I've followed the NFL Draft coverage ever since the end of the year since we all know that the Steelers do not trade nor sign free agents. So other than the games themselves, the draft is the biggest thing for the Steelers and their fans. I think that right now our two biggest needs are ILB and a NT; we are serviceable at guard and tackle and can wait until the next rounds and even next year. Colon (if healthy) and Gilbert are two solid tackles. I expect foster to improve, and whoever the heck we can get to play LG is as good or better than Legursky. So now we're down to ILB and DT for the first round pick.
Everyone thinks that suddenly after Dontari Poe's 4.98 40 that h'es the next great 3-4 0-technique. Think again. The man may be able to run forty yards in under 5 seconds, throw up 225 45 times, yet he doesn’t play the way that his measurables and strength would dictate. I've heard so much hype about him, and even seen him go as high as #9 to the Panthers. So I looked up some game film, and found him play Arkansas State. He was MANHANDLED. This is Arkansas State, not Wisconsin! He played like he was dragging a 50 pound weight behind him. The one play I saw him make was a cutback in which he made a tackle after he got cop blocked and fell like a pile of bricks. People say that the reason he didn't stand out too much at Memphis was because he was constantly double or even triple teamed. BS. In the game tape, it would be 1on 1, and about 70% of the time he lost . He may be 350 pounds, but in game film, he looks maybe 310. He's 6-4. Hampton's 6-1 and the same weight. He does not look loike the traditional 340 pound run stuffer that we're used to. In the end, I think that Poe's a major risk, and unless scouts prove otherwise, he's not worth drafting in the first round. We need a DT desperately, especially since the only one we're gonna have for most of the season is McClendon, who's built more as a 5-technique than a 3-4 nose.
We all know Burflicts story. Sat on his butt until it was combine time and ran a 5.1. I'm 5'10 165 and I've ran a 40 time that fast. In 8th grade. I'm now a sophomore. Burflict is a classic example of someone who puts their wants before their needs. He's now projected to go as far down as the middle of Day 3 in the draft. So now we're left with Keuchly and Hightower, then a bunch of nobody's. Keuchly is gone way before we pick, and we wouldn't have selected him anyway. He's more of a Sean Lee of the Cowboys, which is absolutely no criticism, however the Steelers tend to take more solid linebackers. Then there's Hightower. Had he not torn his ACL in his junior year, he's easily a top 20 pick. Yet again, he may not have been the same leader or had the same work ethic now than he did then. What we all know is that Hightower is not as athletic of a linebacker. He's your run stuffing linebacker, not a cover Gronkowski kind of linebacker. He put up a 4.68 at the combine, .7 less than Timmons' time, yet their just not the same player. Hightower is 6'2 260, like a quicker Lamarr Woodley. He's got the leadership to make up for it though.
MY first round pick: Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford
He's fallen on everyone's board for some reason. Watched him shut down the "500 pound bencher" for Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. Flat-out dominant and very worthy at 24.
Sleeper Pick: Mychal Kendricks, LB Cal
The kid ran a 4.47 at the combine. Doesn't mean he runs a 4.5 game speed, but from what I've heard he was great despite his size. He's 5'11, yet built at 232 pounds. I've heard a lot of comparisons to London Fletcher. He could be a mid-round pick, which is very serviceable for the Steelers this year who have plenty of needs. We all know that the Steelers only draft LB's who can flat-out fly.
Here's the link to Poe's game tape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0IaNI-3sw4