I’m starting a new feature at steelcityblitz.com called, “Three Questions With….” and this is the maiden voyage. My goal is to have experts, analysts, journalists, bloggers and fans join me randomly for quick-hitting sessions.
I’m very excited to have as my first guest, Shane Hallam, the President of draftTV.com. He is a Fantasy Football/Draft Analyst and a member of the Football Writers Association. He has joined Matt and I on a couple of occasions to discuss the Steelers heading into the 2013 NFL Draft on The Blitz Podcast. You can follow Shane on Twitter @ShanePHallam.
Three Questions Begins Now…
SteelDad: Which Steelers draft pick makes the biggest impact this season? Why?
Shane: I think it will be 3rd round pick, WR Markus Wheaton. After hearing Wheaton was invited to the Senior Bowl, I did my homework and fell in love with him. He reminded me a lot of Mike Wallace, but was a better route runner (though his deep speed isn’t up to Wallace’s par). With the departure of Wallace and Heath Miller’s injury at the end of last season, there is a gigantic need for a pass catcher to step up as the #3. Despite having to miss OTAs due to Oregon State’s graduation day, Wheaton has the talent to immediately step in on 3 WR sets. Having attended the Senior Bowl in Mobile, I saw Wheaton go up against 1st round CBs and make them look silly with his smooth strides and precise cuts. If you haven’t fallen for Wheaton yet, you will soon.
SteelDad: Do you feel the Steelers made a mistake in not addressing tight end either in FA (besides Spaeth) or the draft?
Shane: I do not. I know many (including myself,) expected this to be a position for the Steelers to address in the draft or free agency, but I actually think the Steelers TEs are underrated. Matt Spaeth is an excellent blocking TE and was top 5 in blocking efficiency for a TE according to ProFootballFocus.com last year. If Heath can’t go, there is a player I believe who is not on the radar of many casual fans yet who will pop in there, and that is David Paulson. Paulson was a 7th round pick out of Oregon in 2012, though I had him rated as a 4th-5th rounder. He showed development in his little playing time last year and does have some natural hands. I believe the Steelers are trying to develop him, and if it doesn’t pan out this year, I would expect to see TE addressed in 2014.
SteelDad: What is your theory behind the selection of Landry Jones in the 4th when the team had other more pressing needs?
Shane: I was particularly surprised by the Landry Jones pick myself, especially after signing Bruce Gradkowski. It is definitely understandable with Ben Roethlisberger’s injury history and the hits that he takes. Roethlisberger’s last full season was in 2008, and at 31 years old, he has taken more hits than most 34 year old QBs. It was time for the Steelers to actually take a player to develop at that position. Landry Jones had an overrated college career but does have some arm talent. He absolutely needs developed, but I believe the Steelers saw starting QB potential in him.
Please feel free to leave feed back in the comments section and I’ll give you my thoughts as well. Again, huge thanks to Shane for taking the time!
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 Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.