Steelers Select Hometown Draft Prospects

Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial

Saturday, April 21, 2007
By Marc Simon
Steelers Fever Columnist

As April 28 approaches, the pundits (now there's a word that's used only in sports journalism) are laying down their mock draft boards hot and heavy. Since one person's predictions are as lousy as the next guy's, here's the 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers draft as we see it. And remember: Think globally, draft locally.

Tony HuntRound One: Steelers select 5' 11 1/2", 204 lb. University of Pittsburgh cornerback Darrelle Revis.

"He has all the measurables you'd want," says Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, "and some immeasurabales, too, that we can't measure, if you know what I mean. Plus Darrelle's a lot like Ty Law, in that he's from Aliquippa." Adds Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, "He's a local kid, so he already knows where the stadium is."

Round Two: Steelers select 6' 1 5/8", 238 lb. Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny.

"We're surprised Paul was still available at this point," says Colbert. "We had him much higher on our board ... and no, you can't see our board. He can play inside or outside, in a dome or open stadium. Plus he's from Aliquippa, like Darrelle Revis and Ty Law." "And he's a local kid," adds Steelers head coach Tomlin. "Wonder if he knows Darrelle?"

Round Three: Steelers select 6' 2", 230 lb. Penn State running back Tony Hunt.

"I'm thrilled to be a Steeler," says Hunt, "but I had myself rated much higher on my board."Adds Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, "So did we. Tony is a hard-hitting physical-type back, a nice change of pace from Willie Parker, but that doesn't mean he's slow, O.K? And he's a local kid, even though he's from Texas."

Round Four: Steelers select 5' 10 3/4", 236 lb. Pitt linebacker H.B. Blades.

Although shorter than Round 2 draft selection Paul Posluszny, Blades is only two pounds lighter. "He packs a wallop," says coach Mike Tomlin. Son of former all-pro safety Benny Blades and an Administration of Justice major, H.B. likes to "lay administer justice" in the middle. "Benny has good blood lines," says coach Tomlin, "I think his dad tackled me once."

Round Four (Compensatory pick): Steelers select 6' 1 1/2", 236 lb. Penn State linebacker Tim Shaw.

"The kid has a motor that just won't quit," says Kevin Colbert, "and I don't mean in his Mustang." Scouting report says Tim has excellent timed speed but could have trouble shedding massive blockers, but then, who wouldn't. Born in Exeter, England. Hometown, Exeter Michigan. Coincidence? Perhaps. "And he played right up the road at Penn State, so he's a local kid," adds coach Tomlin.

Round Five: Steelers select 6' 2", 220 lb. University of Akron quarterback Luke Getsy.

Pointing to last year's draft, when the Steelers selected Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs in the fifth round, GM Kevin Colbert says, "Drafting a MAC quarterback in Round Five has become a Steeler tradition." Getsy grew up in Munhall, PA, right up the hill from Homestead, home of Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch. "Lots of quality backup quarterbacks hail from the Homestead/Munhall area," says coach Tomlin. "Plus he's local."

Round Five (Compensatory pick): Steelers select 6' 5 1/2", 323 pound Penn State offensive tackle Levi Brown.

"It's incredible," says draft guru Mel Kiper. "I've seen great players slip, but never this far before." Dozens of NFL general managers with puzzled looks on their faces are seen pointing at each other, saying, "But I thought you took him," and "Wait, didn't you take him?" Colbert says, "We had him much higher on our board." Brown projects as both left and right tackle, or an entire side of the line. "Plus he's from Virginia, like me," says coach Tomlin, "and that makes him local."

Round Six: Steelers select 6' 3 3/4", 304 lb. Penn State defensive tackle Jay Alford.

A converted tight end, Jay put on about 60 pounds since enrolling at Penn State. "Can't beat PSU dorm food," says Jay. Projected as a pass rushing specialist. "We had him higher on our board," says Kevin Colbert, "and given his record, he should be a star at the training table."

Round Seven: Steelers select 6' 3/4", 215 lb. Pitt punter Adam Graessle.

Extremely accurate kicker with a "big" leg, but actually no bigger than normal. Excellent hang time; one of his punts has yet to come down. Versatile; can kick off, hold for placements, carry clipboard. Knows the wind patterns at Heinz Stadium, having kicked there his entire college career, which "makes him local," according to Kevin Colbert.

Unlikely, you say? Hey, we could do worse.