Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FTC NFL Draft Preview

There are a few ways to preview the NFL Draft, almost all of them pointless and stupid. Over the next 26 hours, we here at FTC are going to continue to explore as many of them as possible. With that in mind, we give you the official FTC Steelers draft preview. Seeing as how the Steelers have glaring needs at virtually every position, we're going to break it down that way.

QB: The general consensus amongst the authors of this blog is that we'd like to see Ben Roethlisberger traded, last week if possible. That the Steelers acquired Byron Leftwich yesterday for a 7th-round draft pick likely says that they're not confident they can make a go of it through Ben's suspension with the Dennis Dixon (henceforth known as "Intellectual D")/Chaz Batch combo. Leftwich was very comfortable and very effective in his year with the Steelers, and the Steelers, it seems, were so eager to get him back that as soon as they did, they extended his contract. That could mean that the team is just covering its bases for the duration of Ben's six-game suspension, or that they're going to unload him for draft picks and start the season with Leftwich at the helm. Of the teams currently not committed to a starting quarterback, the only ones who might look to bid on Roethlisberger in the next 24 or so hours are San Fransisco and Oakland, with the Raiders the most likely option according to the NFL Network's Jason LaConfora. With the Rams sold on Sam Bradford, it doesn't appear as though the Steelers would be able to pick up a long-term solution at quarterback in this draft, were they to deal Roethlisberger.
Prediction: The Steelers will not burn a pick on a quarterback in this draft. Byron Leftwich will start the season as the starting quarterback, backed up by Dennis Dixon/Charlie Batch. If Ben is dealt, the Steelers will take a quarterback in the fifth or sixth round, have Dixon backup Leftwich, and cut Charlie Batch, who can't seem to go from the sideline to the huddle without breaking his wrist.

RB: With the unceremonious exit of Willie Parker, the Steelers are going to need to try to find a running back who can spell Rashard Mendenhall. We don't necessarily know how capable Mewelde Moore is of handling seven to ten carries a game, and while Mendenhall showed last year that he can handle a decent workload, the running game still lacks a viable speed back. It's unreasonable to think the Steelers are going to go after C.J. Spiller or Jahvid Best, which would require a high-to-mid second-round pick, but if USC's Joe McKnight is still around in the third, he would be worth a serious look. He's just a hair under six feet, 200 pounds, and ran a respectable 4.47 at the combine.
Prediction: The Steelers will wait until the fifth round and take Oregon assault monster LeGarrette Blount, then sign three running backs as un-drafted free agents, the fastest of whom will make the team.

FB: I thought we'd just given up on this position entirely, but TE/FB hybrids David Johnson and Sean McHugh are still on the roster, and C/G Doug Legursky moonlighted as the fullback in goal line situations last year. They also still have Tank Summers, whose blocking needs major work. Summers does excel, however, at falling down and hurting himself.
Prediction: The Steelers will not draft a fullback, nor will they use one during 96% of their offensive snaps during the 2010 season. This will not stop them from carrying a minimum of two potential fullbacks on the roster. And if someone gets hurt, get ready for Cary Davis because what we all need is another reason to hate sports.

TE: We're not even going to address this, as it would just be a colossal waste of everyone's time.

WR: This wouldn't have been an issue had the Steelers decided to keep Santonio Holmes, but it appears now that they were intent on releasing him if they hadn't been able to trade him. They probably won't look for receivers in the early rounds of the draft, as there's usually great value to be had there later on. Notre Dame's Golden Tate has expressed a desire to play in Pittsburgh, and I'd be happy with the Steelers were they to indulge that desire in the second round. That said, I don't think he lasts, and I'm not sure he's worth trading up to get, unless they're very impressed with him.
Prediction: The Steelers will burn a mid-to-late round pick on a receiver nobody has ever heard of. By the end of the year, he will have usurped Antwaan Randle El as the No. 3 man on the depth chart, behind Hines Ward and Mike Wallace.

OT: There are a few pretty solid tackle prospects in the draft, but the Steelers will not draft any of them because they are committed to Max Starks and Willie Colon, and do not want to give up on long-time prospect/prog-rock experiment known as the Tony Hills Project.
Prediction: The Steelers will draft LSU's Ciron Black in the fourth round. Black will compete with and eventually beat out Tony Hills in training camp for the role of "long-term tackle project who will never, ever pan out."

OG/C: Apart from the quarterback situation, the interior line is the biggest conundrum the Steelers have to address on offense in this draft. Nobody knows the interior line better than FTC Blogger Emeritus KillYourFace5000, so I'm going to yield to his analysis for this one, and he'll break it down by position.

LG: Chris Kemoeatu is currently playing an entire 60-minute game of NFL football by himself right now at Invesco Field because nobody told him the season was over and that it's time to go home.

C: I will now create what will henceforth be known as Planar Hartwig Theorem. It states that every four minutes, Justin Hartwig is successfully bull rushed in real life by women, children and the elderly. Somewhere in the world, Justin Hartwig just fell down, at the bus stop, grasping the shirt collar of a middle-aged mother of four in a desperate attempt to take her to the ground before she can reach the quarterback.

RG: Trai Essex was our third option at that position behind an un-drafted transgendered woman who plays another position, and a guy whose blood my or may not be capable of running to his brain at any given time.

You extend Willie Colon because he blocks aircraft and military personnel carriers and even Haloti Ngata. Second, you fucking ship Justin Hartwig off to a lovely exurb in a suburban boomtown in the south. Then you have him killed. Third, you move Chris Kemoeatu to right guard. Fucking fourth, you draft a center in the first or second round (FTC likes Maurkice Pouncey), then you draft a fucking guard in the first, second or third round. You let Trai Essex's contract fucking expire. BLAM. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT YOU CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT DRAFTING FUCKING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN ON THE FIRST DAY. YOU CAN NOT KEEP DOING THIS I CAN NOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH.

KYF5K's Prediction:
They will draft Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Iupati or Kyle Wilson, and unless it's Kyle Wilson, play that person at right guard for the next year while they teach Kraig Urbik the footwork necessary to operate the stationary bike.

Thanks KYF! Coming up later tonight, the defense!

1 comment:

Face of Spades said...

Then I can finally get a Blount jersey without having to pay customization fees!