As I hit on in my day 2 recap of the Steelers 2011 draft, the three primary needs that the Steelers had heading into this weekend have now been filled. The Steelers have one pick in each of the final 4 rounds should they not trade any of them on Saturday. With the three primary needs filled, they can now take the best player available approach from here on out in my opinion. There might be a name or two left on their 20 special players they identified prior to the draft and plenty on the 100 player list they talked about in their pre draft press conference. There is still a ton of talent left on the board. While I do not see any particular position as a need, I suspect the Steelers will try to get a tight end and a running back at least in day three, but both are not huge pressing needs. Also in play on Saturday are the wide receiver, inside linebacker and safety positions. It also would not surprise me to see another lineman or corner taken in addition to Marcus Gilbert and Curtis Brown. Pretty much everything but the quarterback position is in play in my honest opinion and that is a good feeling.
Below I will try to identify some of the best remaining players on the board by round the Steelers might have on their big board.
Nose tackles Jerrell Powe and Ian Williams are the top two remaining on the board right now should the Steelers choose to possibly groom an heir for Casey Hampton. Cornerback wise in the 4th, Brandon Burton, Davon House, Chimdi Chekwa and Rashad Carmichael all fit the Steelers system. In fact Dick LeBeau is rumored to be high on Chekwa from Ohio State. No surprise there. Running back wise, Taiwan Jones from Eastern Washington made a pre draft visit to Pittsburgh and could be on the radar and Bilal Powell is a good all purpose back with no character concerns. Quan Sturdivant and Casey Matthews are excellent inside linebacker prospects while tight ends Luke Stocker, D.J. Williams and Virgil Green are still on the board. Wide receivers Edmund Gates and Denarius Moore both made pre draft visits and Tandon Doss is still hanging around. Lee Ziemba, Jason Pinkston from Pitt and Clint Boling are the lineman left I feel are 4th round worthy.
Round 5 would be a great time to catch the free falling Marcus Cannon and guard Zach Hurd might be in play in this round. Tight end Julius Thomas likely could go in the 5th and is a great prospect. Smallish Pitt running back Dion Lewis is a late 5th round prospect. Cornerback Cortez Allen and Buster Skrine were also a pre draft visitor and fit the system. Linebacker Brian Rolle should be available and played in the 3-4 at Ohio State.
Hard to identify digging this deep but off the top of my head, inside linebacker Mario Harvey looks like a special player with tons of upside, while guards Keith Williams and Andrew Jackson would be worth the pick. Safeties Mark LeGree and Shiloh Keo are the best of the rest in thin class, one a free safety the other a strong safety.
Nose tackles Frank Kearse and Anthony Gray have caught the Steelers eye over the spring and linebacker Bruce Miller would be a steal here. A couple of last round running backs to push Jonathan Dwyer are Da\’Rel Scott and Mario Fanin. Small school cornerback Justin Richmond I think is also worth a late round flier as well.
Enjoy the draft everyone and we will continue our full coverage later today.