This is an update of this previous post from January 16th (Link below). My thoughts were of trading Wallace and rebuilding the OL, upgrading the running attack and to supply the offensive with a few new weapons who might be groomed this season to take over for veterans in the seasons to come.
Save Ben, Pt. 1
In the month since the above post, it would seem the Steelers (while wanting to try to sign him to a long term deal) will not franchise Wallace. To do so would cost the team $9.4 million this year, place them in the same position next year, where another tag would run them over $13 million. Unless he agrees on something reasonable for long term, the Steelers will never invest that type of money on a WR.
Now, if someone offers him a contract at less than $9.4 million, the Steelers will have the option to match it, thus saving themselves some money. If nobody signs him, the Steelers will save $2.7 million (I believe that is the difference between the franchise tag and the 1st round tender). If someone offers more than that, the Steelers can let him walk, and get the 1st rounder. If Baltimore or New England make an offer, the Steelers can decide if they want to match it or let him go to a rival.
In my opinion, Wallace will not be a Steeler much longer. I think the Steelers might be better served allowing Wallace to sign elsewhere and get the 1st rounder for him. Then, cut Hampton, trade up to get David DeCastro, and look at drafting one (or both) of those Arkansas WRs in the 3rd- 4th round (Joe Adams and/or Jarius Wright).
Based on the above, I would draft the following:
1st. David DeCastro OG Stanford
2nd. Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina (Added 2nd pick back in from the original post)
3rd. Joe Adams WR Arkansas (moved him up a round)
4th. (From Seattle) Ladarius Green TE La.-Lafayette (moved him back a round)
4th. Jarius Wright WR Arkansas
5th. Josh Chapman NT Alabama (Changed from Chad Diehl)
6th. Adrian Robinson OLB/DE Temple
7th. Chris Greenwood CB Albion
The trade of picks 24 and 31 to net Seattle’s pick at 11/12 and their 4th round pick. Based on the Draft Value Chart, the trade would be a wash:
I would draft Chapman, and would even consider him higher, but from what I have seen in mocks et al, he seems to have a 5th round grade on him (we'll see how it plays out after the combine). This kid is is a run stuffer, a 2 down player who will clog up the middle. He is stout and strong! He will not get pressure on the QB, he will not run down anything, but he will keep those big OL off our LBs. Perfect! Rotate him with McClendon and I like the future of our DL!
Taking flyers with the last 2 picks..... Robinson was a sack machine and played all over the field for Temple. Greenwood is a taller, physical corner who can flat out fly (unfortuantely he was not invited to the combine)! I think he would get to much interest as an UDFA for us to sign him that way, he is a project with an upside.
I reluctantly dropped a FB from the last mock to this one. I was going to replace Robinson in the 6th with another Temple product, FB Evan Rodriquez. I think the organization wants to get back to being able to run the ball when needed (something that was lacking last year), and having a FB to block not only for the RB, but to pass protect will go along way to preserving Ben.
Finally, in free agency I would look for quality veterans to come in a help out now, especially at ILB and OT. I think this draft would solidify the left side of our OL for the next 8-10 years. Gilbert, DeCastro (who can pull) and Pouncey in the middle, sounds great to me! We would get a young CB in the 2nd round who is a zone cover guy, and a raw, talented CB to develop. Those two Razorback wideouts can play, and the TE could replace Miller when the time comes and a massive NT who does exactly what we need, clogs up the middle.