Steelers Fill Needs In Day Two...

Posted by Dan on Apr 26, 2004 @ 11:01 AM

Well, it's the day after the NFL draft and I've been contemplated the Steelers picks. Overall, I really liked the picks on day one. I think giving up our 4th round pick was still unneccesary, but you never know if another team would have grabbed Colclough is he was there. I just hope he works out to be a stud, like Darrell Green thinks he can be. The lack of a 4th could end up hurting us, because there were still a lot of value left on the board at that time—players like Cotchery, Allen, Dorsey and possibly could have given up one of our 6th round picks to move up a couple of spots to take Isaac Sopoaga—who I've been really impressed with every since his NFL combine results.

Anyway, the second day of the draft is always the hardest to grade because there's more risk involved and a lot more guess work. We haven't drafted well in the later rounds since Colbert's been Director of Personel, so I'm hoping this year turns out a little different. Here's what the NFL site has to say about our draft picks:

Nathaniel Adibi, OLB, Virginia Tech [5th Round]
An outstanding defensive end who has experience at both defensive end positions... Won the President's Award for outstanding leadership at the conclusion of 2002 spring practice and shared the award with center Jake Grove in 2003... A hard worker in the weight room and on the practice field who has shown steady progress during his time at Tech... He combines size with excellent strength and speed and is both intelligent and physical... In 48 games, he started 44 contests, recording 186 tackles (107 solos) with 20½ sacks for minus-143 yards, 33 stops for losses of 171 yards, 55 quarterback pressures, a pair of fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, 10 pass deflections and two blocked kicks.

Bo Lacy, LT/G, Arkansas [6th Round]
Two-year starter at the demanding left offensive tackle position, playing a key role in the success of the Razorbacks running game the last two seasons... Has a tireless work ethic and shows the ability to be very capable of filling in at several offensive line slots... His lateral agility and foot speed could see him shift to guard at the pro level.

Matt Kranchick, TE, Penn State [6th Round]
Late bloomer who saw limited action during his first four seasons before emerging as a clutch short-area target for the passing game as a senior... Product of Penn State's weight room, adding over 45 pounds of muscle to his frame since arriving on campus as a wide receiver during his freshman campaign... Also excelled in the class room, attaining a 3.2 grade point average, as he graduated after only 3½ years at Penn State (December, 2002)... In 23 games, he caught 24 passes for 352 yards (14.7 avg.) and a touchdown.

Drew Caylor, LS/C/G/DL, Stanford [6th Round]
Intriguing prospect who has yet to tap his impressive athletic potential... Spent three seasons as a defensive lineman before moving to the opposite side of the ball as a senior... Split time between center and offensive tackle the first four games of the 2003 campaign before taking over starting chores in the middle of the line for the team's final seven contests... Also performed well as the team's deep snapper for his final three seasons... Possesses great speed for a down lineman.

Eric Taylor, DE/NT, Memphis [6th Round]
Rising star who came into his own as a senior... Collegiate defensive end, whose size, power and run-stuffing skills could see him shift to defensive tackle at the pro level... Saw limited action as a freshman before becoming an important part of the defensive line rotation in 2001... Received the team's Glenn Jones "12th Man" Award as a junior and garnered All-Conference USA honors as a senior... Started 24 of 39 games for the Tigers, recording 150 tackles (89 solos) with six sacks for minus-45 yards, 21 stops for losses of 85 yards, five quarterback pressures, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown and 12 pass deflections.

I have to admit, I know little to nothing about these players—except for what I've read about them in the past 18 hours. I like the Caylor pick—if he can beat out Mike Schneck for long snapper, it can save us a backup spot on the roster. Having a quality long snapper is extremely important in today's game, but I don't like the fact that our current LS can't play backup on any other position on the line. Caylor has started in the PAC-10 both on the DL and the OL, so he may be a very capable backup in a couple of years.

Bo Lacy is intriguing because he played LT on the other side of RT Shawn Andrews—who went in the first round. Left tackle is considered the more difficult of the two positions and you usually have your more athletic guy protecting your QB's blindside. Apparently the Steeler's front office (FO,) really thought Lacy stood out in the game tape while scouting Andrews. They brought Lacy in after the combine and thought he was a guy who could play LT, but could also play guard.

As for a grade of this draft, it's hard to say because I know so little of the guys drafted in day two. I will say there are other tight ends I think I would have drafted over Kranchick—I would have gone w/a better run blocking TE—but I think overall I give this draft a B/B-. Only time will tell how good this draft will be. The only I do like about the draft, is they took the best player available in round 1 (and who I thought was the best QB prospect,) and they drafted positions in which I thought we needed depth at. Our OL was in bad shape last year, and they brought in some bodies to address that. We still have depth issues, there's still the signing of the undrafted free agents—which the announcement of those signings should be coming shortly.

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