Where we're at 'n 'at ...
Joey Porter's Pit Bulls are thrilled about slam-dunk first-rounder David DeCastro; guardedly borderline-hopeful about Mike Adams; a bit mystified about the selection of third-round linebacker Sean Spence; and glad that Alameda Ta'amu doesn't have to play against DeCastro, who reportedly ate him alive when Stanford played Washington. As for fifth-rounder Chris Rainey, running back out of Florida, this is all we know about him. Let's hope he can return kicks and pass-block.
The Steelers moved up 10 spots to draft Ta'amu in round four. To do so, they gave the Redskins their own fourth-round pick (No. 119 overall) and their sixth-round pick (No. 193 overall). The Steelers have four seventh-round picks this year, so they must have figured, okay, why not throw away the sixth-rounder and get Ta'amu, who is 6'2", 348. We're happy to get a nose tackle, but a little wary of this pick, if only because we heard the radio interview with DeCastro's offensive line coach, who was laughing about how DeCastro held Ta'amu to no stats and forced him to the sidelines several times, "so he could re-think this game."
Sean Spence sure seems small and light for an inside linebacker, which is where the Steelers say he will play (although he played OLB at Miami). Mel Kiper or one of the thousands of talking heads we've been watching the past few days -- somebody said Spence played at about 218 pounds or so last year, although he's listed as 231, at 5'11". Only 218, eh? And just 12 bench reps at the Combine? That doesn't sound good. He'd better be fast, instinctive and slippery, or he'll get run over. And let's hope he can cover big tight ends down the middle.
While the Steelers say Spence will compete with third-year veteran Stevenson Sylvester (6'2", 231) to back up Lawrence Timmons, is it possible the Steelers envision Spence more as a special teams player than a regular linebacker? At first, sure, but spending a third-round pick on a special-teams player seems a bit of a reach. Let's hope Spence can play linebacker, but he's going to have to prove himself (duh).
Mike Adams, we're not sold on him as a football player. That's all. Is he tough enough? Will he maintain concentration? Will he stay interested? Will he stay off the weed? Will he get eaten alive by the likes of Tamba Hali? Time will tell (duh).
Looking elsewhere, the Cincinnati Bengals are having a tremendous draft. The Houston Texans are also having a terrific draft and are going to be a formidable team this fall -- perhaps the team to beat in the AFC. The Texans are fortifying an already stout defense. Whitney Mercilus steps in for Mario Williams, and they keep adding depth and potential starters. They're going to be good. Just sayin'.