Home 2014 Steelers Offseason Steelers’ Potential Free Agent Targets

Steelers’ Potential Free Agent Targets

by Steelbydesign

dexter-mccluster-chiefsThis Steelers off-season is a little different than most, because the Steelers are going to be tasked with filling more holes than usual.

Pittsburgh could  potentially be looking at wide receiver, defensive end, cornerback, or safety for starters. They’ll also look for depth on both lines and linebacker.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has said a few times this off-season he expects to find a starter in free agency to help take some of the pressure off of draft picks to produce early.

I already know what all of the comments on this article are going to say. The Steelers never sign big name free agents.

Trust me, I know, and I’m not saying that’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to wait a couple of weeks into the free agency period, and look at guys that will come cheap, that have potential to fit into their scheme.

It’s worked in the past with guys like James Farrior, Ryan Clark, and Jeff Hartings.

One thing that those types of guys the Steelers signed, is they were all still fairly young when the Steelers signed them. Clark was 26, Farrior was 27, and Hartings was 28.

They tried it last off-season with guys like Matt Spaeth and Larod Stephens-Howling, who would’ve played large roles but both suffered serious injuries.

So with all that being said, here are some guys that I think fit the bill of what the Steelers typically look for in their free agent signings. I’m not saying the Steelers will or could look at all of these guys, but any of them seem like a possibility to me…

Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota
Knowshon Moreno, Ben Tate, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, Donald Brown, and LaGarette Blount are the big names on the market. Couple that with the fact that the running back position is being de-valued, and someone like Gerhart could slip through the cracks.

If the Steelers bring back Dwyer and/or Jones then RB won’t be as big a need, but right now they need to find someone that can keep Bell from wearing down. Gerhart is only 26 and has only averaged 4.5 carries per game in his career, so he should have plenty of tread left on the tires.

Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Kansas City
This one I’m not extremely confident about, but I think if he hits the open market Todd Haley will definitely want to at least bring him in to talk. Haley has always had some shifty, scat-backs on his rosters in the NFL. Haley drafted McCluster in the 2nd round when he was the head coach of the Chiefs, so we know he’s a fan.

McCluster could fill multiple roles for the Steelers as a return man, a back receiver, and a 3rd down running back to give Bell a breather here or there. I realize McCluster just made the pro bowl as a return man, but with new kick return rules, these guys are being de-valued.

Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee
I think that Britt could be one of the guys that could benefit from a change of scenery. He’s shown in his career he’s capable of being dominant and using his size to out-muscle defensive backs. Britt’s certainly beaten the Steelers in the past.

In Pittsburgh Britt would have a better QB and supporting cast around him than he’s ever had. I think that a deep WR free agent market (like the RB market) could allow us to find someone like Britt

Malcolm Jenkins, CB/S, New Orleans
Jenkins has had a rough couple of years in New Orleans, and with them adding Kenny Vacarro and our own Keenan Lewis last off-season, the writing was on the wall for Jenkins. He’s disappointed since jumping to the NFL, but it’s hard to ignore the talent he once had. Many compared him to Charles Woodson, who transitioned into a great safety. Signing Jenkins could provide the Steelers some flexibility in the secondary.

Lebeau has always seemed to love adding players from his alma-mater, and the fact that Jenkins is still only 26 years old makes him more attractive.

Nick Collins, S, Green Bay
Collins was a 3 time pro bowler with the Packers before suffering a serious neck injury. Collins scored on a pick-6 in the Superbowl against the Steelers. Collins has recently said that he’s healthy and wants to make a comeback in the NFL.

At 30 years old Collins would be a short term fix at the position, but he could give the Steelers a few years to let Shamarko Thomas and probably a rookie pick this year time to fully learn the position.

Taylor Mays, S, Cincinnati
This is one I’ve had countless arguments with people on twitter about. I was a big fan of Mays coming out of college, and he’s been a huge bust, yes… But I still think Dick Lebeau could use a guy with Mays’ skill set. Mays is a physical freak that can run all over the field and hit like a truck, but just doesn’t play well in coverage.

With Troy Polamalu playing  hybrid safety/linebacker role this season, my interest in Mays returned. I think Mays could fit a role like that, or at worst, a nickle linebacker and special-teamer.

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robert henderson February 7, 2014 - 7:21 pm

I say Yss to everyone on your list except Collins. However at Vet Mini on a 1 yr contract I’d gamble on Collins. Taylor Mays- Mike Tomlin wasn’t a fan of his because he didn’t like Mays instincts. However I think he can be a Hybrid LB/Safety.
Let’s Add in Mt Cody as our two down rotating NT and put Al Woods or Mc Clendon at DE.

Vittorio February 7, 2014 - 7:51 pm

A guy like McCluster is not leaving KC. He is there x-factor and a guy who does get 8-10 carries a game and not mention he is basically there Slot WR so why would he leave. Britt’s biggest problem is his attitude. He has the size and skill to be a good WR but teams don’t question that they question his attitude and how he will be not only on the field but in the locker room. Jenkins is a guy I like but only if it’s cheap and the Steelers have the money. It’s great that fans think the Steelers would love to get these guys but they can easily price themselves out of the Steelers range. I want fans to remember that when looking at FA. You can talk about any FA you want the Steelers to get, but it comes to this: Money and how much the guy wants. Remember this team is about 10million over the cap heading into the new season. Until the cap situation is resolved then really why consider any FA and I know it’s fun to talk and speculate but in reality do you really believe it will happen or do you just wish it would happen?

steelbydesign February 7, 2014 - 7:55 pm

Come on man!!! Read!

“I already know what all of the comments on this article are going to say. The Steelers never sign big name free agents.
Trust me, I know, and I’m not saying that’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to wait a couple of weeks into the free agency period, and look at guys that will come cheap, that have potential to fit into their scheme.”

Vittorio February 7, 2014 - 9:16 pm

That was meant for everybody else steelbydesign and not for you. I understood everything you said but my comments were directly towards the rest of the fan base and not you. Understand!

STEELCAN February 7, 2014 - 11:41 pm

The only way I see the Steelers being agressive in the FA market (doubtful) is they would have to be aggresive with their own roster first. For example: Clarke, Kiesel, not re signed. Levi Brown, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu (cut),Lamarr Woodley (post june 1st) cut. And possibly a few new extensions: Ben/Heath. Thats asking a lot, so I highly doubt it.

Vittorio February 8, 2014 - 2:19 am

Ike Taylor is staying. What part of without him they have no NO.1 CB. Troy is also staying. I simply don’t understand why some fans think cutting both Troy and Ike make any sense. Without those guys who takes over and If i see you guys mention draft picks I am really gonna be mad. Levi Brown is by far the smartest option(save 6.25 million) Clark is gone and as for Kiesel he may be someone that will be back. Other than Troy and Ike staying and Kiesel being resigned then by all means lets the others go.

robert henderson February 9, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Ike’s not a No 1 or the No 1 Cb on the team. Cortez Allen is now No 1 and draws the assignment of covering the #1 Wr.
It’s time to move on from Bret keisel age & Injuries have taken their toll and it delays the growth of younger players like Brian Arnfelt.
Clark,Keisel and Levi Brown should be no brainer not to be back and Ike needs to take a paycut or get cut. Troy P, I believe they will extend 1 yr to lower his cap hit and give him the money he’s owed. ( they’ll eat dead money in 2015 for Troy).

STEELCAN February 8, 2014 - 1:31 pm

Like I said in my post, the moves I suggested, were highly doubtful. Btw, re Ike, if you watched the Steelers the last few games, Cortez Allen has taken over the #1 CB spot, matching up against the opponents #1 WR. Go back and look at the season finale vs Cleveland, see who was up against Josh Gordon the majority of snaps, (it wasn”t Ike). So the transition has begun. One last thing, if Ike does not take a pay cut, he is goner. see Harrison, James.

Vittorio February 8, 2014 - 7:56 pm

I know that Ike has to take a pay cut in order to stay. You say that but I recall ike covering AJ Green both times and not Allen just sayin. ART II has the idea that by having a run 1st offense it automatically means to him that everybody else is stupid when in reality he himself is the stupid one. I’m not the only guy or fan that would say the same thing. I look at Jenkins and I see that if he wants to play at a reasonable price then go for it, but there 10 million over, now gutting Levi Brown saves 6.25 million so that is the easy part the hard part is what else can they do to stay under the cap.

STEELCAN February 8, 2014 - 9:38 pm

A couple of more points on Ike: 1. He ranked LAST in the AFC in 2013 re yards passing allowed (He was the only CB to allow over 1000yards!) 2. He lead all Steelers in penalties. 3. He tied for the team lead in missed tackles (along with Ryan Clarke). 4. He will be 34 in 2014, (I dont think there are too many starting CBs in the NFL at 34). So yes, he BETTER take a paycut. one more thing, if you have tape on the Steeler 2013 season (as I do), go over the last couple of games, and see the coverage responsibilites between Ike and Allen. As they say: “the eye in the sky does not lie”. Re Art 2, he never came out and said the offense has to be a “run 1st offense”, he just said they have to run the ball more effectively. How does that make him a person that thinks “everybody else is stupid?” One last thing, there are a number of ways to reduce there cap situation. IE Extend Ben, Heath, make Lamaar Woodley a post june 1st cut (that alone is an 8m cap savings. (assuming of course Worilds is signed to a multi year contract),. Oh, btw, if Ike is indeed cut, thats approx another 7m in savings.

Vittorio February 9, 2014 - 12:08 am

Woodley should be cut but there is good and bad to that idea. The good is that they save money, the bad it would come back to kick them in the but in 2015. ART II is a nosy guy. His father Dan was a guy that you knew he was there but he let Tomlin be who he is and not force him to fire Arians. ART II wanted Haley himself not Tomin or Ben at that time now it’s a different story. Heath will get the extension I just excluded that cause I knew it was something they would get to. As for Ben the ownership is holding off on that for 2 reasons. The top reason is that they won’t let go of summer of 09 and 10 for his 2 off field incidents. That is fact and this coming from a top notch radio host and those close to this team. I still want Ike for this: who is your NO.2 CB, Gay- doubt it, Brown- that ain’t happening, and don’t mention a rookie CB cause you know he will never start. ART II wants the ball out of QB’s hands and if says otherwise he’s a liar. You assume Worilds will stay but like I said before you can cut Woodley but you would pay for it in 2015 and I know that’s a year away but you can ask Stan Savran that question and he would give you the same answer. Worilds will only stay if he is given the starting job with no questions asked.

STEELCAN February 9, 2014 - 2:15 am

Well, we both agree that Woodley should be cut, although I never assumed Worild will stay, Im just saying before they can cut Woodley (post June 1st) they must get Worilds signed first. You compare Art 2 as a “nosy guy”, and Dan just lets Tomlin “be who he is”, well not so fast. Back in the late 80s early 90s Dan forced Chuck Noll to fire one of his assistant coach”s (a cant remember who) but thats a fact. And lets not forget the draft of 2004, Bill Cowher wanted to draft Stacey (or Shawn) Andrews when their pick came up, and Dan stepped in and told him & Colbert the pick would be Big Ben. (It makes you wonder what the last 10 years would have been huh?). Anyways, please dont make it sound like Dan is a guy who “doesnt stick his nose in there from time to time. (After all they are the owners). Re the 2nd CB spot, they may have to use a top 3 pick, and let him battle it out with Gay, who by the way had an a very good year in that #2 & #3 spot. And before you go about how rookie defenders never see the field, I think because of the loss of some of their longtime starters, rookies ARE starting to see the field more, such as Shamarko Thomas & Jarvis Jones etc.

Vittorio February 9, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Do you really think that LeBeau would change his mind in 2014 about rookies. Sure both Williams and Jones saw the field but have you listened to what the fans have said about Jarvis after only 1 year? Shamarko may start or he may not depending on FA. Hey I would like Worilds as well but remember cutting Woodley does save you money but you would pay for it in 2015 and yeah I know it’s a year away but you can’t just forget about that fact. Dan telling Cowher he wanted Ben was not a force move but rather a smart business move. ART II basically wanted to punish Ben, it’s no lie that he feels that hiring Haley he could make Ben more strict about the way he plays the game. ART II is the owner right now and not his dad which tells you a lot abut the way he wants things to be ran. I would want Ike back cause unless that CB from the draft is unbelievable that LeBeau will start him you play Ike as the NO.2 CB and Gay is better in the slot not on the outside believe me I’ve seen him on the outside it wasn’t that pretty. I will stick with WR in the 1st round and then go D from there. People seem to have this idea that by going Defense in the first few rounds they will automatically start. That’s a lie and everybody knows that. Nix is not the answer at NT. Here is a guy who can’t control his weight and was made to look foolish by a lousy Pitt OL believe me I know I was watching those games very closely. Anybody who thinks that going Defense early show me evidence that LeBeau will change his mind on that idea.

STEELCAN February 9, 2014 - 11:31 pm

Honestly, the fact that Jones saw plenty of action as a rookie should be commended. After all, rookies rarely start under coach LeBeau right? So I would say hes ahead of the learning curve, and not one to be criticized. Its funny how Art”s moves are “nosy”, but Dans moves are “smart business moves”. Whatever you want to call it, he underminded the coach”s authority. Not to mention how Dan forced Chuck Noll to fire one of his assistants against his will, I guess that”s “a smart business move” too. Re the hiring of Haley, I don”t know how much input Art 2 had in the hiring, but it”s one of the best things that could have happened to Ben at this point in his career, and Ben LOVES the current system. Less hits, less sacks, allowed to run a lot more no huddle, (more than he EVER did under his buddy Arians) etc. So, since you keep saying the hiring of Haley is mainly on Art 2, then props to Art!! Re Gay, he played at least 50% of the snaps on the outside, and he played very well in 2013, but I do agree he is best as a slot guy, but nIm fine with it either way in 2014. It seems to me you have a big problem going Defence in the first rd because they probably wont start as a rookie, well thank goodness the Steelers didnt think that way when they picked the likes of Polomalu/Timmons and Heyward, years where they had less holes on the D than they currently have. One last thing traditionally rookie WRs for the Steelers dont normally put up big #s, how productive do you think an Evans or a Lee will be when A Your #1 guy has shown he can be a 100catch guy. B you a productive (top 10) pass catching TE in Miller. C. You have a co ordinator who likes a lot of 2 TE sets. D. A RB in Bell who will probably catch 60 plus balls in 2014. E. A second year WR in Wheaton who should be better.

Vittorio February 10, 2014 - 1:33 am

To me they will be productive. It’s not me who thinks like that go ask the fans how they feel about it or go ask sports writers of both the Trib and the Post Gazette how they feel about it. Joe Starkey of the tribune review is not what you would call a believer in Jones. I trust that Jones will succeed. When guys like Worilds, Hood and Heyward were given some time early on in there careers they did nothing and it drew the ire of the fans for a long time. Hey when Haley was hired very very few fans that I heard or for that matter radio hosts or sports writers that felt that Haley was good hire. With arians Ben was allowed to have 60/40 gameplay and ART II really hated that and also that he and Arians were friends. In his mind he brought Haley in to more or less make Ben more disciplined. I’m sick and tired of Defense in the 1st round cause it will be the same damn thing week after week after week “why isn’t this guy starting like Jones did or for that matter the way other rookies on other teams start”. Beyond AB who is there No.2 WR. I have told you time and again that when Wheaton was healthy they coaching staff really had no use for him. Joe Starkey flat out asked Tomlin why he wasn’t seeing the field his response was this “he doesn’t understand the playbook”. If this guy had speed then use it. Reveres, KR and PR i mean what was the real purpose of Wheaton when he was healthy. AB had 100 catches cause of these reasons: 1. Sanders kept dropping the ball ,2. Cotchery was only a slot man and 3. who else besides miller was doing the catching consistently. Troy had the skills to thrive in this defense and showed it his 2nd year. Timmons took a bit longer but it paid off. People are questioning Jones muscle capacity and his strength. I have seen comments were people are already calling him a bust. So explain that one. One thing to remember Ben is the true offensive OC, Todd is someone who just gives his 2 cents when it’s called for. Ben called for no huddle since the start of the season and the coaching staff ignored that. So explain to me what exactly is Haley doing anyway when Ben made the offense better in the 2nd half of the year. Ben starts running No Huddle and the offense’s pace picks up more than it did at the start of the season. Haley and Ben have very different ideas on how the offense should be ran. I’ll take WR before Defense in the 1st round. If they ignore WR again then they will pick a guy who is nothing more than a slot man for 3 or 4 years. They need a better NO.2 WR is already on that roster. Lee or Evans are guys I would take before I say let’s put Wheaton in at the NO.2 spot.

STEELCAN February 10, 2014 - 8:15 pm

When Haley was hired, the only concerns I ever heard is his explosive personality with his players (especially his starting QB) which proved to be false. By definition a good OC utilizes the talent on hand to get the most from them . In Arizona, he had Warner/Fitzgerald/Bolden, his offense was a “high flying” attack. When he got to KC (where he was both a HC & OC), he saw the strenthg of the offense was the OLine & Jamaal Charles, and he had one of the premier running attacks. So from a “getting the most out of your talent” point of view, and an ability to be flexible, Im not sure you could have asked for more than what he did. The ability of being flexible with the talent on hand was shown again last year, when Haley & Tomlin (lets not forget he has input in this too) realized Ben was at his best in the no huddle (sometimes) when Arians was either not comfortable with it much, or just too rigid in his philosophy. And honestly I dont think you understand the basic premesis of how the no huddle works: Most of the calls still came from Haley, but getting Ben to the line of scrimmage early allowed to check out of plays (when necessary) and go to a different primary reciever or running play. (this coming straight from Ben) not what “the fans or media types are saying “. so this idea that “Ben is true OC, Todd is someone who just gives his 2 cents’ is so off base, its not even funny. (Just ask Ben) and stop relying on what fans or the media say. You also say your “sick and tired of defense in the first round’ lets see under colbert they have gone Offense in 2000/2002/2004/2005/2006/2008/2010/2012 not exactly defense every year, huh? But as I have said before Im fine with Evans or Lee @ #1, but if they dont I wont be pissed either like you.

DennisN February 10, 2014 - 10:02 pm

I remember Tomlin saying that he wouldn’t take Taylor Mays, before the draft. Why would he take him now? He has proven Tomlin right.

steelbydesign February 11, 2014 - 7:02 pm

You make a good point. I wasn’t aware of this so looked it up. Still though, there is a difference between not liking a guy enough to spend a 2nd round pick on him, and not liking a guy enough to not sign him to a minimum contract and bring him into camp.

Another interesting nugget I found… Tomlin was apparently a big fan of Kam Chancellor in that same draft. What could’ve been.

Vittorio February 10, 2014 - 11:09 pm

Jarvis Jones, Ziggy Hood, Cam Heyward, Lawerence Timmons are 4 guys that were 1st round picks under Tomlin since 2007. All of them at one time or another have drawn the ire of the fans. Ben wanted No-huddle from the get go and Haley went in the opposite direction and it wasn’t until the halfway point that Haley finally agreed with Ben on the offense. When Haley was hired most if not all of the things I heard were that he is a hot head, yells at his players which if hear Ben he feels that is the wrong method to take. Not everybody in this city is sold on Haley, I can tell you that is a fact. Haley is trying to combine both styles of his offense. The Dynamic Air Attack of Arizona and the Ground Force of the Chiefs. Ben really has a limited number of weapon to throw to. AB, Miller and Cotchery. Bell is wait and see on catching. He needs a full year for me to consider him. I’m supposed to believe that if the forgo WR that Wheaton is the answer, I find that very hard to believe that from someone who couldn’t get on the field because quote un quote He didn’t understand the playbook. How many times did I mention that there were other ways to use him if it wasn’t at WR, or about the times I mentioned that in the Miami game he was lined up on the outside in punt formation with no one covering him and that the Steelers decided against using him that way even if it was for 1 play. I keep telling people that these fans have 2 ways of thinking when it comes to Steeler defensive rookies: 1. he stinks and he should be traded(ex. Jones) 2.how come these guys are on the bench when they should be on the field. If they go Defense again then the same stinking comments pop up again. If people think that these rookies should see more time than the vets then convince LeBeau it’s the right way to go, but neither you or I or any fan could convince LeBeau otherwise that he should do that. I have said before and I will say it again when jones was first drafted I really didn’t expect much out of him his rookie year. I honestly feel that in his 2nd season he will get better and should be able to silence his critics. I just don’t see one single position on D in this draft that I feel or the Steelers feel will start. I say WR for this: Colbert keeps banking on better value in the mid rounds and that is eventually going to bite Colbert on his butt. You are right by this: if they go D I will be very pissed off and very angry.

STEELCAN February 11, 2014 - 12:47 am

Ben has wanted to go no huddle for years. Todd Haley was the first OC to finally embrace that. So Kudos to Haley! “Not everybody in this city is sold on Haley”. please tell me the last time EVERYONE was sold on the current OC? Sure wasn”t Arians either. But hey, he was hand piked (according to you) by the owner, and Ben LOVES this offense, so who gives a you know what what anybody else thinks, right? Btw, so many of your points are based on “the fans think this” or the “media said that” why not just draw your own opinions on what YOU think?

Vittorio February 11, 2014 - 1:03 am

I have told you what I think. WR in the 1st round. Rounds 2-7 go Defense with of course another OT or OG for depth reasons and maybe just maybe a Punter but that is a wild maybe. Are you Satisfied with my answer or would you like me to explain my reasons for this draft even further?

STEELCAN February 11, 2014 - 6:56 pm

You mentioned in a previous post that Art 2 “hated that Ben & Arians were friends”. Could you please link me to the Article or video link of where you got this info? And please dont tell me this is coming “from the fans”. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!!

Vittorio February 11, 2014 - 8:01 pm

That came from prominent sports writers and legit radio hosts in Pittsburgh. One host said the exact same thing on his radio show on 105.9 the x. Haley wasn’t really a guy people liked when he was hired. You have to remember that Arians “retired” and then gets the same job in Indy in 2012 and now Head coach for the Cards in 2013.ART II was behind Arians so called retirement. Once Ben heard about this it really didn’t go over well at first, now things are fine as is but before it was not what you would call a good relationship. At this point it’s not a concern but you never know things could change at the drop of a dime. Go ask the sports writers at the Tribune Review or the Post Gazette. Go ask radio host at 970 ESPN, 93.7 The Fan and 105.9 The X and you will get the same answers I gave you.

STEELCAN February 11, 2014 - 11:14 pm

Sorry thats not good enough. Give me an archived date that I can listen to that has a “prominent sports writer” saying “Art hated that Ben & Arians were friends” I want to hear it for myself. If you cant do that, at least give me the name of these “prominent sports writers & legit radio hosts” and I will do some digging myself. I need names. Thanks.

Vittorio February 12, 2014 - 12:50 am

Ron Cook, Gene Collier, Joe Starkey and Mark Madden. Ask any of those guys especially Madden and you would pretty much get that answer. Remember when Arians “retired “Ben wasn’t happy and he basically let be known that didn’t like Arians being gone from he team. I remember the fans reaction to Arians being gone. Sure he drew the ire of the fans some times but other times they praised him and once he was gone fans were none to happy that it happened. People blamed Tomlin for that but what was he supposed to do? Yes some people complained about the play calling but I along with Madden firmly believe that ART II was behind Arians being gone. I know that Haley is “accepted” now but when he first came in you would be hard pressed to find fans that liked Haley. Arians has this friendship with Ben which was well known and I feel that ART II never liked that. Arians final season with this team there 10-6 with Wallace, Brown, Sanders and Miller. Now look at Haley’s 1st season with the same group of guys I mentioned, they go 8-8 and don’t say it’s a new system cause Arians offense was different that wisenhunt’s offense. Now the Offense is fine with that they have but it can get better with better talent. They have some pieces in place for this Offense: AB, Miller, Cotchery(resigned) but they need a Big WR or a Deep Threat(preferably a Big WR)then it can better than this past season. wouldn’t you agree?

STEELCAN February 12, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Thanks for the names. I am going to try and contact them (via email) to see if they will verify what you said that they said: “Art 2 hated that Ben & Arians were friends”. “Art wanted to take the ball out of Bens hands”. To quote you. Hopefully they will respond, and we can see how legit your support on your statements are. Btw, yes I do agree they still could use another WR (as I have stated in previous posts) I am just saying it doesnt HAVE to be in the 1st rd. I think they could also find what they need (a size or speed type) somewhere between rds 2 to 4. I also find it funny when you mention the “pieces in place” for this offense you dont include Bell (who showed plenty as a 21 year old rookie) as a receiver, and Wheaton (who I know you dont care for). But in 2014, if Cotchery (resigned) ends up getting more snaps than Wheaton, thats going to be a bad sign for this offense.

Vittorio February 13, 2014 - 12:24 am

I didn’t include Bell for one reason: I need to see a full year out of him, as a rookie he dropped a lot of easy catches that were thrown his way I want to see improvement in that area, get better at blocking. i’m not asking a lot out of him, I just want to see improvement. For me to believe in Wheaton he must show that he can beat out Cotchery for that 3rd spot and if not then use him for trick plays or even better KR. I keep hearing he is a burner well if you can’t beat out a Vet for the 3 spot then showcase that speed on KR duties. I’ve seen other WR’s do the same thing on special teams. Patterson and Austin are 2 prime examples of showcasing what they got at another spot other than WR. When I hear that Colbert said that this draft is deep everywhere I know it means another mid round WR that won’t see the field his 1st year. Sure you can say the same thing about Brown and Sanders but what about Wallace, if memory serves me correctly he had roughly 50 catches as a rookie. If this team wants another ring then quit passing up on talented WR’s in the 1st round in favor of guys who won’t see the field. There are at least 3-4 WR’s in in the 1st round this team can take but knowing Colbert he will bypass them in favor of a guy who will end up as a backup or get blasted in his rookie year for not doing enough. If you STEELCAN or anybody else think I’m wrong go look at other Steeler websites and see what they had to say about this teams 2013 1st round pick Jarvis Jones. Those people basically want Jones to be traded after 1 bad season his rookie no less.

Vittorio February 13, 2014 - 8:05 pm

As of February 13 2014 the news coming out of the Steelers first reported by Steelers writer Gerry Dulac that the Steelers will target a Tall WR in the first 2 rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft. This means that a guy like Mike Evans is a strong possibility to be taken by the Steelers with the 15th pick. I want you the fans thoughts on this story.

STEELCAN February 13, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Yes, Vittorio, I thought the same thing (Evans a strong possibility in the first) when I heard Dulacs comments. But it just doesnt seem “Steeler like” for them to tip their hand like that re the draft?

Vittorio February 13, 2014 - 9:52 pm

True but that comment was made for a reason: they listened to Ben. He has asked for a tall WR he made that perfectly clear before so why question that now? Is it Steelers like when Mike Adams basically begged the Steelers to take him? Was it Steeler like when you tick off your QB about the Direction of the Offense? All I’m saying is that they need to see and do things differently than they have in the past. By them saying there taking a Tall WR within the first 2 rounds it means that that Tall WR guy is there NO.2 WR and that Wheaton and Cotchery round out the top 4 WR spots. If you want more info then I suggest go reading the whole transcript from todays post gazette. That transcript should tell you all you need to know about there offense. I like Evans a lot but I’m willing to look at guys like Adams and Benjamin through the combine and pro day workouts and see what they produce.

STEELCAN February 13, 2014 - 11:48 pm

I like Evans too (hey we agree on something) but beyond the big three (Watkins & Lee) Im not sure any other WR is worth it @15 (regardless of what they do at the combine). Maybe a trade down is in order if the big 3 are gone before 15? Especially since Colbert said this was the deepest draft he has seen in 30 years, that is of course a trade is there to be made.

Vittorio February 14, 2014 - 12:54 am

Colbert is saying what any GM would say. I don’t believe it for a minute. Remember it takes 2 to trade. If you look at the of the rest 1st round I really don’t see a team they can trade with either up or down. I say stick at 15 and take the WR that is there and go defense when the 2nd round hits.

STEELCAN February 14, 2014 - 1:51 am

I think thats WAY too rigid going into any draft. Lets say Watkins/Evans/LEE & Benjamin are all gone before 15 (doubtful) but what would you do?

Vittorio February 14, 2014 - 2:59 am

It may be rigid but let’s remember guys like Manziel, Bortles, Clowney, Barr, Mack and other guys of that nature will be picked before a guy such as Lee or Evans. Some say Benjamin is a 1st round pick others see him as a day 2 pick. If you look at who will be taken before 15 you see that the tall WR they want will be there. I’ve seen people mention Mosley and Clinton Dix as top 15 picks and mock them there as well. If they go Defense again then come regular season time you get 1 of these 2 answers from Steeler fans about there rookie Defensive prospects. 1.this guy stinks and is a lousy draft pick or 2.why isn’t this guy seeing the field more often or even starting in this defense. So you tell me how do you quiet those fans who think LeBeau should do what every other team does with rookies on D. The way the teams such as the Hawks or Niners play defense the fans want that, well last time I checked those teams play a simple scheme and the Steelers do not. Then people ask why not let Butler run the D? If he ran the D the system and scheme would be the same so why bother with that. People need to believe in what LeBeau is doing and not what others are doing.

STEELCAN February 14, 2014 - 6:35 pm

I understand what your saying, but you still didnt answer my question. IF (by chance) all 4 WRs are gone by 15, what would you do? (Stranger things have happened).

Vittorio February 14, 2014 - 8:04 pm

If that happens but I doubt it will there is one other WR that I’m on the fence on but would look good for this team. Brandon Coleman. Yeah guys like Matthews and Robinson are there but I bypass them and go for Coleman with the 15h pick. Sure it would cause an uproar but screw those fans who want Defense in the 1st round. Everybody knows by now that no matter what Defensive prospect they pick they won’t start or if they do the fans run there mouth wanting the guy to be traded like they do with Jarvis Jones. If the fans they think they can do a better job of running the Defense by all means get off your but and be the Defensive Coordinator otherwise leave the guy alone. I am of the belief that they will take WR in the 1st and then take D almost the rest of the draft.

STEELCAN February 14, 2014 - 9:11 pm

WOW! Thats HORRIBLE value at 15! By all accounts he is expected to go late 2nd to mid 3rd. If you want coleman, TRADE DOWN. Anyways, there is a website you should check out: http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com. They are currently doing a bunch of various mocks, and today the pick is Mike Evans. A lot of diiferent opinions, you should jump in and state your case.

Vittorio February 14, 2014 - 11:12 pm

Well that site requires a login and I’m fine with this site. It may Be horrible now but a lot of things can change between now and May 8th. Like I said I’m on the fence with this guy, in other words it’s 50/50 on how I see the guy. As of now I like Evans a lot and I see no other player other than Lee and Watkins and even Benjamin that I would take over Evans.

STEELCAN February 14, 2014 - 11:33 pm

I agree Evans is a BEAST!

Vittorio February 15, 2014 - 12:29 am

Well that we can agree on. But what about the rest of there picks. I know it’s not easy to mock who will be there but take a guess, I won’t get mad cause I have no way of knowing of whether or not there good picks or bad picks.

STEELCAN February 15, 2014 - 6:29 pm

If its Evans @ 15, I agree they should go HEAVY on D the rest of the way. CB & FS would be at the top of my list. I have seen a lot of people talk about ILB @ 15, but I thought Vince Williams made pretty good progress as the season wore on, plus Im hopeful that Sean Spence can come all the way back. So I hope they stay away from ILB until at least the 4th or 5th rd for depth purposes. One other area I would like to see is a DL, Im still not sure if it should be NT or DE? If they can come out of this draft filling 3 to 4 needs, and can stay relatively healthy, I really think this is contending team again.

Vittorio February 15, 2014 - 8:44 pm

ILB is covered for the most part. If they draft an ILB in the 1st then what do you say to both Williams and possibly Spence? DE would be 2nd choice then it would be the OL. They need at least 1 extra linemen for depth purposes. CB and S are necessary for this Defense to get back where it needs to be. All in all I can’t argue with how you view the rest of the draft it’s just guessing after the 1st round.

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