Tomorrow Starts Today – By Nick Signorelli
Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial
|If you take a look at the greatest Quarterbacks of all time, there is one common denominator. They all had a great Tight End. Bradshaw had Cunningham, Montana had Clark. The TE is the security blanket of the Quarterback. Good for getting the short yardage, moving the chains and blocking. Most Tight Ends can do one or the other very well, and just get by with the other. Then there are guys like Jeremy Shocky, and Todd Heap. That is the mold of the 30th pick in the NFL Draft.
Round 1 – Heath Miller, TE
I am really not one to brag, honest. But I was just reading my column from last week and, well, what can I say. I think it was something like….
“TE – With the departure of Jay Riemersma, this is an area of weakness, that may be addressed in the first round. If Heath Miller is still available, Pittsburgh will jump all over him. Odds are though, he will be gone long before 30.”
Well, he wasn’t, and we did. I have heard everything from he is the next Todd Heap. Heard he was more fluid than Kellen Winslow Jr. He is as good a blocker as Mark Bruener. For this to be a success, he doesn’t have to be any of them. He needs to be the outlet man for Big Ben. Be the dump off man when Ben is in trouble, move the chains. Anything else, to me is ice cream on top of the cake. Take a look at our TE’s from last year. 17 Receptions from 4 tight ends. 17! That is an average of 1.1 per game. Imagine how much better Bens stats would have been if we had had a Tight End that could catch. IF, Heath Miller can be what everyone says he can, we can look to control the clock even more. I think this will make our team THAT much better.
Round 2 – Bryant McFadden, DB
Being that I live in Florida, I get the privilege of watching FSU games, even though I am a fan of Miami. Bryant is a typical Steeler CB. Decent in pass coverage, and loves to hit. This is the second year in a row we drafted a CB in the second round. For years I worried about our CB situation, and this one is no different. Deshea Townsend has done a very good job, and Ricardo Colclough is coming along nicely. This shows me that either Ike Taylor had better step up or he is going to be wearing other colors next year, or out of the game completely. Willie Williams isn’t bad, but lets be honest, do you want him covering anyone other than a #3? I for one, am glad Chad Scott is gone (more on that later), but I would still like to see us take a run at Ty Law. A friend of mine (who is a Redskins fan) told me Law had to be coming to Pittsburgh. If not the Skins would have signed him already. To have Law and Townsend at the corner and Colclough in the Nickel, I think we would have the #1 D in the league. Thats right, we did it last year.
Round 3 – OT Trai Essex
Anyone who tells you Pittsburgh doesn’t draft for need is lying to you. This is the one position on the team that scares me. I think we should have at least TRIED to re-sign Gibson or Ross. Not both, EITHER of them. I am completely happy with the left side of the line. Marvel Smith, Alan Fanaca, and Jeff Hartings are all studs, no argument. I can not think of a better side of an O line in the league. Even though Jeff Hartings knees make me nervous, Chucky Okobi is waiting in the wings, cheaply I must add. If for some reason Kendall Simmons has another setback, we can move Hartings to Guard (his natural position) and Okobi can start at Center early. If Starks goes down, or is in-effective, we are out of luck. Essex is not ready to start, or even give relief and probably wont be for at least a year.
Round 4 – WR Fred Gibson
Bill Cowher said that he had Gibson with a second round grade. If that is the case it proves that we draft for need. Either way, I think we got a steal. This is going to make things interesting in training camp. Hines Ward could skip workouts miss training camp and still be the best WR in the group (more on Ward later). El and Cedrick Wilson will battle for 2 and 3, and Gibson will beat out Lee Mays by the end of pre-season. If El can’t beat out Cedrick Wilson, being that he is in the last year of his contract, he might make a nose dive down the depth chart. Gibson has good size, good speed and good hands. Big Ben likes throwing to big receivers and I believe if not this year, he will turn into one of Bens favorite targets.