We have a pretty good idea of who our "special" targets are for the pick at 1:15, so let’s focus on the pick at 2:14. This post looks at the options on Defense.
In the 1st Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select ... your favorite WOW! [NOTE: That is insider football-speak for "Wonderful Offensive Weapon" in case you didn't know].
At the BTSC Steelers War-Room attention turns toward the 2nd Round. But unknown to us there is a secret agenda afoot:
At the Steelers South Side offices in a galaxy far, far away a conversation takes place between the ancient defensive sage Dick Leb-Yoda and team owner Art3 Dee3. Let’s listen in:
AR3: So, Master Leb-Yoda, what do you think of our WOW?
DL: Championships on offense won are not.
AR3: But one added WOW could make this offense a thing of legend!
DL: Padawans always in haste waste make.
AR3: Give me a second to parse that...
DL: Even Master Peyton humbled by Seachickens was. Lesson of elder Chief and Dan you must learn!
DL: This way put it will I: If you pick another offensive player before Round 4 I’m going to go Sith all over your ownership a$$.
AR3: No need hasty to be...
So, I guess the Steelers are going defense in Round 2. But who to choose? Here are the options: help me to rank them in terms from favorite dream on down. Do NOT abandon a vote because you think the prospect won’t be available at 2:14. It’s a deep class, weird things happen, and the votes will only determine an overall winner. If you want a say in the rankings from second place down to eighth, drop a Comment. It will help to organize the Big Board.
THE OFFICIAL SALES PITCH FOR 2nd-ROUND DDT’s ("Devastating Defensive Terrors"):
Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State - 5'10-7/8", 198 lbs. Terrence Brooks has been a BTSC favorite all along, and sure enough he is steadily separating from his peers. HaHa and Pryor will be gone, but Brooks... And get this! What was the concern about him? Long speed. Fast forward to the Combine where he ran a 4.42 dash, which puts all but the elite CB’s to shame. Agility...check. Athleticism...check. Explosion...check. Training on a national champion...check. Coverage ability...check (he started out as an effective CB). How can you pass up Terrence Brooks?
Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn - 6'2-1/8", 252 lbs. Let’s be realistic folks. The Steelers will have Jarvis Jones on one side next year. And either Worilds or Woodley, but not both, on the other. And in case of injury they have ... a great, echoing, maw of mediocrity. The legendary pipeline of Steelers OLB’s is looking might dry. So along comes the pass rusher who was flat out unblockable at the Senior Bowl; who got better and better as the college season went on; who has a first step as quick as anyone, anywhere; and who’s answered the questions about run support. How can you pass up Dee Ford?
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech - 5'11-3/4", 190 lbs. Fast, fluid, well trained, and following in the family footsteps. Kyle Fuller is the complete package with no holes except the ¼" that keeps him below the desired height. Tell you what; we’ll get him to wear thick socks if it makes you happy. Mike Mayock (and almost everyone else) has Gilbert and Dennard as the top two CB’s, followed by Fuller and his fellow DDT candidate Jason Verrett. According to Mayock, this is the guy who’s ahead. How can you pass up Kyle Fuller?
Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/NT, Minnesota - 6'5-7/8", 310 lbs. Okay, I admit it! Hageman did not look like Jadeveon Clowney’s big brother at the Combine. He simply looked like a huge and tremendous athlete who is the peer or better of all actual human beings. We were seriously talking about him as a viable pick at 1:15. Now he’s available a full round later and you’re going to miss the shot? How can you pass up Ra’Shede Hageman?
Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State - 6'1", 237 lbs. You remember Ryan: he’s the guy we would dream about getting if only he wasn’t 10 pounds too light – a mere 225 on the scale. Fast forward to the Combine where he weighed in at 237. Ding ding ding! Nor did it cost him any of that superb, eye-catching explosiveness. Time to quote our friend Mr. Clawson on what the Combine revealed:
SHAZIER: 6’1" 237 lbs 42" vertical. 130" broad jump. 6.91 3 cone shuttle. 4.21 20 yard shuttle. 25 reps bench. DNP 40.
MOSLEY: 6’2" 234 lbs 35" vertical. 118" broad jump. 7.30 3 cone shuttle. 4.4 20 yard shuttle. DNP bench or 40
TIMMONS: 6’1" 234 lbs 35" vertical. 123" broad jump. 6.92 3 cone shuttle. 4.32 20 yard shuttle. 25 reps bench. 4.63 40.
How can you pass up Ryan Shazier?
Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame - 6'5", 304 lbs. To quote Saint Neal from his ice castle fortress in the Frozen North: "He's an incredibly quick and large lineman who could probably play a three-technique defensive tackle spot as well as a 5-technique defensive end. His versatility makes him so attractive - look at what Cincinnati did with pre-ACL tear Geno Atkins." Make that a Geno Atkins with four more inches of length. This is the guy who carried Louis Nix! What could be more impressive than that? How can you pass up Stephon Tuitt?
Kyle Van Noy, OLB/ILB, BYU - 6'3-1/8", 243 lbs. Take Lawrence Timmons, add two inches, and you have Kyle Van Noy. They both have that explosive flash that makes you wonder why normal people can’t teleport too. There’s only one question about this kid: will he be a 10 year pro at ILB, or a 10 year pro at OLB? I can’t give you an answer on that one, but the Steelers would be awfully happy with either. How can you pass up Kyle Van Noy?
Jason Verrett, CB/KR, TCU - 5'9-1/2", 189. Here’s a projection that isn’t a guess: if Jason Verrett was 4" taller and 20 lbs. heavier, he'd be going top-10. You won’t find a single expert anywhere who’d dispute that statement. As Mayock said, he is a straight-out football player. And he’s an ace kick returner too, which wouldn’t hurt in the slightest. So what you have here is the draft’s best slot corner, bar none, instead of the draft’s best DB overall. @Oh the horror...@ Seriously, now. What is the value of a guy who can actually cover the likes of Wes Welker and Antonio Brown? 2:14 is a bargain basement price for what Coach Lebyoda could do with a man like that! So how can you pass on Jason Verrett?