The 2012 NFL Scouting Combine media day gave the Steeler Nation a bevy of news to chew on. After so much speculation surrounding everything from Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley, to the Rooney’s and Mike Tomlin, it was nice to get some good insight from Steelers GM Kevin Colbert on how things are progressing. Then we get the news that Steelers cap extraordinaire Omar Khan performed his magic once again and got Big Ben’s deal restructured to save $8 milllion more and completely change the dynamic of the Steelers cap status. Within a matter of mere weeks since the NFL business season started the Steelers got themselves from being over by as much as $30 million to nearly being even on the cap now. There was never any panic among the Steelers, they knew exactly what they were doing just like always.
This will allow them the opportunity to use their franchise tag, should they choose to, on receiver Mike Wallace. The team will still need to free up more space though, by way of additional restructures and/or player cuts as Kevin Colbert outlined for their exclusive rights free agents and draft picks. Speaking of the 2012 draft, Colbert also mentioned that every position in on the table for the Steelers in the first round, with the exception of Quarterback:
• Colbert said quarterback is the only every-down position that the Steelers have eliminated as far as using their first-round pick (No. 24 overall) on in this year’s draft.
This is no surprise as the Steelers rarely take any position completely off the table when it comes to any round, let alone the first. As Colbert mentioned yesterday, he expects that both Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich could return next year (Dennis Dixon will sign elsewhere).
If you’re a betting man, you’d probably go with the thought that the team will use its first round choice on either NT, OL, or possibly Middle Linebacker. There are multiple options available to the Steelers at #24; NT Dontari Poe, Memphis is the best player available and would be a perfect fit for the Steelers defensive line. If they decide to go offensive line and choose a Guard then Kevin Zeitler – Wisconsin, Cordy Glenn – Georgia, or Kelechi Osemele – Iowa State are all likely candidates. Should they go with a Tackle; Mike Adams – OSU or Zebrie Sanders – Florida State are distinct possibilities. At inside linebacker, Dont’a Hightower – Alabama is a very popular name who could step in early and contribute.
You could make a case for any other spot (other than QB) but one has to think that the Steelers are going to address of those areas in the first round, if not all of them in the first 3-4 rounds. .