Anyone who’s followed what I have written over the years, going back to www.draftboardinsider.com and even the www.draftsteel.com days knows that my passion is the Pittsburgh Steelers but my first love is the NFL Draft. So for this, I’m going to combine the 2. During the season I will do a weekly feature on an NFL prospect for the Steelers to target who’s playing in a big game, but with the regular season coming in less than 30 days, it’s never too soon to project to next year and the 2013 NFL Draft.
The positions of need are primarily the same old story. The secondary is going to need help. If wide receiver Mike Wallace leaves, adding a wide out could be an issue, and upgrades at both outside and inside linebacker as well as running back and a backup quarterback are where my mind is right now. I am projecting this based on my player rankings and the Steelers picking somewhere in the mid 20′s, and only the 7 standard picks.
1-Eric Reid, S LSU- As great as Troy Polamalu is and has been, the safety position for the Steelers is shaky. Polamalu is good, no he’s great, but he’s also a bit injury prone. The other safety Ryan Clark is ok, but I think at times his value is over blown. What can’t be underestimated is that when Troy isn’t on the field, this defense is very different. Reid is a defensive playmaker of the highest order. Sliding him in next to Polamalu at FS would be a huge get for the Steelers.
2-Shayne Skov, LB Stanford-This is of course contingent on Skov coming back 100 percent, but if he does, he’d make a perfect fit for a 3-4 team that wants a physical, aggressive athlete who can play inside or outside. Before he was hurt, Skov was one of my favorite players, and I really hope that he makes it back to his pre-injury form.
3-Rod Sweeting, CB Georgia Tech-Sweeting is flying under the radar right now, but he’s an experienced player who has held his own against some great talent. What stands out to me is he’s rarely caught out of position and he’s got tremendous ball skills.
4-Aaron Dobson, WR Marshall-By next April, if the bandwagon fills up, Dobson won’t be here, but for now he’s a bit of an unknown. Assuming Wallace doesn’t come back next season(or even if he does), adding a big target like Dobson with the speed this team has on the outside is a very good thing.
5-Michael Dyer, RB-With Dyer ineligible to play this year, he’s going to have to decide what he wants to do. If I were him, I’d sit a year come back and play college football in 2013 and get his draft stock back up. But if he doesn’t its likely he’s going to slip and would be a steal this late for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
6-Collin Klein, QB Kansas State-Perfect example of a guy who’s a great college player, but not NFL prospect. I’d draft Klein in a second, even a couple of rounds earlier, to bring in as my own personal Tim Tebow without all the drama. Even if he never moves past 3rd on the QB depth chart, his athletic ability still makes teams excited.
7-Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame-Great size, smart and experienced is a lot to get in the 7th round. He’s not a finished product and needs to find his way to the weight room, but this late in the draft, it’s a nice value pick even if he only ends up a rotational player.