I have been thinking about the upcoming draft for a while now and put together what I feel would be an excellent Steelers draft, however due to the trade involved in making it happen this draft has no chance of materializing. First allow me to point out a few things that went into my thought process.
#1 - When healthy the Steelers are a very good rather deep team without many flaws. This is why they are always able to "draft for the future" so to speak. Well we have arrived at a point in time where they need to draft for the present. That means getting players that can start from Day 1.
#2 - As shown by the blood letting this year the Steelers are being squeezed by the salary cap. Now I know the consensus is that the cap will increase mightily for the 2013 season but a lot of that money will be needed to sign current players to extensions.
Therefore, based on the above I propose the following trade.
Steelers send their 1st (#24) 2nd (#56) 3rd (#88) 4th (#120) and next years frist and maybe 4th or 5th round pick to Philadelphia and in return obtain Philadelphia's 1st (#15) and both 2nd round (#46) and (#51). Excluding the 4th/5th round pick the trade points work out to both be about 1880 for each team. Pittsburgh will have to sweeten the pot with the 4th/5th rounder because Philadelphia has to wait until next year for their other 1st round pick (unless Wallace signs elsewhere and the Steelers get a #1 this year as compensation, but I digress) This may seem like a lot to give up but remember #1 and #2 above. Steelers aren't Cleveland, they don't need lots of warm bodies, they need a few high quality players.
Now on to the draft:
Round 1 Pick 15 - Cordy Glenn OG/OT UGA - Much has already been written here about Mr. Glenn, I will not add to it other than to say I think he would fit Steelers better than just about anybody (DeCastro included) this side of Kahlil. Starts from Day 1 at LG.
Round 2 Pick 46 - Alameda Ta'amu NT Washington - More ready to step in and help that Poe. Just what you want in a NT. Excellent at clogging the middle allowing ILB to flow to make plays without having to fight off blockers. Strong enough to collapse the pocket flushing opposing QB into the waiting arms of the OLB. Not going to make many plays downfield or outside the tackles, but does what you want.
Round 2 Pick 51 - Kelechi Osemele OG ISU - Another massive interior OL. Also versitly having played OT at ISU also. Roadgrader type. Not as athletic as Glenn but will win most 1-1 battles. May need a little coaching but should be starting if not out of TC then by mid-year.
Round 5 Pick 152 - Jerry Franklin ILB Arkansas - Same size/speed as Timmons. Many say we need the opposite type of ILB, they want more of the Hightower thumper type. I say no. With the evolution of the NFL it is a passing speed league so that is what is needed from your LB, and that is what you get from Franklin. Plus with Ta'amu plugging up the middle Franklin and Timmons will be free to use their speed to run down plays since they won't be fighting off blockers.
Round 6 Pick 184 - Levy Adcock OT OSU - Strictly a RT prospect. Not the roadgrader we are used to at OT but does have some athletism and the ability to pass protect. Played LT at OSU protecting Weeden's blind side so has some ability. Not generally going to get Pro-Bowl talent this late without baggage. He has neither but is good value for a position of need this late.
Round 7 Pick 216 - Sean Richardson SS Vanderbilt - Workout warrior at the combine. Tops in many categoies. 3 year starter for Vandy in the SEC. Not a ball hawk but has the physical stature to develop into an excellent safety with some coaching. Probably PS material for at least 1 year.
If this were to come true the our offense would look like this:
WR - Wallace Brown Sanders Cotchery Unknown QB - Roethlisberger, Leftwich, Jerrod Johnson
TE - Miller, Saunder, Johnson RB - Redman Dwyer Clay Batch (Mendenhall when healthy)
Our defense would be:
OLB - Harrison, Woodley, Woirlds, Carter ILB - Timmons, Foote, Stevenson, Franklin
CB - Taylor, Lewis, Gay, Allen, Brown, Unknown Safety - Clark, Polamalu, Mundy, Richardson
K - Suisham or replacement
P - Sepulveda or Kapinos
LS - Warren
3 positions up for grabs (#5 WR, #5 CB and #4 DE) on the 53 man roster plus the PS
Well there you have it. I would put this team on the field any day against any other NFL team and take my chances.