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What Will the Steelers Do on Draft Day Two?

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The Steelers have to 20th pick in Round Two. Being on a separate day, this allows us to take a breath and recalibrate the board. Maurkice Pouncey was a great pick yesterday. Many wanted the cornerback, but I agree with Blitz. Why are we taking guys like Kennan Lewis and Joe Burnett if they don't get a chance? We can't keep chasing our tail and drafting guys to replace guys we just drafted. The team would never improve. On the continuum of "Need vs. BPA," we all fall on that line in scattered places. We've had this debate many times.

My own philosophy is that you take need as long as you do not sacrifice quality. That is exactly what the Steelers did yesterday. The offensive line had been the unit most neglected by top draft choices in the recent decade, and it showed. Pouncey is a need who happens to be very high quality. Scouts Inc. gives him a 93 grading. Whether you put stock in their system or not, they know a helluva lot more than I, so I respect their system until proven otherwise. When the Steelers picked 18th, the only grade higher on the board was a 94, so in my book, grab the 93 center.

The key, of course, is to have a very good batting average on these round 2-3 guys. As great as Kevin Colbert has been with first round gems, I am not so sure about his batting average on rounds 2-3. Another thing to keep in mind:  Art Rooney made a comment many months ago that will soon come into play. He said that the Steelers must do a better job of getting their young guys into the game sooner. That was music to my ears. I always wondered why all these guys on other teams got thrown into the fire quickly, while Pittsburgh players needed two and three years of apprenticeship, but I digress. To the point, Rooney's statement  increases the urgency of the 2-3 guys being quality, ready-quality.

Back to the future, today is a critical day for the Steelers to land two players who will have impact in the not-so-distant future, not taxi guys we are still calling young three years from now. Here are the top 29 players on the board. What are your thoughts?

Quarterback (will eat up two of the 19 spots in front of us)

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame (some, like Mel Kiper, considered him the best)

Colt McCoy (I think our friends in Cleveland will get him)

 

Running Back

Toby Gerhart (tough power runner Pittsburgher's love)

Dexter McCluster (the Anti-Gerhart, jitterbug Sproles type who makes defenders miss)

 

Wide Receiver

Arrelious Benn, Illinois (all-around quality, strong, but nothing that stands out)

Golden Tate, Notre Dame (wants the ball over the middle and is great with yards after catch)

Taylor Price, Ohio  (from the MAC, but polished and had a great Senior Bowl)

Damian Williams, Southern Cal (Ready right now, from top program)

 

Offensive tackle

Rodger Saffold, Indiana  (big, strong, athletic, second-team Big Ten)

Charles Brown, Southern Cal (best blocker in the Pac-10, might go high in Round Two)

Bruce Campbell, Maryland (great athlete, needs to become better football player, physical speciman)

 

Offensive Guard

Jon Asamoah, Illinois (third-rated guard on the entire board, underrated)

Vladimor Ducasse, Massachusetts (6-5, 332 can also play tackle, brings versatility)

 

Defensive Tackle

Lamarr Houston, Texas (one of those hybrid guys who played DT, DE and OLB in college)

Linval Joseph, East Carolina (strong as a bull, can play nose at 6-5, 328)

Brian Price, UCLA (small, but strong, quick and athletic, always in the backfield at UCLA,)

Terrance Cody, Alabama (huge at 6-4, 350, but stock has been dropping for some reason)

 

Defensive End

Everson Griffen, Southern Cal (still growing and learning, could have gone yesterday)

 

Inside Linebacker

Sean Lee, Penn State (instinctive, typical  Penn State smart, always near the ball, tough)

Brandon Spikes, Florida (stock dropped with slowness at 5.05, but a really good football player)

 

Outside Linebacker

Sergio Kindle, Texas (best-rated guy still on board, sack-machine with off-field issues)

Daryl Washington, TCU (size not ideal at 6-2, 230, but range and speed are excellent)

Koa Misi, Utah (smart kid who could back Harrison or Woodley)

 

Cornerback

Chris Cook, Virginia (Good size, good speed, good instincts, love this guy)

Jerome Murphy, South Florida (big hitter, Keenan Lewis type)

Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest (very fast at 4.37, great attitude, lacks technique and ball skills)

 

Safety

Nate Allen, South Florida (outstanding cover man, very teachable)

Taylor Mays, Southern Cal (most athletic talent in the draft, but never taught to cover anybody at USC)

Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech (14 career picks impressve, but average speed and strength)