There is a lot to be said about this year's draft and most of it is positive for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but we can't know for sure until the season ends let alone begins. There will always be players that don't pan out and I'm sure a couple of them this year will end up never starting or having a big impact even as a backup.
So based on what we can gather from this point, our potential bust could be Mike Adams although he is an improvement and can likely be a starter it has yet to be seen. You also have to have a couple years underneath him before considering a bust status. The others that I don't really consider busts cause they were picked in later rounds, but may not pan out, are Spence, Ta'amu, and Rainey.
Rainey is a little small in terms of weight to be an every down back and I don't think he is expected to start ever but if he ends up not providing explosiveness to offense and special teams then thats bad news for us.
Ta'amu may be a solid starter or may be a solid back up. Watching him play in college he could really beat up some guys on the Oline even when getting double teamed but he could sometimes get lost in the process but the way we play our NTs that will likely be resolved, plus even if he isn't good enough to start after three years we still have some constantly developing depth on Dline.
Spence for me isn't enough of a solution because he has the smarts and athleticism to be a starter in the next few years but how he fairs against the bigger blockers and running backs could determine his value I think he is geared to be a back up for Timmons more than we care to admit. What could kill Spence is if Lawrence Timmons stays at Mack, Spence will only come in on Nickel situations and special packages.
What I would like to focus on in this discussion is looking at depth and starter status for this next year where our next draft should go. A lot still rides on how our picks from last couple years are going to pan out, and the direction and strides they are currently making to become better.
The next thing we should likely focus on is the same as what we did this year with a slight change of direction on three positions or squads and order. for instance we need to likely pick up another OT in at the latest fourth or fifth round unless we get a steal, and maybe another OG but we actually have some depth on the interior.
We should look at providing depth to OLB and maybe even a replacement for Harrison in years to come. The nice thing hear is we can find quality guys that play OLB in college as well as athletic and agile DE's. Woodley who puts out top ten draft choice numbers was a second rounder behind Timmons and primarily played DE in college.
Safeties definitely needs to be looked at in a major way early in the draft, especially at SS. FS i think we can fill that when need be and there isn't a huge drop off other than chemistry with Troy (and maybe some hit power). Keep in mind when Troy leaves Clark loses his value, and we need to look at replacing both at that point.
WR really depends on if we can keep our squad together in Wallace, Brown, Sanders, and i like Clemons but may be far fetched. Cotchery is getting older but also provides depth without costing a lot. I don't expect any high picks for receiver nor do i want to waste any either.
QB I would rather get a late round ball hand off guy to go behind Leftwich, thats considering we dont just get some guy in Free Agency who is composed enough to not lose a game and let the defense and ground run it.
Finally hear are my picks.
Round 1 and 2:
Kenny Vacarro from Texas SS could play FS, also to consider.
Brandon Jenkins, OLB Florida State already fits the mold for OLB that we want.
Manti Teo ILB Notre Dame Should have been a first rounder this past year but decided to stay one more
Kevin Reddick ILB North Carolina St. likely Second rounder unless break out season but would be able to start based on evaluations. Could fill our Buck if no one steps up.
Jared Holley FS, Pittsburgh may be gone too early for us but could also fall due to size and straightline speed.
Lastly Brandon Bishop FS North Carolina St. Has good ball awareness with 5 picks but has some stiffness in hips.
Round 3 and 4:
Terry Hawthorne CB Illinoise, decent size speed ratio, Steelers prototypical type pick in terms of physicality.
LaAdrian Waddle OT, Texas Tech, lacks some footwork for LT but Max Starks like size at RT definitely provides depth.
Elvis Fisher OT Missouri, decent pass blocking and good runblocking. doesn't really get beat, i expect he will go higher.
Maliciah Goodman DE Clemson, Big 280 pound DE that works hard to close the pocket. Not a speed rush by any means. perfect back up slash replacement for Keisel when brett starts to fall off.
Round 5 6 and 7
likely just depth as need be i see possibly a kicker, maybe another CB that can be developed, another Safety or RB, depends on the beginning of the draft. and we are always liable to find a gem of a receiver or small school dlineman in these rounds.
your thoughts please and definitely ask questions as to why i picked some of these players.