Pittsburgh Steelers Draft: Big Bodies Needed to Protect Big Ben

Jeremy KohlmanContributor INovember 22, 2008

Yes, I realize that it is early. But in my opinion, it is never to early. The Steelers have glaring needs on the OL and in the return game.

Here is my strategy:

We extend McFadden, Kemoeatu, Washington, Batch or Leftwich, and Restricted Free Agents Colon, Davis, Madison, and Smith. This way we can have a little less of a need in more than one area. The area I plan on focusing on is the OL. I would actually plan on trading down.


2a. LT- Sam Young, Notre Dame 

He is a massive OT at 330 lbs and 6'8" frame. Big time run blocker, but is athletic and a good pass protector. The biggest way to keep Ben healthy is by reestablishing a struggling running game. Young can do that. 


2b. RT- Fenuki Tupou, Oregon

He is very similar to Young. Weighs in at 323 lbs and is a tall at 6'5". Another strong and athletic T to help reestablish the running game and provide efficient protection for Ben.


3a. DL- B.J. Raji, Boston College

He is a dark horse in this draft because of his inelligibilty due to his grades. He was a dominant at Boston College, and he has reportedly dropped 15 lbs to improve his stamina. Sounds like the next great NT for the Steelers. He will be just like Hampton.


3b. WR/RS- Derrick Williams, Penn State

Normally, I would never draft a return man this high. However, I would be high on crack to pass this dude up. He is electric in the return game. He is a threat to take it to the house every time and his WR skills could boost the depth. 


3/4. CB- Mark Parson, Ohio

In my honest opinion, this dude is going to be a flat out baller. He has a good 4.4 40 time, 6'0" tall, and has great hands. He is the next Ike Taylor. Comes from a small school but is going to be able to shadow WRs all day long. He would be a steal this late.


4. WR- Jordan Shipley, Texas

Some would question my logic with this pick. The Steelers just drafted a WR in Limas Sweed. But here are the facts: no one knows how much longer Ward is going to be putting up numbers and Washington just cannot catch the ball frequently enough. I want another WR to challenge Washington's #3 WR spot. I am firm believer that Ward will get another contract, but I feel it will be to play as a underneath WR. 


5. DL- Ron Brace, Boston College

Ron Brace has been a huge part of the success of this team due to Raji's bad grades. He has 6 sacks this year and is a quick penetrator. He will be just like Hampton.


6. C- Eric Wood, Louisville

Hartwig is not the answer, and I don't Stapleton is either. Wood has never missed a game and is a rock to field an OL around. Wood would get more attention if his team was living up to expectations. A rock I tell you.


7a. CB- Christopher Owens, San Jose State

He is yet another small school CB who will go unnoticed in the first five rounds. This kid has Ike Taylor written all over him, except he has hands with his 6 career picks.


7b. G- Rich Ohrnberger, Penn State

He is a huge reason for the success of this team. He is solid in every aspect of his game. He would make a good LG, putting Kemoeatu in at RG.


My thoughts regarding this draft are very centered.....fix the OL for love of Ben. Ben should not have to be running for his life against top defenses. Now I am not taking away from those defenses, more just trying to understand how the OL has gotten so bad. Bad drafting is the No. 1 cause.

Willie Colon, Tony Hills (jury is still out on him, let's see what he does in training camp), and then the lack of drafting OL. It is incredible that the Steelers organization has completely left the issue unaddressed these past five seasons. Hopefully, Tomlin and Kevin Colbert finally can put together a draft of great talent in the trenches.

I will be absoultely ticked if we draft a RB, TE, FB, or a QB. There is absolutely no reason to draft one. None. If it happens, it is a wasted pick unless extreme value is there.