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  1. #1
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    Steelers Combine watch list

    Steelers Combine watch list

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10056/1038481-66.stm


    NFL Scouting Combine: Defense priority in draft process
    Thursday, February 25, 2010
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Inside linebacker or nose tackle? Cornerback or guard? It will be a while before the Steelers settle on which position they will attack first with the 18th overall pick in the National Football League draft.

    But the process of determining which players might best fill one of those positions begins in earnest when coach Mike Tomlin, director of football operations Kevin Colbert and numerous assistant coaches and scouts attend the NFL combine that starts today at Lucas Oil Stadium. Drills, tests, meetings and medical exams are all on the menu at the league's annual meat market of college talent.

    "I think the quality of the draft is excellent," Colbert said. "It's very deep defensively. Offensively, there may not be as many big-name skill positions, but there are a lot of players. It's really a good draft, it really is."

    Defense would appear to be a large priority for the Steelers, especially after the manner in which the unit slipped from its No. 1 ranking in 2008 to No. 5 in 2009. And the biggest areas of concern are defensive line, where age and quality of depth are issues; inside linebacker, where there is no young replacement for James Farrior; and cornerback, where quality, not quantity, appears to be lacking.

    Some of those questions, though, could be answered today if the Steelers put a franchise tag, as expected, on five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton. His return likely would mean less interest in two of the top nose tackles in the draft -- Terrence Cody of Alabama and Dan Williams of Tennessee.

    Colbert said "it's an unusually deep draft" for defensive linemen. "It was unusual before the underclassmen came out. And they just enhanced it."

    Here is a look at 10 players about whom the Steelers have interest and will seek answers, at the combine:

    • NT Terrence Cody: Alabama ... He is a load in the middle (6 feet 5, 365 pounds) and his conditioning always will be an issue. But, when he wants to play, he is almost impossible to move.

    • ILB Rolando McClain: Alabama ... At 6 feet 4, 258 pounds, he is the best inside backer in the draft and could slip as far as the 15th overall pick. That means the Steelers might not have to move up far to get him.

    • DE Jared Odrick: Penn State ... A prototypical Steelers lineman who can play the three-technique or five-technique. Plays and looks a lot like Aaron Smith -- stuffing the run while collapsing the pocket.

    • CB Joe Haden: Florida ... It's not a good year for cornerbacks, but Haden, who will skip his senior season, likely is the best. The Steelers need someone who can play immediately. They don't need more depth.

    • ILB Sean Weatherspoon: Missouri ... At 6-2, 242 pounds, he is not as big as McClain, but he likely is quicker and a little more athletic and will be available. Lined behind Ziggy Hood with the Tigers.

    • G/T Mike Iupati: Idaho ... The Steelers need a stud who can come in and play immediately on the offensive line, and Iupati, who opened eyes at the Senior Bowl, could be the guy. He also can play two positions, which the Steelers love.

    • WR Golden Tate: Notre Dame ... A tough Hines Ward-type receiver with even more athletic skills who would eventually be Ward's replacement.

    • OLB Navorro Bowman: Penn State ... In case you haven't noticed, there isn't a lot of depth at outside linebacker. And James Harrison will be 32 next season.

    • DE Corey Wootton: Northwestern ... At 6 feet 6, 280 pounds, he can play defensive end in the 4-3 or 3-4 defense. Appears to have recovered from a knee injury at the end of his junior season.

    • G Mike Johnson: Alabama ... Not a first-round pick, but the Steelers could get him on the second or possibly even third round. At 6 feet 6, 305 pounds, he also has the position flexibility to play tackle.
    Last edited by Stlrs4Life; 02-25-2010 at 09:44 PM.

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  2. #2
    Big T's Avatar
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    Um...Earl Thomas? Bryan Bulaga?

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    love me some wootton in round 2

    weatherspoon is growing on me

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    Rookie Free Agent Tr305's Avatar
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    im all for Joe Haden since our 2ndary is lacking gud cbs if not him Mcclain

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    Veteran DanRooney's Avatar
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    Joe Haden? Dude he's going in the top 10.

    Realistically, we have a shot at Cody, Dan Williams, Donovan Warren, Trent Williams, Earl Thomas, and Iupati. If someone goes retarded, then MAYBE Bulaga.

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    im telling you dont sleep on weatherspoon

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    Rookie Free Agent A Pac's Avatar
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    i am really pumped for the combine and draft this off season. i know this is a steeler's board and i am a brown's fan but i just can't hold it in. we have a 11 draft picks this off season and cannot wait for april 22. this is one of the main reason why i'm glad the browns got holmgren. i know now that mangini won't screw up another draft by tradiing down a million times and getting pennies in return. the browns were the laughing stock of the draft and i'm glad say that it won't happen again.

    there is a lot of talent out there in this year's draft and every team should be interested in the combine. i'm interested to see what kind of talent comes out of the mid to late rounds and how many of those guys will make an nfl roster. the steelers should do well in this draft because of there mid-round position. we all know their front office can draft so i would be very optimistic going into the spring if i were a steeler fan.
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  8. #8
    Starter steelcitysfinestXL's Avatar
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    I will NOT be thrilled if we move UP to get ANYBODY (other than Eric Berry) I, personally, like Spikes as much as McClain. Spikes can be traded back for, maybe even picked up in the second.

    What good is a tough, bump-n-run, man corner (Haden) in a defense where the cornerbacks play 6+ yards off the ball every play??? Yeah, he may be a good pro CB... but line him up 6-10 yards off his man and he's probley a middle of the pack cornerback. I'd once again rather trade back and grab Warren/Cox/Robinson in the 2nd to third rounds. Theres a reason its been 13 years since we've taken a corner in the first. Chad Scott was the last 1st round CB we took (1997)... i think thats a great example why CB's arent a 1st round picks in Pittsburgh. You can get guys in the 2nd+ rounds to play CB in our scheme.

  9. #9
    Assistant Coach coldrolled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcitysfinestXL View Post
    I will NOT be thrilled if we move UP to get ANYBODY (other than Eric Berry) I, personally, like Spikes as much as McClain. Spikes can be traded back for, maybe even picked up in the second.

    What good is a tough, bump-n-run, man corner (Haden) in a defense where the cornerbacks play 6+ yards off the ball every play??? Yeah, he may be a good pro CB... but line him up 6-10 yards off his man and he's probley a middle of the pack cornerback. I'd once again rather trade back and grab Warren/Cox/Robinson in the 2nd to third rounds. Theres a reason its been 13 years since we've taken a corner in the first. Chad Scott was the last 1st round CB we took (1997)... i think thats a great example why CB's arent a 1st round picks in Pittsburgh. You can get guys in the 2nd+ rounds to play CB in our scheme.
    lets move up and get eric berry.

    then sign one or two free agents that we need to fill in on OL and DL.

    we have plenty of draft picks from the last two years still to use and develop.

    we need Berry now, he will start right away.

    or stay put and pick Earl or Taylor Mays.. if the quality OL picks are used up.

  10. #10
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    bite your tongue about taylor mays

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