Saturday, April 12, 2008

We're Drafting ...

The NFL Draft is two weeks away. Time to get serious.

As noted at many worthy Steelers sites across the blogosphere, this year's draft options are so totally up in air, our collective Joey Porter's Pit Bulls heads are spinning.

As just one example, our friends at Heels Sox Steelers apparently feel the same way, as the esteemed author, Ryan, wrote, "Concerning the draft, I got nothin'. "

This year's draft SCREAMS offensive line, but the best ones will be gone by the time time the Steelers pick at 1.23, and this team has many, many other needs to cover with just six draft choices. It just may be the year for that hoary aphorism, "best player available."

And who may that be?

The constant drumbeat of announcements that the Steelers are bringing in this player or that player is numbing. Jonathan Stewart? Not gonna happen. Not in the first round, and he ain't gonna be there for them in the second round.

I don't care what the Steelers brass says about picking the best player available, they will pick the best player available (in the first round) at a position of need. And they have a LOT of positions of need ... encompassing everything BUT QB, TE and RB, which would eliminate Jonathan Stewart.

Let's talk about RB for just a second: They signed Mewelde Moore, and Najeh Davenport's been cleared of criminal charges, so that's that. They're not going to spend one of their precious six picks on a RB, unless Owen Schmitt's available in the third round, and he's a fullback. If he is available, grab him. He won't be available, by the way, so it's moot.

The first round? Up in the air. Totally. Everybody we really like is likely to be gone. Which leaves us to take a closer look, a much closer look, at some of the others. Gosder Cherilus? Nah.

Branden Albert
or Malcolm Kelly? Definitely, either/or. But they'll both be gone.

Antoine Cason? Maybe. Yeah, just maybe worth a much closer look. Agib Talib? Nah, not so much.

Quentin Groves? Maybe, and definitely worth a much closer look. Although, again, the salary cap implications (because of L. Timmons and L. Woodley in the first two round last year) screw up this position. But, then again, best player available?

Kenny Phillips? Hell, no.

Sam Baker? We'd ruled him out previously, but now? Maybe? Ditto Limas Sweed. Actually, maybe, yeah, why not either Sam Baker or Limas Sweed?? Either/or, depending on who else is available, or any of maybe a dozen other possibilities.

Again, we have to look at the salary cap repercussions per position. Given their top picks the past two years, that IS A FACTOR. Which bring us back to ... the offensive line, and who will be available.

Which make us take a closer look at ... Sam Baker. Unless, by some miracle, Chris Andrews or Branden Albert is available. But neither will be available at 1.23, nor will WR Malcolm Kelly.

And, oh crap, what if Jeff Otah is still available? Not likely, from what we're hearing, but Joey Porter's Pit Bulls watches Pitt football, and Jeff Otah never struck us as a dominant offensive lineman worthy of a first-round pick (let alone at number five overall, which is where Mike Mayock, whose opinion we generally respect, had him rated recently).

And our collective Joey Porter's Pit Bulls heads continue to spin.