View Full Version : Which Of The 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Rookies Will Play Year One?

Phenomenal TJ
04-30-2011, 02:29 AM
I understand that we're only three rounds in, but we can always revisit this topic tomorrow after the last four rounds too, lol.

What I see when I look at the first three picks are three guys that are going to play in their first season. Maybe not Gilbert, but it truly wouldn't surprise me if he got significant playing time. Heyward's going to be in the DL rotation, and more than likely first in line should Aaron Smith get hurt again. Brown should take over the nickel spot at the very least.

And oh my God...we've got a corner who can catch! How great is that?

Black@Gold Forever32
04-30-2011, 02:51 AM
I see all three playing this year for sure........Both Starks and Colon are coming off injury so it wouldn't surprise to see Gilbert get some significant playing time........Plus RT is much easier for a rookie to transition to then center......

Cam Heyward is NFL ready and Aaron Smith is on his last legs........Smith is one of my alltime favorite Steelers but I almost expect him to get hurt again......His body is just breaking down but its great to have a young beast like Heyward waiting in the wings......

Curtis Brown will be the nickel guy for sure.......

04-30-2011, 02:56 AM
Heyward isn't touching Smith's spot. They haven't groomed Hood in that position for 2 years for nothing. I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he's going to be in rotation with Keisel, who also frequently misses games getting knicked up.

04-30-2011, 07:44 AM
I see all three playing this year for
Cam Heyward is NFL ready and Aaron Smith is on his last legs........Smith is one of my alltime favorite Steelers but I almost expect him to get hurt again......His body is just breaking down but its great to have a young beast like Heyward waiting in the wings......

If they get a good rotation going, that will keep Smith and Kiesel healthy longer.

I'm happy with the fact that what I felt were the three biggest needs, DL, OL, CB were all drafted in the first 3 rounds. Though, I did feel that CB was the single biggest need, so it is a bit concerning that they drafted that 3rd (but I trust the draft team and what they did.)

Today, I'd look for a blazing fast corner to develop (someone who can make up for his mistakes) and then general BPA (best player available) and hope we get lucky.

04-30-2011, 07:58 AM
The most interesting one this year, so far from the 1st 3 rounds, is Curtis Brown. He's got the chance to be the main nickel back for the defense. Gilbert and Heyward will be rotation guys unless injuries strike the team again. Let them both be groomed for a year to take over in the future.

Heyward can play either position but eventually I would see him as taking over for Aaron Smith. When the Steeler D line does get a sack or pressure, it usually comes from Keisel's side. I don't know if Hood was groomed to take over for Smith necessarily, as much as it was just him being thrust into that position due to injury the last 2 years. He's certainly excelled at it in 2010 and can be a beast when called upon.

Brown though, he's got a chance to really press Gay for that starting nickel spot. I still say that Gay wasn't all that bad in 2010, but yes I know he did get picked on regularly. He won't roll over and just let Brown take it so that battle should be fun to watch in training camp and preseason.

04-30-2011, 08:08 AM
i you watch the press conference coach lake says he will get time at nb and special teams and contribute right away especialy if they dont sign ike

04-30-2011, 08:17 AM
Not signing Ike really worries me, our secondary is already under manned with quality players and if you take him out of the mix it makes it even worse. Not trying to turn this thread into an Ike thread but I got flashes of him leaving and our secondary being serious trouble. I'm not sold on all these late round DB picks we've been stockpiling over the years. Butler is the exception, I can get stoked about his potential.

04-30-2011, 11:26 AM
#1 - Cam Heyward: This man has to go into the rotation with Smith. We all know how good 91 is, but he is not as durable as he once was. By splitting time with Heyward, the Steelers win twice: (1) Heyward gets valuable experience that will benefit him as an eventual starter and (2) Smith may last longer if he doesn't have to be the only guy in there. I would also like seeing Brett and Ziggy rotating at the other side of the line.

#2 - Marcus Gilbert: I think this kid's play time will be based heavily upon his production in camp (if there is one). If he shows he can play RG, I could see him supplanting Foster and spending his rookie year there. I see him as an eventual starter at right tackle, and after gaining experience, left tackle.

#3 - Curtis Brown: I am pretty sure that he spells the end of Keenan Lewis' tenure. I doubt he'll come in and play as a starter; however, I see spot duty in the nickel/dime packages for him this year. Depending on the Taylor contract situation, I could see the DB squad looking like this:

1. Ike Taylor
2. Bryant McFadden/Crezdon Butler
3. Bryant McFadden/Crezdon Butler
4. Keenan Lewis or William Gay (I think they'll keep one guy around)
5. Curtis Brown (Unless he really turns heads, I think he'll still be #5 on the list)

04-30-2011, 02:04 PM
4. Keenan Lewis or William Gay (I think they'll keep one guy around)
5. Curtis Brown (Unless he really turns heads, I think he'll still be #5 on the list)

The Keenan Lewis experiment is over, imo. We got 2 cb's in the 3rd and 4th rounds who will be kept ahead of Lewis based on potential. Lewis has had time to show his "potential" and nothing has surfaced.

Mr. Goosemahn
04-30-2011, 05:30 PM
1. Cameron Heyward - will play on a rotation, but not in close games / key plays. Smith, Keisel, Hood, Eason (if he's retained), and maybe even Hoke are above him on the DE depth chart right now.

2. Marcus Gilbert - probably the guy who's got the best chance to play early on out of all our picks. Colon is coming off a very tough injury (there was a stat saying that close to 30% of athletes who suffer an achilles tear never play again, and many players never really recover their former level of play). Starks is entrenched at LT, and Adams will probably return to RT, so Gilbert's easiest path to playing would be at RG. That being said, I think he could see some time at both tackle positions, considering injuries and lack of depth.

3. Curtis Brown - Excited to have him on the team, but I don't think he'll have a big impact early on. Taylor and McFadden will probably still be the starters, and the most Brown will be able to do is win the Nickel role. I'd put my money on him securing the dime back role, with either Gay or Butler or Will Allen taking the nickel. I'd love for him to become the nickel, but rookies take time to learn the system, and we just don't play rookies extensively. We didn't do it with Timmons, Woodley, Hood, Butler, Lewis, Mundy, Worilds, nor Gibson, so I'm guessing we won't do it with Brown. Nevertheless, here's hoping I'm wrong!

4. CB Cortez Allen - another CB, basically the same thing as Curtis Brown. Slightly bigger and faster, but not the football player Brown is. More raw as a prospect.

5. Chris Carter - steal, in my opinion. More OLB depth, will probably never dress up during the regular season, but I fully expect him to make the roster.

6. Keith Williams - solid pick, a run blocking guard in the mold of Kemo and Ramon Foster. I'm thinking practice squad for him though, mainly because we do have depth of equal and superior quality in our interior offensive line. Kemo, Roster, Legursky, even Gilbert are all probably better than Williams, so I say give him some time to develop on the PS and then bring him up for future depth.

And regarding who's taking who's spot, here are my predictions:

Randle El is rumored to be cut in June/July, but I think no rookie takes his spot, it'll just go back to Limas Sweed, in my opinion.

Cameron Heyward for Nick Eason - With Hood's development, and the acquisition of Heyward, I think Eason will not be retained. A rotation of Smith, Keisel, Hood, Heyward, Hoke, and maybe Steve McClendon is more than enough for us.

Marcus Gilbert for Tony Hills - Hills did nothing in three years, couldn't even step up when we had injuries. It's time to say goodbye.

Curtis Brown for Charlie Batch / Dennis Dixon - I don't think we'll be carrying 4 QB's if all are healthy, so it's just a toss up between which one isn't on the 53 man roster at the start of the season. Leftwich is our #2, and IMO Batch is the odd man out, but who knows. All I know is that dropping a QB opens up a spot, and that's Brown's.

Cortez Allen for ... - I honestly have no idea here. A part of me thinks he'll wind up on the practice squad due to how raw he is, but I still want to think I'm underestimating his football abilities.

Chris Carter for an offensive lineman - I don't know who'll be leaving and who'll be staying, but this spot could belong to Colon, Essex, maybe Chris Scott. Carter will make the roster IMO, worst case scenario we drop Fox in free agency or Sylvester to the practice squad. But for either of those things to happen, Carter needs to prove he can play special teams.

Keith Williams for no one - I think he's bound for the practice squad.

Phenomenal TJ
04-30-2011, 06:02 PM
I'd be pissed beyond belief if Sly was dropped to the practice squad.

Mr. Goosemahn
04-30-2011, 06:07 PM
I'd be pissed beyond belief if Sly was dropped to the practice squad.

To be honest, I don't think it happens, and I certainly hope it doesn't happen, but we have dropped a couple talented special team LB's in recent years (Patrick Bailey and Donovan Woods come to mind), due to the experience and position versatility and experience that guys like Foote and Fox offer.

04-30-2011, 07:03 PM
I think Fox is done with the team after those penalties last year.

04-30-2011, 10:39 PM
I'd be pissed beyond belief if Sly was dropped to the practice squad.

No way that happens

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Mike Tomlin
05-01-2011, 12:13 AM
3. Bryant McFadden/Crezdon Butler

If you think McFadden got used last year that's nothing compared to what would happen to him in the slot. Anyone but McFadden in the slot hopefully Brown takes one spot.

05-01-2011, 08:47 AM
I think out of all the picks, Brown has the chance to play the most...here's to hoping it winds up being a few of them b/c if their talents and not injury...

05-01-2011, 09:03 AM
Heyward will play some, but not much, Ziggy will play more. Gilbert will be given a chance to play, as Pouncey was, it's up to him to him to seize the opportunity. The others will sit and learn unless something drastic happens. I hope the Steelers keep Eason, I really have grown to like the guy after seeing him make a fool of himself in that stupid Steeler video Christmas card. Typical Steelr draft, non sexy, somewhat boring but in the end deadly effective.:cope::cope::cope:

05-01-2011, 09:48 AM
Heyward will play more than the Steelers want due to injuries...
I'd love to see Gilbert win the starting job outright....

05-01-2011, 02:20 PM
1. Gilbert - I think his ability to play either tackle and/or guard earns him a roster spot today (no surprise). If he can prove he can beat out anyone not named Pouncey i have no doubts he starts sooner than any other rookie.

2. Brown/Allen - There are 3 pairs of corners behind Ike Taylor

The rooks: (Brown/Allen)The ability that both of these guys have to compete with any corner not named Ike Taylor (who will be resigned) AND to contribute on ST's day 1 earns them a spot on the 53 man.
The Vets: Guys like McFadden and Gay arent ST guys and will be competing for roster spots after so-so seasons last year. Madison may become expendable, but he had a great season last year on ST's.
The bubble guys: Lewis and "The Amazing" Crezdon will have to earn their roster spots this year. Crez is not a lock to make this team after, for whatever reasons, not making his way on the field. This will be a make or break off season for Lewis.

3. Heyward- We have quality Depth at DE... so that begs the question (from some, not I): Why did we draft a DE first? Great value, perfect fit, GREAT ATHLETE and insurance for the future. The Combo of Diesel, Ziggy and A-Smith will start. Eason will make the team for quality depth. Heyward's rookie season will look VERY similar to Ziggy's. He'll have to make plays early and often in a limited role (2nd long/3rd downs?) to earn more playing time!