Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Team NeedsPosted: January 8, 2012
Well since the Steelers lost, my draft coverage will begin now and I will start it off with the Steelers needs for the draft this year. Expect 1 to 2 posts per day four to five days a week all the way through the draft.
Number 1 Need: Offensive Guard
Our guard play was awful all year and it will be tough to win without good guard play. Whether it was Kemoatu, Legursky, Foster, or Essex they all played pretty poorly and an upgrade is needed, possibly two. With our higher draft position I think we might get a chance at the #1 Guard in the draft, David DeCastro and if we do, we should take him. I feel like we will address the guard spot somewhere in rounds 1 to 3 and then again in rounds 5 to 7.
After the jump see needs #2 through 7
Number 2 Need: Inside Linebacker
Outside of Timmons, the Steelers have no ILB of the future to man the 2nd spot of the 3-4 defense. If we want to continue being successful, we will need someone to replace Farrior and Foote (each of them might have one year left but after that they will probably retire). The good think is that this year’s draft class is loaded with players like Keuchly, Burfict, and Hightower. If Keuchly is there at our 1st pick and DeCastro is not, I think we will take him and get a guard later in the draft. Hoewver, we could also wait until round two and try and nab a player like Burfict (whose stock has plummeted out of the 1st round but he still has tons of talent) or wait until the 3rd round and grab a player like Chris Marve or Tank Carder.
Number 3 Need: Nose Tackle
Casey Hampton had another solid year but he is aging and it is time for him to be replaced (not immediately, but we need to get a replacement on the roster). McClendon had a good season but he is a situational NT at best and we need a 1st and 2nd down NT to help the run D. Luckily there are 3 very good options this year in Dontari Poe, Alameda Ta’amu, and Josh Chapman. Poe will require a 1st round pick and if Kuechly and DeCastro are not there in round 1, he could be the pick. Ta’amu had only an average year and therefore his stock fell to round 2. If we don’t get Poe, Ta’amu would be a great option in round 2. Chapman will be a round 2 to round 3 player and I would only take him in round 3.
Number 4 Need: Safety
No, we don’t need a safety immediately but Polamalu and Clark are likely on their last contracts and we only have one other safety on the roster. A mid round pick needs to be spent on a developmental safety of the future. My favorite prospect is Kenny Tate of Maryland if we can get him in the 4th round. His stock right now ranges from the 3rd to the 4th round and I would not take him in round 3. Another good option is Harrison Smith of Notre Dame if we could get him in round 4. He is a very explosive athlete and could become Troy’s replacement in 3 years.
Number 5 Need: Kicker
Shaun Suisham had a great game yesterday but he is not the future. We might address this need in FA but if not, a guy like Caleb Sturgis in round 5 or 6 would be the answer. He is the best kicker in the draft and has an awesome leg as well as good accuracy.
Number 6 Need: Cornerback
This is a big debate for Steelers fans. Yes, we had the #1 pass D but the verdict is still out on the young corners the Steelers have. If a stud like Claiborne, Kirkpatrick, or Gilmore is there in the first round will the Steelers take him? Who knows but having a second lockdown corner sure would be nice. However, in a year where the Steelers three biggest needs are loaded with talent, why would they spend a first round pick on a want more than a need? Anyways, if we do take a corner in the draft, look for him to be an athletic guy that can also play Special Teams. I really like Trumaine Johnson of Montana because of his versatility. If the Steelers wanted, they could convert him to safety. He can be had in round 4 or round 5.
Number 7 Need: Quarterback
Charlie Batch is getting up there in age as is Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon is awful and a FA. The Steelers will probably spend a mid to late round pick on a backup QB incase Ben gets hurt again. If Brock Osweiler is there in round 4, I think the Steelers should take him because he has potential to be a star and could end up yielding a huge haul in the trade market down the road. Another option is E.J. Manuel of Florida State who has not declared yet. If he declares, he will likely be a 6th or 7th round pick. However, he has huge potential and like Osweiler, he could be a star in the NFL and could end up yielding a huge haul in the trade market.