“Ryan Shazier was someone we valued very highly. We’re well aware of who we have on our team. But when we can add a player of quality, it’ll override the need anytime.”
It’s that italicized part that might resonate for years to come. Basically, Colbert and the Steelers felt that what Shazier had to offer was worth more than what Darqueze Dennard or others could. Colbert may end up being right and I for one will be thrilled if he is.
The problem is that “need” word again. The need still exists for a top-flight cornerback and a top receiving threat but now the Steelers must find them later in the draft. For all I or anyone else bleeding black n’ gold knows, Dennard may end up being a bust in Cincinnati but he also could turn out to be great.
There was obviously concern by the Steelers’ brass about Dennard. Was he too ‘grabby?’ Did they not like his ability to flip his hips? Perhaps he wasn’t solid enough in ‘tackling the catch?’
I honestly have no problem that they didn’t take Dennard, but I really thought a position of need would be addressed with the first pick. At this point, the Steelers are in no position to draft for quality over need. They have too many holes to fill and too many issues to address.
I will trust that Colbert and company have nailed this pick and I expect to see Ryan Shazier on the field much more than off in 2014 or else the idea of him being a ‘quality pick’ goes out the window.
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.