Super Bowl media day is here, the Senior Bowl has come and gone. The NFL combine is just three weeks away and I have enough info to make my first huge prediction for the 2010 draft concerning the Steelers. The Steelers will not draft a nose tackle in round 1. There, I said it. That prediction will make a few of Steeler Nation mad and please the same amount.
There is no doubt that the Steelers need depth and future at the position, especially considering that Casey Hampton could be gone in 2010 if no deal is reached or the franchise tag is not used on him. Even if he stays just one more year, Hampton is not an every down nose tackle and comes out most times on passing downs. The problem lies in the fact that there are no true nose tackles that fit what the Steelers need that deserve first round consideration.
I apologize to all of the Dan Williams and Terrence Cody fans out there, but I knew Cody would slip and Williams now needs a great combine in my opinion to keep his late first round chances alive. Right now, I just do not see either being worth the 18th pick of the draft. The good news is that if both continue to fall, one very well could fall into the Steelers lap in round 2. Another by-product of them falling also pushes the other nose tackle talent down the board as well. One of my favorites that flew under the radar until Senior Bowl week is Cam Thomas. I proclaimed him one to watch last week and he did not disappoint. A great combine could bolt him to 3rd round status and right into a Steelers uniform.
If not a nose tackle in round one, then what position? Well, that is a question that we will continue to dissect as we move closer to the draft. I will have future articles dedicated to that very question, but I can tell you right now, if the Steelers stay at pick 18, they will not be drafting a nose tackle with that pick. Cross that position off of your list.