Steelers: Offseason Analysis With a Look Towards The Future
Nothing is more exciting in Pittsburgh than Steelers football. The town is buzzing with excitement with the recent Super Bowl win. And it is more than a month later. Pittsburgh's heart and soul rests within the Steelers. Nothing feels better than winning a championship.
The Super Bowl hype is starting to die down, and the Steelers are moving forward.
The offseason is in full swing. While the big spenders, Dallas and Washington, make the most noticeable deals, the Steelers sit back and relax in free agency like they always have done. After all, the Steelers have never been big spenders in free agency, and their philosophy has produced one of the greatest franchises in the history of sports.
However, that does not mean that they do not wheel and deal. This is what they have done in free agency: they have franchised starting LT Max Starks, resigned starting LG Chris Kemoeatu, tendered starting RT Willie Colon, and resigned numerous role players such as LB Arnold Harrison, LB Andre Frazier, CB Fernando Bryant, and OL Trai Essex.
Franchising Starks was done to prevent him as a loss, Kemoeatu resigned to keep last year's OL intact, and Colon accepted his tender offer.
With the addition of the role players, this allows Kevin Colbert to draft without being handcuffed into reaching for players. He can sit back and wait for the right players to fall to his picks. Colbert also can use his picks to target specific players, so he can trade up to get them if possible.
However, the offseason is not over yet. The Steelers have found some new investors, and afterword are planning on talking about extending LT Mas Starks and Defensive Player of the Year LB James Harrison.
Reducing the cap hit Max Starks would help provide some much needed cash to sign Harrison. Other players, such as Ward, Hampton, Keisel, and Miller all may get extended before the season starts. Ward is scheduled to make somewhere around $8.5M for the upcoming season.
Reducing his cap hit would be a nice addition to the offseason.
The current roster has very little room for a new group of rookies to come in and demand roster spots. However, that does not mean room won't be made. The current draft class has a great deal of quality players that the Steelers will be able to select from that can come in and make some impact.
With that being said, here is my mock draft for the Steelers 2009 Draft Class:
1. C/G Eric Wood, Louisville- He is my top rated center in this class. He is also one of my highest guard prospects. He is a natural leader, anchors well, and moves well in space. He can be the center for this team for the next decade.
2. CB Asher Allen, Georgia- Allen is one of the better CBs in this draft. Not only does he come from a strong program, but he is well rounded and strong in all areas of his game. Can be a KR too.
3a. ILB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh- McKillop is a well rounded prospect who is a tackling machine who has shown willingness to attack the line of scrimmage. He is also good in coverage. Will be a solid replacement for Foote or Farrior. Will look great next to Timmons.
3b. OT Jason Watkins, Florida- The Steelers have shown a ton of interest in the Florida OT. They have compared him to Max Starks, who is the Steelers best OT. Nonetheless, he has captured their eye. That is something to be said. He has good feet, good technique, but needs to beef up.
4. WR Austin Collie, BYU- He is a special player. He is not a blazer, but he just gets open. He had 106 catches for 1,538 yards, along with 15 TDs. He is also a solid return man.
5. DL Roy Miller, Texas- Roy Miller is an athlete. He was the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl, and is great NT prospect for the Steelers. He may even be athletic enough to play DE if desired.
6. DL Nader Abdallah, Ohio State- Ohio State this season was horrible. Abdallah will be overshadowed by a lot of other names. But Abdallah is an athlete. Playing DT at Ohio State, while his production was never great, he plays like hell on wheels. he is surprising athletic like Roy Miller. Could play NT or DE.
7a. WR Jason Cherry, Louisiana-Lafayette- He is another special player. Rumored to have clocked an unofficial 4.22 40 time, he also is hell on wheels. He is great return man.
7b. RB Frank Summers- He is a bruising RB. A reporter compared him to the legendary Bus. He is a ball of wreaking havoc. He 240 pounds of pure 4.55 speed, and he hard to bring down. Sounds like a perfect solution to the short yardage game along with a revamped OL.
- CB Mark Parson, Ohio- Great man to man CB who can fit in any scheme. Overshadowed by bigger names. Limited WR Brian Robiskie to 3 catches for just 8 yards early in the college season.
- DE/OLB Brandon Swain, West Texas A&M- Production is there. Level of competition is the worry.
- QB Drew Willy, Buffalo- First time Buffalo has had a bowl game in a half century. He is an athletic player who compares well to Ben Roethlisberger.
- WR Isaiah Williams, Maryland- A Nate Washington clone: his speed will separate him from defenders.
- WR Dominque Edison, Stephen F. Austin- Another Nate Washington clone.
- OG Jeremy Perry, Oregon State- He has been decimated by knee injuries throughout his career. If he could ever be the force he was on the Beavers OL....
- FS Josh Pinkard, USC- Finally got to play this year. Looked solid, and his measurables are pretty good for a player who never saw time.
- K Austin Starr, Indiana- Kicker who had an off year. Before that, he was money.
- RB Tyrell Fenroy, Louisiana-Lafayette- Amazingly talented player. Thrived in their offense.
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