Just like everyone else here, I've been completely caught up in the upcoming draft. I absolutely love draft time, it's one of my favorite times of the sports year. I've been reading everything and throwing my two cents in from time to time, and its got my brain working. I thought about putting my own mock together after commenting on damn near all of the other ones, and as I thought about it, I began to consider our biggest needs. What exactly are they?
Everyone has their own opinion on what positions we should address in the draft. Inside linebacker, pass rusher, safety, receiver, running back, offensive line, defensive line, tight end, and even quarterback have all come up over and over. So, what do I consider our biggest need going into next season? Simple, we need to stay healthy. When this team was healthy and everything was clicking, they looked good. Ben was an MVP candidate, running backs were rushing for 100+ yards a game, and the defense was playing on a near elite level. Then injuries hit, and hit hard. O-line and the secondary were hit especially hard, not to mention Ben going down with a pretty serious rib injury. If we can stay healthy while getting our younger players going, this season just might not be as bad as some of us think.
Focusing on the draft, everyone talks about trading up or trading back and who to take and what positions to address, and during all this talk, a random thought hit me. A top flight prospect will fall to us at #17. We forget that certain teams constantly do stupid things. First, think the Jacksonville Jaguars. Remember a few years ago, with all the outstanding prospects still on the board and they drafted Tyson Alualu, a second round prospect at best, at 10th overall. And how about the Cleveland Browns, who like to trade back and trade back before finally settling on someone. Lest we forget the Buffalo Bills, who drafted Aaron Maybin at 9th overall when guys like Brian Orakpo were still available, and then C.J. Spiller, another late 1st round prospect, in the top part of the draft too. The Jets, Cardinals, and Chargers all also like to reach for players in order to fill a need. I think in the end, we will be pleased with whoever it is that falls to us.
Sorry for the long winded rant, but those are some of my thoughts as we get closer to the draft. Go Steelers!