This Is Mel Kiper Season - By Marc Simon
Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial
|According to several mock draft boards, with the Number 15 pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers will select either Quentin Moses, Amobi Okoye, Charles Johnson, Jarvis Moss, Darelle Revis, Adam Carriker, Paul Posluszny, Justin Blalock, or Levi Brown. Seven are defensive players. Two are offensive linemen. Well, at least none of them are wide receivers.
It's hard to say where the Steelers are leaning in this year's draft. The team returns virtually every starter from last year. It's debatable whether or not that's a good thing, since the team went 8-8. I do know that complacency gets you nowhere in the NFL.
While past performance is no guarantee of future returns (as the mutual funds folks say), let's look at how we did in last year's draft.
We traded up in the first round for Santonio Holmes. At first, people were calling him Santoni-O-No!, but by the end of the season, he began to show his considerable talent both as receiver and a kick returner. If the Steelers can keep him on the straight and narrow, we may have a gem.
Third rounder Anthony Smith made some big hits on special teams. He wasn't as much of a hit with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau after he intercepted a pass and did an imitation of a drum major strutting down the sideline. Whether Anthony can play well on a consistent bases remains to be seen, but there's little question regarding his dancing ability.
Our other third round pick was wide receiver Willie Reid. You're probably still scratching your head over that one. Many of us wondered why we picked a wide receiver that was primarily a punt returner when we'd already drafted a wide receiver that was a very good punt returner. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the wisdom of the pick since Willie was injured for most of the season. The other Willie, Willie Colon, our first pick in the fourth, may turn out to be a good one. Willie started a couple of games near the end of the season and looked at least O.K.
After Willie II, though, it all went downhill. Picks 4B, 5A and 5B (Orien Harris, Omar Jacobs and Charles Davis), cut, cut and cut. Of the three, I thought at least Davis had a chance. Do you know he was named "player you'd least want to meet in a dark alley" in poll of Big Ten players conducted by Champaign News-Gazette? Evidently, that did not impress the coaching staff. These three zeros were followed by Marvin Phillip (practice squad) and Cedric Humes (gone).
Let's hope Kevin Colbert and company do a better job this year. An 8-8 team can't afford so many duds.
Personally, I say we take a cornerback. Ask yourself: Do you feel good about our corners going into next season? Deshea Townsend is on the wrong side of 30. Ike Taylor is often on the wrong side of the receiver. Bryant McFadden has yet to distinguish himself. Ricardo Coclough hasn't done much in three years except fumble a couple of punts. Also, we need to improve the quality of our backups. No disrespect, but we can do better than Chidi Iwuoma and Jovon Johnson.
I don't know what Mel Kiper is predicting for the Steelers at this point. But don't worry. I have a call in to Mel's hairdresser. He spends a great deal of time with Mel, as you might imagine. When he tips me off, I'll pass it along.