Steelers '08 Draft Analyzed

Jan BankoContributor IApril 30, 2008

The 2008 NFL Draft is now history, and the Pittsburgh Steelers got some attention.  John Clayton labeled them ‘winners’ before the second day even started.  So what happened?

 What happened was the Steelers did what they have always said they would do in the draft.  They picked the best players on their board, no matter the position.  And early on, great players fell to them like manna from heaven.

 Let me get this out of the way early – most Steelers fans think that Tomlin and Colbert should have gone after o-line men earlier.  I agreed with them – until they proved me wrong.  They drafted the following:

 An exciting running back who was originally predicted to be a top 10 or 15 pick.  This guy is good.  Willie Parker is better.  Imagine the running attack the Steelers will have with these two guys on the field.  It boggles the mind.

 Did you see Rashard Mendenhall in the RoseBowl?

 He ruled.  168 on the ground, another 50+ in the air against the Trojans.  There’s more on this guy – check it out.  He really was the second-best running back in the draft.  And the Steelers got him at #23.

 And then they got Limas Sweed.

 This is Ben Roethlisberger’s tall receiver.  OK, so here it is, the Steelers receiving corp:  Hines Ward inside, in the slot, doing the tough work and LOVING it!  Santonio Holmes with his incredible speed.  Limas Sweed, big and tall in the red zone, making the plays.  And as a fourth?  The always exciting Nate Washington.  I mean, seriously.  It could be the best Wide Receiver corp in the league.

 Number three?  Bruce Davis to beef up the D.  He put up impressive numbers at UCLA, is the son of former NFL offensive tackle Bruce Davis Sr. of the Oakland Raiders, and was a great find in the third round.

 In Round number four, a little depth for the O-line.  By the way, the folks who watch this 0-line every day feel alright about it.  So try to stop worrying, Steeler nation!  OK, back to pick number four….it’s an offensive tackle.  Big, talented guy out of Texas.  It’s all good, except he’s coming off a season-ending injury so you have that little unknown factor.

 Round five?  The pick that is confusing Steeler nation.  QB by the name of Dennis Dixon.  Wait!  The Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger, why do they need a QB?  Two reasons:  Charlie Batch is approaching the twilight of his career and a quality backup is vital.  And having a young QB on the roster will make Ben work even harder.  It’s a win-win.

 Another linebacker in round six, Iowa’s Mike Humpal.  Plenty of upside but has major injury issues, so it’s a bit of a gamble.  Then safety Ryan Mundy from West Virginia, who I have yet to find any info about. 

 But rest assured, the Steeler’s brain trust saw something in each one of these guys.  And one of the things they saw is that each is reported to be a ‘good citizen.’  Young men who have not been in trouble, and who, by all reports, will do the Steeler’s proud on the character front.

 All in all, not a bad draft.

 Maybe the Steelers best since 2004.  Only time will tell.  But I know this…I’m one excited Steelers fan. 

 When does the season start?