ProFootballTalk: Who will the Steelers select in the draft?

This is a very important draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they’ve lost some key players this offseason. Mike Florio believes the best option for the Steelers is to draft an every-down running back to take some of the pressure off Ben Roethlisberger.

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20 responses to “ProFootballTalk: Who will the Steelers select in the draft?

  1. Surprised no comments have been posted on this so far. Most of these guys are being too harsh on our recent draft history. As Florio said, we had a great draft in 2010. No, 2011 wasn’t great, but it did yield a couple of productive players. We can’t make judgments yet about 2012. If DeCastro and Adams meet long-term expectations, that will be another great draft.

    Florio’s right about the back–we need another Jerome Bettis. I’d give anything for the Steelers to get Eddie Lacey. But whether or not we get Lacey, the Steelers need to give more attention to SEC and Bama players. I’m not saying that as an SEC/Bama fan, but as a Steelers fan. Look at their productivity in the NFL.

  2. I see this year’s Steeler draft being similar to the 2008 draft – a total bust. Tomlin, (with his Wm. & Mary BA in sociology degree), is an idiot.

  3. I would prefer that the Steelers draft the best available pass rusher. The lack of pressure put on opposing QB’s last season is more concerning to me. I was surprised our secondary held up as much as it did given the poor D-line play.

  4. Tomlin’s decision last season to implement a “running back-by-committee” was a flop. Hopefully he’ll stick with either Dwyer or Redman and stop his inane alternating every series. At least we won’t see 150-pound Rainey in goal-line formations in 2013.
    For a running back, especially a power back, to be successful, he needs to get into a flow by carrying the ball 25, 30 times a game.
    I find it interesting that national pundits had nothing good to say about Mendenhall when he was a Steeler; but now that he’s a Cardinal, they are calling him a great addition.
    Mendenhall was the Steelers’ best back, and it was a mistake to throw him aside like a piece of garbage.

  5. A quality RB can be obtained in the later rounds. Besides, I think the Steelers may already have something in Dwyer, plus Redman is a proven quality back-up. There are more pressing needs than RB. Any RB we take needs to be a 3rd down type of back to fill that void, not a bruiser.

    Sorry Bob, but Mendenhall quit on the Steelers and needed to go. He never lived up to expectation considering where he was drafted.

  6. stillers213:
    That “quitting” argument works both ways. Tomlin had quit on Mendenhall long before Mendenhall allegedly quit on Tomlin.
    I’m still not quite sure how not attending a game in which a DEACTIVATED player wasn’t going to play is interpreted as “quitting.” But I’ll leave that up to the media to determine. Whatever they say, goes…
    Mendenhall, by the way, powered the Steelers’ offense through the 2010 postseason and was on his way to being the potential Super Bowl MVP before he fumbled. It was a similar fumble to that of Jerome Bettis’ fumble against the Colts in the 2005 postseason. There’s not a running back who ever played who hasn’t fumbled. Such is life in the NFL.

  7. It’s more complicated than Tomlin quitting on Mendenhall, but otherwise … sigh … I have to agree with bobzilla. Mendenhall absolutely lived up to expectations. He was gold in the 2010 season and had one of the lowest fumble rates in the league. That was a forced fumble in the Super Bowl, and it happens to every great back.

    People like having a goat to blame for a painful loss–and O’Donnell’s behavior combined with his play in SBXXX made him ideal. But we can’t pin the SBLXV loss on Mendenhall. Too many others had a hand in that game. What really killed Mendy’s career in Pittsburgh was that fumble combined with his foolish political tweets. The fans and the front office quit on him. And his injury and the running-back-by-committee system just made it easier for Tomlin and the team to cut ties. It’s an unfortunate situation, but I don’t think he would have recovered in Pittsburgh. Better for all concerned that he moved on.

  8. The NFL has a history of oddball running backs: John Riggins, Clinton Portis, Ricky Williams, the list goes on…
    Under Arians, Mendenhall was asked to run without a fullback, something that Bettis had his entire Steelers career. Arians didn’t use a blocking back because he has no use for a running game.
    Teams that cut ties with a player of Mendenhall’s pedigree without having a quality replacement already lined up are teams lacking in direction.
    We are talking about a team that’s offense constantly ranks near the bottom of the league. Do you actually believe not having a quality feature back is going to make an already-bad offense better?

  9. bob: “Under Arians, Mendenhall was asked to run without a fullback, something that Bettis had his entire Steelers career. Arians didn’t use a blocking back because he has no use for a running game.”
    So…Arians signed Mendenhall in AZ. Hmm, kinda says all you need about his value, don’t it?
    Bruce: I have no use for a running game. Yep, Rashard will be fine. Why pay someone good!

    There goes your theory, bob…

  10. bob, the league has a history of popular oddballs–and so do the Steelers with guys like Fats Holmes. But the Pittsburgh fanbase has a low tolerance for guys who are perceived to have screwed up in big games and who mouth off in a way that’s seen as anti-American. That’s why even accurate comments about Mendenhall’s positive contributions in 2010 get thumbs down. If he’d been able to come back and have another great year, it’s likely all would have been forgiven and forgotten. But injuries and running-back-by-committee made that impossible, and his lawsuit kept his other faux pas in the public eye. It’s just unlikely that he would have overcome all those obstacles in Pittsburgh.

    Have already said my priority is getting a feature back like Bettis. Am hoping Haley will make that his priority as well. But Stillers213 also makes a good point about going for a big-time pass rusher.

  11. steelerssam:
    Not quite sure what you were trying to say. At least I have a theory. I’m still waiting for yours. Care to join in?

    No one has screwed up in big games more than Roethlisberger. He was awful in Super Bowl 40, almost as bad in Super Bowl 43, and he threw a crippling pick-six in Super Bowl 45.

    The media pounded the drum against Mendenhall, and the over-reactive fanbase followed like sheep.

    However, I also agree with what you have said, although I doubt the Steelers will use their first pick on a running back. They seem to be content with Dwyer, Redman and whoever else they may find among the undrafted free agents.

  12. bob …

    That’s why I said no one could hang SB45 on Mendenhall. Ben had a terrible game. I’m more forgiving of his SB40 performance because of his age and incredible playoff run to get us there.

    Yeah … I doubt we’ll use that first pick on a running back, too. It would be so out of character. But then I fantasize about Dick reminiscing with Todd about the ’72 draft and get my hopes up.

  13. bs… pure bs… they were 8-8 but could have been 12-4 with break here or there and fewer absurd referee calls… not a worry they be north champs again… ravens are done, bengals always choke… browns are the browns

  14. Contrary to popular belief, I have no problem with Roethlisberger, other than he’s always given a free pass for bad performances.

    He was the exact same age for Super Bowl 40 as he was against the Bengals, the Colts and the Broncos in the 2005 postseason. The ’05 Seahawks weren’t exactly the ’78 or ’95 Cowboys…

    I try to provide some balance.

    Mendenhall cost the Steelers Super Bowl 45 with a drive-killing fumble yet Roethlisberger’s pick-six in a six-point loss is always ignored. I have a problem with that.

    Funny thing about that ’72 draft: Noll wanted to draft Robert Newhouse with the first pick, while Art Rooney Jr wanted to take Franco. So glad the owner’s kid won that debate.

  15. I’m thinking the Steelers will go with a rb in round 2 or 3. First round probably should go for a wr but I doubt if they do. They will probably go for whoever falls – Could be a pass rusher or maybe an offensive linemen. But just because we lost Wallace, I think they should get a skill position player early.

  16. The ONLY area that is safe in this year’s draft is the offensive line. The Steelers have spent the past three drafts replenishing that area. Beyond that, they need help nearly everywhere, including a quality QB they can groom to be an eventual starter.
    Pretty difficult to fill all their needs in a 7-round draft. Nevertheless, they better make this draft count.

  17. Art Rooney Jr.–now there’s a guy who seldom gets his due when it comes to personnel influence.

    Yes, Ben was the same age in SB40 as in the run up to the SB, but the Big Game is a little more intimidating. However, you can only use Big Game jitters as an excuse in the first one. My biggest problems with Roethlisberger are ego and lack of discipline. He has tremendous raw talent but has never put in the work Brady and Manning do. He seems to think that kind of prep will kill his spontenaity. But his game got better after he worked with a QB specialist during his suspension. He’s fighting Haley for the same reason–he wants to be the hero. He’s got to discipline himself to work the system. That doesn’t mean he can’t still make magic when the circumstances create the opportunity.

    Yes, we need to start looking for our future QB. Unfortunately, he’s not in this draft.

    @steelers2372 …

    Wallace was a third-round pick. I think we could still find a good receiver in the later rounds. If not a power back in the first, then we have a lot of need on defense.

  18. Roethlisberger’s alleged “magic” was/is mythical. He’s the only quarterback I can ever remember able to escape criticism by simply making one, two, maybe three plays a game.
    He has dodged criticism only because he’s had the good fortune of having been supported by a defense that has kept games close, enabling him to only need to make a few plays per game to be the so-called “hero.”
    There’s no greater example than Super Bowl 43: Roethlisberger threw an interception that set up the Cardinals deep in Steelers’ territory. Had the Cardinals scored, that game would have been o-v-e-r.
    Instead, James Harrison saves Roethlisberger’s bacon by returning an interception off Roethlisberger’s turnover 100 yards for a TD. What a turn of events, huh?
    Big Ben has lived a charmed life … by riding the coattails of an elite defense, which is in the process of being dismantled.

  19. When I say “magic,” I’m thinking of those plays where he escapes seemingly sure tackles and still manages to connect with receivers. And there are those wild plays like the tackle in the Colts game and the march down the field at the end of SBXLIII. Those are the things fans latch onto–and the things he’s let go to his head. He’s breathtaking to watch at times. Those crazy saves make most people forget his many boneheaded plays. But like you, I don’t forget those plays and it drives me nuts to think what he could have been–and what the team could have been–if he’d just been driven the way Brady is to constantly improve his game.

    Harrison should have been the MVP of that Super Bowl. He was robbed!

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