NFL Draft 2011: 10 Prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers Wish They Could Have
The NFL draft is under a month away, and I personally cannot wait to see how everything unfolds.
Everyone has been talking about any and every scenario that could play out and what we all think the Steelers should do.
There is a ton of talent in the draft, and although I would take a late first-round pick every year, since it means the Steelers were at least in the playoffs, it is cool to think about who we could get if we were picking higher for a change.
This is a list of guys that the Steelers probably have no chance getting at pick No.31 in the draft and are ranked 10-1, one being my top guy.
10. Gabe Carimi OT
Although the interior line is perceived as a bigger need for the Steelers, there are some top tackles to be had this year in the draft.
Carimi’s stock has been up and down so far in the draft process, and at worst, he would be the Steelers future at right tackle.
Even though most think he won’t be anything more than a right tackle, I personally think Carimi could develop into a left tackle for the Steelers.
9. Anthony Castonzo OT
Continuing on the offensive line theme, Anthony Castonzo would look great at either tackle spot for the Steelers.
The only criticism I would have for Castonzo is that he would need to upgrade his strength, in both the run and pass game, as he is seen as more of a finesse blocker.
That might seem like a big concern; however, it’s normal for players coming out of college to need to bulk up a bit in the NFL, and I am not worried about Castonzo’s ability.
8. J.J. Watt DE
Defensive end is not a major need for the Steelers, especially given the play last season from Ziggy Hood.
Hood looks poised as a future starter for the Steelers and Watt would fit right on the other side to make sure the defense doesn’t miss a beat as Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith get even older.
Watt has the versatility to play any defense in the NFL, and would bring a toughness and a motor to an already growing set of young defensive players for the Steelers.
7. Nate Solder OT
Nate Solder was once considered the best offensive lineman in the draft and has been my favorite of the top tackle prospects.
Solder has the athleticism and skill to play both tackle positions, and has already bulked up a bit to increase his value in my opinion.
He would be the future at left tackle for the Steelers in my view, which would allow the team to move Max Starks to his natural position of right tackle.
6. Tyron Smith OT
Alright, I promise this is my last offensive tackle on the list, and even though I already stated that Solder was my favorite tackle prospect, I cannot deny Tyron Smith’s potential.
Although Smith only played right tackle in college, he has already bulked up about 20 pounds and has the potential to be a premier left tackle in the league.
The Steelers would have the luxury of either starting him right away on the right side or letting him develop for in a few years to take Max Starks spot at left tackle.
5. Mike Pouncey G
Even before the season ended, you could hear everyone penciling Maurkice Pouncey’s brother, Mike Pouncey, in for the Steelers.
It’s a nice idea and would be a great story; however, I have never seen how people keep thinking there’s a chance Pouncey would drop to the Steelers at 31, given that he is the top interior lineman prospect in the draft.
Even with that stated, I still see mock drafts with Pouncey to the Steelers, but people just need to realize that is not going to happen unless the Steelers trade up to get him.
4. A.J. Green WR
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Steelers' receivers and the potential of Emmanual Sanders and Antonio Brown.
A.J. Green is just that good and would immediately give the Steelers the best offense in the NFL in my opinion.
Could you imagine going five wide with Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanual Sanders, Antonio Brown and A.J. Green on the field? I wouldn’t want to be a corner on the defense facing that.
3. Marcell Dareus DE
Although Marcell Dareus has been slated as being best suited as a DT in the 4-3, I think he would be perfect for the Steelers.
I think Dareus could be a dominant 3-4 end, and in time, I believe he could bulk up and eventually take Casey Hampton’s spot at the nose.
Dareus would give the Steelers a pass rusher in the middle, and the only downside to taking him is that he would have to wait a while to start.
2. Prince Amukamara CB
We all saw the Steelers secondary get exposed in the Super Bowl. The team needs an immediate upgrade.
Making matters worse is the fact that Ike Taylor remains unsigned due to the labor situation which would leave Bryant McFadden as the Steelers top corner.
The Steelers love big corners. Amukamara fits that mold and would bring great cover skills and solid run support to an already great defense.
1. Patrick Peterson CB
Patrick Peterson is the best player in the draft, in my opinion, and has been compared to the Packers Charles Woodson.
Can you picture the Steelers' defense with Peterson and Troy in the secondary and James Harrison and Lamar Woodley rushing the passer?
I would then re-sign Ike Taylor, which would immediately turn the Steelers weakness on defense into a strength, and then don’t forget we still have Keenan Lewis and Crezdon Butler developing.