Right now there is and needs to be a lot talk on what safety to get in the draft. This draft class is deep but what kind of safety should we be looking for. Should it be the run stopping safety that we love, should it be an open field tackling machine that does best in zone coverage, or should it be a ball hawk that is decent enough at the other two.
We can't completely base our pick on the current safeties we have now because they are proven and have developed over the years. Ryan Clark
has gotten better in coverage and has always been a hitman for our team. Troy is the type that only comes on once in awhile. His frame allows him to almost play like a LB and his athleticism allows him to do what he wants in coverage and be good, although he is on the decline.
I have a feeling that Ryan Clark has more years left than Troy but I think that both will go within a year of each other and this is the perfect draft to look for their replacements. First we need to take a look at what role we want our safeties to play. The LB type safety is one that we Steelers
fans love but is beginning to become obsolete as the game is becoming or has become a fast paced passing league where short high percentage routes are becoming the norm.
What that means is we need to look for a reserved fast/quick centerfielder who can stick his nose in the action but has the patience to actually act as a safety for our defense. The Steelers will not find the next Troy, he is one in a million, they just need to find the next safety that we can feel does a good job and won't blow coverages and miss tackles as well as create turnovers. Our CB's aren't designed to get picks although Lewis will be better at it than Ike.
Our front seven has recently been lacking in run stopping when push comes to shove and it's annoying to watch. That means they need to get better, that doesn't mean that we fill in a "coverage first, run support second" position with someone who is better at run support than coverage (yes I'm hinting towards Vaccaro). Hard hitting is a must and most of the guys in the draft know how to deliver hits so thats not a problem. The problem is who can make the best plays in open field and in coverage. They all can hit but do they have the reaction time to deliver the hit in the NFL.
I would prefer to take the most talented safety in the draft. I bet if we don't that the Ravens
will. Whom ever we think is going to be there in the second round likely won't but there are enough to chose from this year. I hope we pass on Vaccaro in the first because he will likely go first and by us some time in the second. He is not the most gifted he's just the biggest.
Cyprien looks amazing, and despite a recent post about Elam I still like him. I also like Reid as well. Vaccaro is not meant for this era of offense he will be solid but will be a liability in coverage. If a player barely keeps up with players in college how do you think he will fare in the NFL. The players are only faster, quicker, and stronger.
We need a safety or two for the future that are better in coverage than anything but still good at almost everything. Just cause we see Polamalu and Clark stopping runs all the time doesn't mean thats what their specialty is. We easily forget that Troy has always been able to shut down TEs and Clark is a very good center fielder. Troy could expose quarterbacks because he is fast and quick in coverage and can hide his assignment presnap. Ryan is a direct compliment to Troy, reserved and still hard hitting. He plays with smarts more than instincts and it has created the best safety tandem in the league.