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Thread: AFC North: Steelers make Offense more imposing

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Tailgate Coordinator
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    Post AFC North: Steelers make Offense more imposing

    AFC North: Steelers make offense much more imposing
    By James Walker
    ESPN.com

    The AFC North is one of the toughest divisions in football, and its talent pool became deeper this weekend with the influx of drafted players such as Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers (No. 8), Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall and new Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (No. 18).

    Here is a breakdown of this weekend's draft within the AFC North:

    Best move
    The best move was actually two moves made by the Pittsburgh Steelers. General manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin ignored the team's most glaring need -- offensive line -- on Day 1 and opted to go with the best available players. Those two players were Illinois' Mendenhall at No. 23 and Texas receiver Limas Sweed at No. 53. Both players graded out as first-round talents in most projections, meaning Pittsburgh got tremendous value for its picks.

    The Steelers didn't necessarily need a tailback or a receiver. But pairing Mendenhall with Willie Parker and adding Sweed to the receiving duo of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes will make defensive coordinators around the league cringe this season.

    Riskiest move
    The Cincinnati Bengals are already taking heat in the Queen City for their second-round selection of Coastal Carolina receiver Jerome Simpson. The Bengals desperately needed a receiver. The team released Chris Henry, and starter Chad Johnson's status with the team is in limbo.

    But the selection of Simpson at No. 46 came when other big names such as Sweed, Oklahoma's Malcolm Kelly and California's DeSean Jackson were still available.

    Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said Simpson's athletic ability and measurables are right up there with the big-school receivers. He also said character played a major role in drafting Simpson, and that's a factor the team can ill-afford to take risks on at this point.

    "There are things that don't become public knowledge about individuals, whether it's background or injury,'' Bratkowski said. "It doesn't get publicized. What we have here is a guy who's a top-notch young man. He's very healthy, and he has a big upside to him."

    Simpson will make the Bengals look either very good or very bad with this pick. He will have a lot of pressure -- perhaps more than he deserves -- entering training camp because of his small-school status and the expected circus involving Johnson.

    Most surprising move
    The Baltimore Ravens were the most active team this weekend, beginning with two shrewd Day 1 trades that involved a total of nine draft picks switching teams. The Ravens ultimately landed Delaware's Flacco, who was the second-rated quarterback on their board behind Matt Ryan.

    Baltimore attempted to trade up to No. 2 with the St. Louis Rams in order to land Ryan, but the asking price was too high. So when Atlanta took Ryan at No. 3, the Ravens quickly went to Plan B.

    Baltimore first traded down with the Jacksonville Jaguars to gain the No. 26 pick, two third-rounders and a fourth-rounder. General manager Ozzie Newsome then worked out a deal with the Houston Texans to gain the No. 18 pick to nab Flacco, while sending its No. 26 pick, a third-round pick and a sixth-rounder to Houston.

    It was a good yet surprising series of moves by the Ravens, who were organized enough to pull it all off.

    "We had a game plan,'' Ravens director of college scouting Eric DeCosta told reporters in Baltimore. "We thought about this scenario for a long time. Joe was a player that we've had a chance to spend a lot of time around.''

    Baltimore also took Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski in the third round, a move that was somewhat surprising considering the team has a pair of stud safeties in Ed Reed and Dawan Landry.

    File it away
    After waiting four rounds to take their first player, the Cleveland Browns may have landed a late gem in UNLV linebacker Beau Bell. Bell is active, posting 126 tackles and four interceptions last year. But his size -- 6-foot-1, 239 pounds -- is a question if he plays inside in a 3-4 scheme.

    Another sleeper to watch in Cincinnati is fourth-round pick Andre Caldwell out of Florida. The receiver has blazing speed and could help contribute immediately as a kickoff returner. The Bengals' selection of two receivers in the first four rounds shows that the position is an obvious area of concern.

    I'm A "Champion"

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    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    This plan was vanilla compared to the great mind of Colbert. See, Colbert had everyone fooled and his crafty picks on day one were nothing short of stellar .... Then when day #2 rolled around Colbert pulled the old "okie dokie" and threw the entire league with a smoke screen.

    The Plan .....

    "Draft down 7 spots in the 4th to pick up an extra 6th .... then blow the next 3 picks with players with medical issues that you really have no need for or that nobody has on their value boards"


    Oh yeah baby, nobody has the stones to pull that card .... NOBODY!
    Last edited by Iron City South; 04-27-2008 at 08:38 PM.
    "The most interesting man on SA ... stay thirsty my friends"


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    Man Colbert could have been a hero after Sat. Now he looks like a bum from Sun. But maybe he will get the last laugh!


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    Quote Originally Posted by
    The Plan ..... :helmet:

    [B
    "Draft down 7 spots in the 4th to pick up an extra 6th .... then blow the next 3 picks with players with medical issues that you really have no need for or that nobody has on their value boards" [/B]


    Oh yeah baby, nobody has the stones to pull that card .... NOBODY!
    lmao!

    "He's running around there, running his mouth, doing all that, but if you watch him on film and really look, where was Ray Lewis? He was nowhere to be found. I could have tackled the water boy and had as many tackles as him. He didn't do nothing today. He's all mouth. When you talk like that, that's what happens: You get hit in the mouth. He's over there crying now, thinking about what went wrong. You got your *** whipped, that's what." ~ Peazy

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    The Bengals are a total train wreck..that team has no scouting to speak of and it shows in their **** poor drafting. Anybody who turns down 2 first round picks for a whiner and locker room cancer deserves what they get.

    I love what our offense has the potential to be in the coming years. Ben has every weapon at his disposal that a QB could want; they are going to be fun to watch.

  6. #6
    Draft Pick Silverback 92's Avatar
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    think we dont want the clowns to out shine us myself

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    #1 Patsies Hater SteelerFan87's Avatar
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    How's the draft look for OL next year? lol
    If we could get someone who can start right away like Joe Thomas to help solidify the line next year, plus have Mendenhall and Sweed with a year of experience, Bruce Davis ready to contribute at LB with Woodley hopefully having already established himself as a great player, maybe draft a DE in the 2nd round, and I'd really like our chances.
    Who Ride?! WE RIDE!!! Long live the Boot!!!

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    PLAYA OF DA YEAR Brady Quinn's Avatar
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    The draft is such a hard thing to grade this early. Most first round draft picks turn out to be bums some late picks become beasts. Who knows. I do think the stealers made themselves much better at the skilled positions. They just really need some OL help. Ben cannot take too many seasons getting hit like he did last year. It will take a toll on him eventually.
    This is NEXT YEAR!

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    Reppin' 724
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Quinn View Post
    The draft is such a hard thing to grade this early. Most first round draft picks turn out to be bums some late picks become beasts. Who knows. I do think the stealers made themselves much better at the skilled positions. They just really need some OL help. Ben cannot take too many seasons getting hit like he did last year. It will take a toll on him eventually.
    Lucky for him, there are 6 games a year where he won't be touched.

  10. #10
    PLAYA OF DA YEAR Brady Quinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEEMONT View Post
    Lucky for him, there are 6 games a year where he won't be touched.
    Which six are those dumba**? We sacked him 5 times last year! He was sacked 53 times last year in 16 games idiot!
    This is NEXT YEAR!

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