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BlackGold4vr
04-05-2008, 11:40 AM
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For SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Apr 4, 2008

Here we sit three weeks away from the biggest weekend of the offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers and we really don’t know anything more about the team’s plans than we did a month ago.

Despite the signing of center Justin Hartwig, the Steelers still have a need for players on their offensive line. He’s not a capable replacement for All-Pro guard Alan Faneca, who signed with the Jets, but he could push Sean Mahan to the bench.

And after flirting with signing Booger McFarland to improve their defensive line depth, the Steelers instead re-signed Nick Eason, a player who failed when given a chance to replace injured Aaron Smith in 2007. Add to that the re-signing of Travis Kirschke, and the defensive line right now has the exact same group of performers that it did last season.

So other than adding Hartwig, the Steelers have done nothing to improve their play up front – something head coach Mike Tomlin said was a necessity after last season’s collapse down the stretch.

Where does that leave the team?

Virginia guard Branden Albert – the player most linked to the Steelers now on draft boards – is said to be a player on the rise as teams are beginning to look at the athletic junior as a possible left tackle prospect.

If Albert is gone, the Steelers won’t panic. They’ll still make a pick or trade down – with only six picks, a trade up is very unlikely.

But looking at the current draft boards, their options will be limited. The only other first-round lineman the team has met with is tackle Gosder Cherlius.

The release of No. 4 wideout Cedrick Wilson last month after assault charges were filed against him leaves an opening at that position, though some in the organization think Dallas Baker, a seventh-round pick last year, may be ready to jump into that spot.

Still, Hines Ward isn’t getting any younger and adding a talented receiver such as Michigan State’s Devin Thomas would make sense. But the Steelers haven’t hosted any high-profile wide receiver prospects and it appears they won’t make that position a priority.

The Steelers have hosted Kansas State cornerback Aqib Talib, a first-round talent who should be available at pick No. 23. And given Deshea Townsend’s advancing age, he would be a sensible fallback option as well should Albert be gone.

Tracy Porter, another cornerback with a low first, high second-round grade, will also visit the team next week, showing that may be what the team is thinking.

The only other players who have visited thus far who have possible first-round grades are linebacker prospects Quentin Groves and Cliff Avril, though some consider defensive tackle Dre Moore – another visitor – a late first-rounder.

They would improve the depth in the front seven and would also make sense, particularly given the age concerns the team has to have in that group.

We’re closing in on the pick, just as, I’m sure, the Steelers are as well.


So if this is a short list are there any picks here that would **** you off in the first round.

Branden Albert, OG/OT
Quentin Groves, OLB
Cliff Avril, OLB
Aqib Talib, CB
Gosder Cherilus, OT
Dre Moore, DE
Tracy Porter, CB

DIESELMAN
04-05-2008, 11:50 AM
I am so done talking about who we might get lol Lets just do this already!!!

BlackGold4vr
04-05-2008, 12:03 PM
I am so done talking about who we might get lol Lets just do this already!!!

I agree. We won't have to talk much longer. I'm not as concerned about day 1 picks as I am about day 2 picks. Thats where the better teams make their money. We have got to get better in the trenches (where games are won or lost). Kirschke and Eason both suck IMO. I am still willing to give McBean a little more time to develope. It took Keisel 6 years to get a starting DE job and if you asked me he still isn't ready either. :lol:

K Train
04-05-2008, 12:06 PM
i'd flip out if we spent a pick on porter, moore or avril in the first.....seriously it wouldnt be pretty i would rather take thomas or sweed

K Train
04-05-2008, 12:07 PM
Talib, i would be ok with, but still slightly pissed off.

**** i dont think albert is gonna be there which pisses me off lol

BlackGold4vr
04-05-2008, 12:08 PM
i'd flip out if we spent a pick on porter, moore or avril in the first.....seriously it wouldnt be pretty i would rather take thomas or sweed

:plus1: I see some of those guys as potential 2nd round picks. Any of those 3 wouldn't be bad picks in round two.

DIESELMAN
04-05-2008, 12:14 PM
I agree. We won't have to talk much longer. I'm not as concerned about day 1 picks as I am about day 2 picks. Thats where the better teams make their money. We have got to get better in the trenches (where games are won or lost). Kirschke and Eason both suck IMO. I am still willing to give McBean a little more time to develope. It took Keisel 6 years to get a starting DE job and if you asked me he still isn't ready either. :lol:
I agree with you there, this draft needs to be solid all the way around, especially day 2.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-05-2008, 12:37 PM
I want either Albert or Cherlius in the 1st round..if those 2 are gone then I'd be stoked if we got Groves..other than that nothing really excites me that much in the first round unless we trade down a bit and gain another 3rd or 4th round pick. I like the CB idea but not in the 1st round for God sakes :willybs:

K Train
04-05-2008, 12:41 PM
unless his name is cromartie i dont want a corner in the first. cherilus is gonna play RT but hes a dominating one and with some reps LT could be in his future...hes a massive dude with arms like vines they are so ****ing long, i like him alot, i cant really knock him for being more comfortable on the RT, the LT is a very overrated position, especially with a QB like ben who could have perfect protection all day and would still roll out to either side lol

BlitzburghRockCity
04-05-2008, 12:47 PM
Ben likes to roll out a lot too so it's not like every play has to be a max protect situation. If he's capable of playing LT as well then his stock with the Steelers is definitely high because they like that versatile type of player. It's not like right now we have a solid RT by any means either so hell yeah I'd love to have him.

Cromartie would be a monster pick at 23 :pray: but that's a pipe dream unles we traded up.

steelcityrockers
04-05-2008, 07:24 PM
I would be crazy mad if we took:
Avril
Groves
Talib
Cherilus

I like Tracy Porter and Dre Moore, but #23 is way too early for them and if they went in the first I would be kinda pissed.

MillerTime83
04-06-2008, 12:40 AM
I say we trade down if Albert is gone. Take Antoine Cason with the first pick up the 2nd best guard in the secound Chilo Rachal from USC. Then with our extra 3rd pick we can go ahead and take two guys like Ray Rice and Kendall Langford or Dexter Jackson/Lavelle Hawkins.

Im not saying I dont like Avril, Groves, or Cherilus I just dont think they are worth the 23rd pick and sitting at 53 I dont think we will get any of them in the secound.(Maybe Avril)

K Train
04-06-2008, 11:42 AM
id rather have trae williams in the 4th than tracey porter in the second...CB is just not that big of a need.

i kinda like balmer more after a little bit i saw on him yesterday

i would prefer we just move the **** up in the first and get albert or williams, take a ****ing chance

MillerTime83
04-07-2008, 02:34 AM
Im with you on that plan Ktrain :yellowthumb:

We moved up for Troy and do I need to say it....no but i wil anyways that worked out pretty good. I see someone trading up above us for Albert and as of right now I see the guard position in more so of a need then RT(Cherlius) because Mahan proved he is *** soup. Plus I think Albert dose have what it takes to move to LT in a year or two cause god knows we are going to need someone there lol.

steelcitysfinestXL
04-07-2008, 03:14 PM
I would be a lil upset with a cb at 23 as well.. If albert is gone then I love the idea of trading for a few more pigs... Take groves with the first and we can look for racal and jstin king in the second+ rounds!!! If we are gonna be aggressive and trade up then it better be for chris Williams cause he would be the starting LT now not later like albert would be