Steelers' Draft Wants and Dreams

Brian WolffCorrespondent IApril 24, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 21:  Offensive lineman Duke Robinson of Oklahoma runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

The biggest needs for the Steelers on the face are with the offensive line. The Steelers have the enviable honor of picking last in the draft courtesy of the Super Bowl victory.  

This essentially means that the Steelers really don't have a first round pick. They should approach the draft as if they are picking first in the each round and their first round pick is deciding to become an insurance agent rather than play pro-ball.

With the Steelers first pick they need to take care of the offensive line.  A solid pick with late first round, if he is still available is Duke Robinson of Oklahoma.  

Robinson would fit well into Pittsburgh's offense and could contribute immediately as a starter. He would help reduce the sacks and provide protection for outside yards.

Kraig Urbik of Wisconsin is a solid second choice. He would serve the running game well.  

The only question is whether he is fast enough to the outside as a blocker.  His size and reported strength make him a formidable presence in an active running attack.

Upfront the Steelers would do well to pick up a solid blocking full back.  He doesn't need to be a superstar, just a hard-nozed grinder and blocker with quick feet.

This is such an important position for the Steelers at this stage that they should considering grabbing their fullback in an earlier round than is projected. Where some would put Quinn Johnson of LSU in the 3rd round, the Steelers would be well to take him with their late 2nd round pick.

If he is somehow not available, they should go for Brannan Southerland of Georgia in the 3rd or 4th round, assuming the doctors say his foot is heeling well. Hines Ward is not a young man anymore and the Steelers need to think about finding him a replacement to begin nurturing.  

This does not mean that they should just grap a receiver. Ward is a game changer with is rugged blocking and smart whistle to whistle play.  Add to that his sure hands and solid route running and you have the recipe for the perfect Steelers wide-out.

With this in mind I would recommend a strong pick if he is available.  Florida's Percy Harvin might possess the toughness that is needed as a future replacement for Ward.

If Harvin is somehow around in the 3rd then they should get him.  Harvin, however is projected by many as a first rounder.  Not knowing who all is out there, the Steelers need to find someone who fits the mold of Ward, perhaps in the 5th or 6th round.

At center the Steelers need a solid player but going for an Alex Mack or Max Unger is just not smart thinking.  Besides the fact they probably won't be around when the Steelers should grab them, 3-4th round, there are other less tangible concerns.  

I don't believe Mack (Santa Barbara, Ca.) or Max Unger (Hawaii) will be happy playing in the cold weather of Heinz Field in late November and December. If the Steelers can get him, they should go for Antoine Caldwell of Alabama.

A solid fullback along with Caldwell will have the Steelers churning out 100 yards by halftime. For the later rounds the Steelers should look at the corner-back position, and try to fill out the offensive line with a solid offensive tackle and another guard.


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