Speath in case they aren't resigned, while Bair is a project but has ideal 3-4 DE size.
1. Rahim Moore FS, UCLA
2. Allen Bailey DE, Miami
3. Rashad Carmichael CB, Virginia Tech
4. Ian Williams NT, Notre Dame
5. Josh Davis OT, Georgia
6. Greg Lloyd ILB, Connecticut
7. Kai Forbath K, UCLA
Many of you know that I've been campaigning for Moore for a while now, and our new DB coach Carnell Lake coached him at UCLA. Now that Pouncey and Phil Taylor aren't likely to be around at 31, I think Moore is our next best option unless someone unexpected falls. With a bit of added weight and time to learn the position, Bailey could become the heir to Brett Keisel at DE. Carmichael has the speed and ball skills most of our CBs lack, but will need to be coached up a bit before he can make an impact. Williams, Davis and Lloyd will all hopefully be groomed to replace aging vets, while Forbath is brought in to compete with Shaun Suisham.
1. Derek Sherrod OT, Mississippi St
2. Curtis Brown CB, Texas
3. Jarvis Jenkins DE, Clemson
4. Austin Pettis WR, Boise St
5. Jeron Johnson S, Boise St
6. Chris Neild NT, West Virginia
7. Marc Schiechl OLB, Colorado School of Mines
Sherrod is the 5th best OT in this class, so we'd have to be really unlucky for him to be BPA. He does have the tools to play LT though and as a fringe first rounder, the value is there. Brown has good potential as a CB and may be able to push McFadden for the #2 spot, and the Steelers got a good look at him when they sent a large contingent to the Texas ProDay. Jenkins and Neild would bring some youth and depth to our DL while they are groomed for starting roles down the line, but Neild would likely be put on the practice squad for at least a year. Pettis was a great redzone threat who would be the big-receiver that Limas Sweed was supposed to be. His teammate Johnson would provide good depth and special teams play, and best case scenario would have him taking over for Ryan Clark in 2012. Credit JDSpartan for the Schiechl find. He put up crazy numbers at a small school, and is more than worth it in the seventh round.
1. Stephen Paea DT, Oregon State
2. Ras-I Dowling CB, Virginia
3. Will Rackley G, Lehigh
4. Jah Reid OT, Central Florida
5. Alex Henery K, Nebraska
6. Steven Friday OLB, Virginia Tech
7. David Carter DE, UCLA
Paea isn't a name I've ever seen linked to the Steelers because most see him as a 4-3 DT, but I can't figure out why people never mention him as a 3-4 NT. He's famous for breaking the combine bench press record (49 reps), and knows how to anchor and collapse the pocket with his bullrush. With at least a year or two before he is really asked to take over for Casey Hampton, he'll have plenty of time to put on more weight and work on his hand technique. Dowling could be a steal in the second, but he does have substantial injury concerns. Rackley would have a chance to start, while Reid would provide good depth as a potential replacement for Starks. Henery is 2011's best Kicker, while Friday and Carter could both give good depth while contributing on Special Teams.
1. Cameron Heyward DE, Ohio St
2. Orlando Franklin OG, Miami
3. Deandre McDaniel S, Clemson
4. Curtis Marsh CB, Utah St
5. Thomas Keiser OLB, Stanford
6. Darvin Adams WR, Auburn
7. Blaine Sumner NT, Colorado School of Mines
Heyward is a good fit for 3-4 DE and has a good chance to be BPA at 31. Also, I remember reading somewhere that Lebeau likes Ohio State's program because it has similarities to ours (we drafted Thaddeus Gibson and Doug Worthington last year). Franklin would be great value at the end of round 2 and could beat out any of our current options at RG. McDaniel, Marsh, and Keiser in the middle rounds would all be depth players with upside to start after a few years. Adams was one of Cam Newton's favorite targets, and has good size that most of our receivers lack. I found Sumner when looking into CSM for Marc Scheichl. His bench press numbers rival Stephen Paea, and pulling the trigger in round 7 could pay huge dividends if it works out.