Category Archives: Draft Talk

Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp 2: The O-Line is Getting Thinner

photo via Steelers.com

2018 third-round draft pick OT Chuks Okafor seemed like a luxury pick when he was selected. Or perhaps not so much a luxury as a “Haven’t dem Stillers noticed that the problem last season was the durn defense?!!!” pick. But with the (temporary) demise of third-year tackle Jerald Hawkins during OTA (torn quad) it started to look a good deal smarter.

And now G Ramon Foster, who is entering his 10th season in the NFL, is out, at least for the nonce. In Foster’s case the news is considerably better than first feared when he was taken off the field with a knee injury during the Steelers’ first padded practice on Saturday, It turns out he has a hyper-extended knee with no ligament damage, which is projected to keep him out for 4-5 weeks. Fortunately the heir apparent, YouTube star* B.J. Finney, has had a considerable number of game reps by now coming in for injured players—mainly Foster, but he also played some center last season, with mixed results.

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Offensive Choice—OT Chukwuma Okorafor

Photo: Western Michigan Athletics

It’s getting on for the end of the third round in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers have chosen a wide receiver in the second round, which wasn’t very surprising given they had just traded Martavis Bryant away, and then moved up in the third round to nab Mason Rudolph, a choice which will make this draft either live in infamy among Steelers Nation or go down as one of the smartest moves of a generally canny front office.

And while it took one of the Steelers’ few remaining picks (No. 220) to get Rudolph, at least they still had their usual third-rounder. So who would they use it on? One of the remaining ILBs? A pass rusher?

Nope. It was back to the offense—the very unit that was putatively the strength of the team already. They took an offensive tackle.

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A Look at the Actual Draft: Round 3a

After Round 2 saw the selection of a wide receiver, how many of you saw Round 3 featuring not one but two picks of offensive players? Me either.

But offensive players they were, and you would have thought it was actually offensive, given the cries resounding from Steeler Nation’s collective throat.

I won’t deny this was surprising. But let’s begin with the “two picks” part, because this is the result of something even more surprising—a plethora of trades by the Steelers.

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Momma Looks at the Actual Draft: Round 2

photo via Steelers.com/ Karl Roser

I won’t repeat my rather ambling preamble to the first post—feel free to read it if you’ve got a cup of coffee and some extra time. Let’s get right to it:

There was fairly general agreement among those writing about the Steelers’ likely draft, at least among those who are actually knowledgeable about the Steelers, that the Steelers would take a wide receiver at some point, maybe even as high as the 2nd or 3rd round. While it wasn’t exactly a major point of need, there were a couple of factors driving it—first, Martavis Bryant wouldn’t be with the team in 2019, and second, the Steelers like to do that.

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Momma Looks at the Actual Draft: Round 1

The vast majority of readers of this post are aware, I suspect, of two things—1) Momma’s Mock Drafts® rely on a unique metric (Best-Looking player Available) because Momma can’t be bothered with college football and 2) in the end, Momma loves a well-developed character more than a well-turned ankle, or whatever it is Momma is checking out.

Last year Momma had the thrill of several of her selections being taken by the Steelers, including first-round pick T.J. Watt. That appears to have been a slam-dunk for both Momma and the Steelers. This year, on the other hand, the Steelers took none of Momma’s picks, even when they coincided with the guys the “experts” said they would likely take. Not a single one.

And speaking of the “experts,” do check out Steel Curtain Rising, Hombre de Acero’s site, as he’s getting ready to post his assessment of the draft—the 2013 draft, that is. As Hombre says, if Chuck Noll thought you needed five years to properly assess a draft class, that’s good enough for him. It should be pretty hilarious, at least if you prefer sticking one to the draft experts above having, you know, really good players… It isn’t up yet as I write this, but is going up soon.

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An Update on the Real Issues Facing the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers

By Ivan Cole

Since last we met on this topic the personnel situation has advanced significantly. The draft has occurred, free agents signed and a significant trade. How have these developments advanced the narrative?

A quarterback controversy

I don’t believe that we have had a full-blown version of this phenomena during the Ben Roethlisberger era, although there has been some drama and conversation surrounding back- ups. But the drafting of Mason Rudolph has impacted the entire quarterback room and will likely be a focus of conversation for years to come, regardless how the situation unfolds.

The current bottom-line as I understand it now is that unless there is an injury/IR circumstance like the one that unfolded during the 2010 season when Ben, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon were all on the roster, when the 2018 edition of the Steelers begins play in September one the players in that room, Ben, Rudolph, Landry Jones or Joshua Dobbs, will be gone. What should we look for going forward?

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The annual post-draft analysis of analyses

By Homer J.

“Can’t Act. Can’t Sing. Slightly Balding. Can Dance a Little.”

That’s how the guy who gave Fred Astaire his Hollywood screen test rated the greatest hoofer of all time. The debut performance of Debussy’s timeless “Clair de Lune” was described as “ugly to the ears,” by the most respected Parisian critic of the time.

When George Gershwin’s beloved “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered at Aeolian Hall in New York in 1924, New York Tribune reviewer Lawrence Gilman was less than overwhelmed. “How trite, feeble and conventional the tunes are; how sentimental and vapid the harmonic treatment, under its disguise of fussy and futile counterpoint! … Weep over the lifelessness of the melody and harmony, so derivative, so stale, so inexpressive!”

“Fiddler on the Roof” was described as “nothing special” by the Variety stringer who reviewed its off-Broadway opening.

And Rex Reed and most of the other jerks who review movies panned the greatest movie of all time, “A Christmas Story.” (They just hated producer Bob Clark, because he did those Porky’s movies and Reed would never know what to do with a Red Ryder BB gun, anyway).

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