FanPost

Roster Forecasting (or guessing) with an Underrated View

QB Underrated: the need for quality back-up. Justification: recent below the line OL play, Roethlisberger's age; Leftwich being potentially injury-prone; Batch's age; someone to push starter to the next level. Speculation: Leftwich re-signed; QB on radar in rounds 4-6 (see Michigan State's Cousins).

RB Underrated: Redman; Batch. Justification: more compatible with current overall athletic ability of OL; north-south runners generally under-appreciated; career avg 4.5 yards per carry vs. Mendenhall's 4.1. Speculation: With abundant supply of RB's league-wide, Mendenhall will be UFA in 2013, probably not be back at current salary; Batch per brief 2011 training camp and mental makeup, might have more upside then anticipated (3rd down back, Moore replacement).

WR Underrated: Cochery; Brown as #1 receiver. Justification: Cochery under-appreciated his whole career, mentally tough; Brown wants greatness. Speculation: Cochery re-signed to multi-year deal; WR drafted in later rounds for depth; Wallace retained.

TE Underrated: Miller; the need for a second athletic TE. Justification: Miller complete TE, 12.4 yards per catch; league-wide use of TE's to force match-up problems for D. Speculation: With Saunders out early, one added in FA or the draft.

OL Underrated: the line as a whole. Justification: in post-Cowher era, it's plug and play (skill players, defense gathering cap dollars, see OL of Super Bowl winners); maybe one quality player away from being at or above the line assuming Colin stays healthy; line takes rap from Ben holding on to ball. Speculation: G chosen in first 3 rounds; OL ripe for undrafted pick-ups; FA bargain bin signing.

DL Underrated: Heyward, the need to keep Hampton one more year. Justification: Heyward's upside as reflected in 2011 spot duty; lack of depth at NT, ACL recoverable for potentially productive 2012 (unlike RB position). Speculation: (or certainty) NT drafted in first 3 rounds (see Washington's Ta'amu); with Hood coming off a below the line 2011, Heyward pushing on both sides; Keisel fills Farrior's leadership void.

LB Underrated: Worlids; lack of depth at ILB. Justification: Worlids came on strong at end of 2011; Foote coming off below the line 2011 as half-time starter. Speculation: (or certainty) ILB drafted in first 3 rounds (see Alabama's Hightower); Worlids a potential Harrison replacement in 2014.

CB Underrated: Gay. Justification: coming off a solid 2011, at the line starter; being such a visible position, easy to under-appreciate average CB's. Speculation: Re-signed as younger talent develops; late round DB drafted for depth.

S Underrated: Clark. Justification: see post-season, Denver. Speculation: With both backup safeties UFA in 2013, and both starters in their 30's, S drafted in later rounds.

K Overrated: Suisham. Justification: inconsistent post-season play throughout career. Speculation: Competition brought in.

For the current roster and salary cap room in spreadsheet format see: http://steelersspreadsheet.wordpress.com/

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