Happy Friday to all of you once again and I hope you all had a great March.
Saturday will mark the first day of April and that means a full slate of pre-draft visits are forthcoming. We already have a good idea as to who roughly a third of those players will be and it will be interesting to see which ones fill out the other two-thirds of the list.
I’m keeping it short and sweet this Friday as I am currently way behind when it comes to getting some sacks cut up for a Saturday post. In case you’re curious, I’ll have nearly all the sacks that Tennessee edge rusher Derek Barnett registered during his college career. There’s a ton of them.
As always, I have five questions for all of you to answer in the comments below and I hope several of you can participate. Also, we had a record month of March and I want to make sure you all know that I appreciate every one of you for patronizing the site on regular basis.
Peace and love!
1 – How confident are you in linebacker Vince Williams being able to be an every-down player in 2017?
2 – Will this year’s Pittsburgh Steelers first round draft pick have had his pro day attended by general manager Kevin Colbert?
3 – True or false: Wisconsin product, edge-rusher T.J. Watt, is a bonafide first-round prospect.
4 – Will the remaining six members of the Steelers 2016 draft class all make the 53-man roster this year? If you answer “no”, let me know which player or players you think will miss the cut.
5 – Of the last three quarterback drafted by the Steelers, Omar Jacobs, Dennis Dixon and Landry Jones, which one were you the most excited about the day they were drafted?
Question 1. The choice between Miami tight end David Njoku and Youngstown State edge-rusher Derek Rivers at 30th overall in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft broke down into two different drafting philosophies: best available player or fill current need. The split was 18 for best available (Njoku) and 25 for current need (Rivers). Many felt Njoku was higher ranked when it came to draft position and looked at the longer-term vision of a potential beast. However, the Rivers backers were adamant that an edge rusher what was most needed in the short-term to put the Steelers over the hump for that elusive 7th Lombardi. While many felt, Rivers was more of a 2nd round talent they did not see him falling to the Steelers late in that round and that it was not overreach to elect him at #30.
Question 2. Friday Night Five Questions respondents named ten different running backs that they liked AND have “… a good shot at ultimately being selected by the Steelers.” The runaway favorite was Oklahoma Sooner Samaje Perine with 13 mentions. Pitt Panther James Conner & Toledo Rockets Kareem Hunt trailed behind with 6 mentions apiece. The only other running backs with multiple votes were South Florida Bull Marlon Mack (4) & Clemson Tiger Wayne Gallman (3). The others mentioned were BYU Cougar Jamaal Williams, Wyoming Cowboy Brian Hill, Texas Longhorn D’Onta Foreman, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, & Wisconsin Badger Corey Clements. No votes for Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon; I guess if the evil empire won’t touch him; he has a snowflake’s chances in a furnace of being picked by the Steelers.
Question 3. This question seemed to have the most deviation among answers. Every single player got at least one vote most with several as the top edge-rusher who could be molded into a Pittsburgh Steeler outside linebacker … and every single player got multiple votes as the least or second least. I ended up just averaging their ranking by the respondents. The result was a tie between Charles Harris and T.J. Watt. Carl Lawson was next followed by Derek Rivers. Takkarist McKinley was 5th and Taco Charlton 6th. There was also a tie at the bottom between Tim Williams & Jordan Willis.
Question 4. T.J. Watt with fifteen votes & Charles Harris with thirteen were who we wanted Dave Bryan to “tackle” next with a sack compilation video. Dave delivered on both as well as Alabama linebacker Tim Williams who got mentioned. Perhaps these are in the queue: Temple Owl Haason Reddick (3); Ohio Bobcat Tarell Bashham (4); Louisville Cardinal Devonte Fields, Florida Atlantic Owl Trey Hendrickson (2); FSU Seminole Demarcus Walker; Fighting Illini Dawuane Smoot (3); Villanova Wildcat Tanoh Kpassagnon (2).
Question 5. Most understand that there is little danger of Mike Tomlin leaking information that would cause serious damage to Steelers Nation’s Security. One person said, “I am not sure he is willing to give a straight answer, I love that about him.” Of course, there are those that hate that about him too. With that in mind here is a list of the questions you would want to ask him during the annual AFC coaches breakfast. Maybe David Todd could glean a nugget if he has not already asked some version of these:
-What primary character aspect do you look for in prospects, and what character issue is a major black mark?
– Why didn’t you let Jordan Todman be a bigger part of the KR game?
– What schematic changes, if any, do you plan on making on the defensive side of the ball this year?
– You made a big pitch for Dont’a Hightower. Can you explain what attracted you to him, and what you felt he would bring to the Steelers’ Defense?’
– Are you a fan of drafting specialty players i.e. a return specialist, or a hybrid defender.
– How much tape do you watch on a player before you start to feel comfortable with your evaluation of that player?
– What’s your main process going into day three of the draft?
– How much stock do you put in combine results, and to what degree does the combine influence your player evaluation?
– Have you been in contact with Martavis Bryant.
– why don’t you prepare offensively to go against another team’s weaknesses instead of trying to do whatever you want and daring them to stop your scheme?
– Do you guys like cornerbacks or are they your least favorite position on the team?
– Do you feel that if we had one shut down corner that we would win the SB with the current roster?
– How do you feel about drafting a player who is injured that cannot contribute this year but has tremendous upside?
– How much opportunity is there after camp for a non-starter to make the jump to playing time?
– If you could look back to look forward would the next patriots defensive game plan be schemed differently?
– Any updates on Senquez Golson’s injury and rehab?
– Are you planning to run more press man coverage against the Patriots this year? Or will you just stick with the same zone scheme that has allowed Brady to gut us like a carp for the past 10 years?
– Will you take a shot at signing Gerald Hodges or Zach Brown to replace Lawrence Timmons?