Happy Friday the 13th to all of yinz and welcome to the weekend.
Two weeks from tonight we’ll know who the Pittsburgh Steelers selected in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft and will then be readying ourselves for the team’s day-two selections. These two weeks will likely pass quickly and after the draft is over you can look forward to us breaking down all of the team’s selections in various ways. It goes without saying that this is an exciting time of the year if you’re a Steelers fan.
I had a great breakfast Wednesday morning with the great David Orochena, who has contributed on the site for quite a while now. He was in Las Vegas for a few days and I am glad I had a chance to meet up with him for about 90 minutes. If you are not already doing so, make sure you follow him on Twitter at @subBurgher. He’s a fine, fine human.
I’ll turn 50 on Monday and will celebrate my birthday week with three trips to see three different doctors. I also have a brain scan scheduled for early May in addition to another colonoscopy soon thereafter. To make matters worse, I have to provide the IRS another sizable donation this weekend. It sucks getting old.
I look forward to watching Game 2 of the Pittsburgh Penguins series against the Philadelphia Flyers later this evening and I also plan to have the Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Miami Marlins on the other television as well. If you’re a Pittsburgh sports fan, it should be a fun evening.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer in the comments below and I can’t wait to read them all.
Have a great weekend and peace and love to all of yinz!
1 – Christian Kirk, James Washington or D.J. Chark for the Steelers somewhere in the first three-rounds of the draft and why? You MUST choose one.
2 – Team Leighton Vander Esch, Team Rashaan Evans, or Team Neither?
3 – Choose a, b, or c:
a) Both Justin Reid and Jessie Bates III will be drafted in the first round.
b) Only one of Reid or Bates will be drafted in the first round.
c) Neither Reid nor Bates will be drafted in the first round.
4 – On Friday, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved altering football’s kickoff rules to allow the receiving team to fair catch the kick inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback. Do you like this rule alteration?
5 – The Dallas Cowboys released wide receiver Dez Bryant on Friday. Name me one AFC and NFC team you think he might ultimately sign with.
Question 1 – Steelers Depot respondents predict that Stevan Ridley has the best chance to make the Steelers Week 1 53-man roster with 81% saying that he will be on it. Big Dan McCullers was next with 54% giving him the nod. Justin Hunter is a dark horse with 27% while Fitz Toussaint was given virtually no chance with only 4% saying he will make it. Somewhat surprising since Toussaint had 130 snaps if you include his 91 special team snaps in 2017. The median response was that two of these players would make the 53 so playing the percentages we say Ridley & McCullers get the nod over Toussaint & Hunter.
Question 2 – 56% believe that J.J. Wilcox will be released before training camp starts. The minority support is lukewarm as several said that Wilcox will not make through camp to the 53-man roster if a safety is a high draft choice.
Question 3 – 61% say the Steelers will draft at least one wide receiver and one running back this year. Since Mike Tomlin became head coach; the Steelers have drafted both a running back and at least one wide receiver in 7 of 11 drafts. There has only been one draft (2011) when no wide receivers were selected. There were three straight drafts (2014-16) when no running back was selected which was, naturally, after Le’Veon Bell’s selection in 2013.
Question 4 – Only 3 ½% believe that New England will trade up to select a quarterback. However, with the 23rd and 31st overall picks; there is a good chance that they will select either Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson if they are still on the board. Six quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round only once (1983) in the history of the NFL draft. Five quarterbacks were drafted in first round only once as well – 1999. It would not surprise me if the evil empire waited to draft either Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson with one of their two picks in first round.
Question 5 – 32% said that the Steelers will pick one of the eight candidates listed last week. While most simply said false to the question; several additional candidates were submitted as the Steelers likely 1st round pick led by LB Leighton Vander Esch (6); S Justin Reid (4); OLB Lorenzo Carter (2); ILB Roquan Smith (1) & WR D.J. Moore (1).