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After the first three rounds of the 2014 NFL draft the Steelers have amassed what is shaping up to be the youngest team they’ve had in a long time. The focus has shifted from crafty veterans to thirsty newcomers aiming to prove themselves.
Lets review what we’ve done up to this point. At pick 15 we were able to nab Ryan Shazier, LB out of Ohio State. This dude can flat out fly to the ball which should help stop any outside runs or help plug up any new holes created. At 6’2’’, 229 pounds he shows the perfect mix of brute and speed. Shazier will don #50 and fill the shoes of the departed Larry Foote.
In round 2 we picked up Stephon Tuitt out of Notre Dame. What more can I say about this 6’5’’, 305 LB behemoth? First off, its nice to see the Steelers addressing defense early on. With Al Woods and Ziggy Hood gone we’re going to need someone to help seal the gaps. Tuitt has been described by many as having “first round talent.” Hey, as long as he can hold up and doesn’t have to ride the pine with injury all season I’m fine with it. We’re in need of guys to start immediately. No word on whether or not he will get the starting job but if you put the pieces together I think you’ll agree that he’s gonna see action sooner or later.
And in round 3, probably my favorite pick so far, is Dri Archer from Kent State. Standing at a staggering 5’8’’ and weighing in at 175 LBS he provides the perfect complement to our workhorse Le’Veon Bell. Almost the Smash and Dash combo that a lot of teams are starting to employ since its induction by Carolina. It should also be noted that I feel a special connection to this guy because my younger sister also attends Kent State and is very good friends with him. So yeah, there’s that.
Now this wouldn’t be a piece uniqe to me if there wasn’t a bit of controversy. I’m hearing a lot of people whine and moan about the picks we made. Granted I did a little bit of complaining as well seeing as how we always seem to want to draft a LB in the first and second rounds. I thought a little bit of variety would help spice things up a bit. Almost like a stale relationship. But NFL teams have this thing they call a gameplan and they like to stick to it. You don’t go after what looks pretty, you go after what you need. There are names on a board and you probably shouldn’t stray from that. So many people I’ve talked to over the past couple of days have been wondering why we didn’t go after a corner or receiver. Clearly we have needs at both those positions and there seems to be plenty to choose from in the early going. I was hoping that the Steelers would want to address those concerns sooner rather than later. But that’s why I write about them here and don’t have authority to pick team members. Needless to say that position wouldn’t be filled for long. They’d fire me faster than a sugar fiend at Baskin Robins.
So the long and short of it is this. As much as we all want to scream from the hills that we know what’s best for the team, we simply don’t. There are plenty of professionals that can handle that sort of thing. Our job is to simply sit back and watch the glory unfold. Stay tuned in the next few days to see more coverage of the rest of the NFL draft.