Granted there are some who have other ideas and it’s those folks who have me thinking.
Here’s a scenario that I think bears just a little bit of thought or else I wouldn’t be writing about it.
With a great debate emerging about the future of Steelers’ center Maurice Pouncey (his contract is up after this season), is it possible the Steelers go with an offensive tackle in round one?
The master plan would work like this;
Everyone appreciates the work Kelvin Beachum has done at tackle. Many times he’s been overmatched and outgunned but he has still done a whale of a job and has become the Steelers most versatile offensive lineman. With that said, how comfortable is the coaching staff and front office with him remaining at left tackle?
Now the mindset shifts back to the draft where three very good offensive tackles are expected to go in the top 15 picks if not earlier. Both Mike Tomlin and offensive line coach Mike Munchak have been to pro days at Michigan and Texas A&M where Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews are respectively. This doesn’t mean they were there exclusively for these mean by any stretch because of the talent at other positions but still…
While I don’t believe there will be a trade-up, the Steelers are certainly doing their due diligence in vetting both players. The third guy is Auburn tackle Greg Robinson who is expected to go top 5.
If either Lewan or Matthews falls to 15, the plan could be in place…
There’s your tackle of the future, Beachum slides into center where he saw a lot of time in training camp last year. The coaches apparently like him there. Pouncey goes off into the free agent sunset where he’ll demand big bucks that the Steelers likely won’t pay or have.
Cody Wallace and possibly Fernando Velasco could be in place as reserves in case of a problem with Beachum moving to center. Beachum would of course still be a versatile member of the O-line, but the hope is that he anchors the center spot dutifully.
I understand there are those that think the world of Pouncey but I can’t see paying my center the money he will demand. He’s had some on and off injury issues and the question of whether this line was better without him in 2013 looms large as well.
As always, much is dependent on all of this taking place. It’s a just a thought but I think it bears just a little merit.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard weekly on Trib-Live Radio talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.