Monday, January 08, 2007

An Early Look at the Draft: The Defense

While Dan and Art Rooney work on getting the next coaching legend to lead the Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic turns its attention to the players that will be available in this Spring's draft. Using multiple sources (including Ourlads Scouting Services and Pro Football Weekly) the following list has been compiled ranking the overall quality/depth at each position as well as the top three players at each position. However, it must be pointed out that these lists include only one underclassman, and as more of those players make themselves available for the draft things could change significantly.

Certainly all NFL fans understand, intuitively, how important the draft is but when the Pro Bowl rosters were announced recently Chris Malumphy at Draft was able to determine that almost half of those players were first round draft picks.

As far as what the Steelers might need on the defensive side of the football, the secondary appears to be emerging as a strength -- thanks in no small part to the outstanding work of defensive backs coach Darren Perry -- but with safeties Tyrone Carter and Mike Logan unrestricted free agents this year adding depth wouldn't be the worse thing to do with a mid- to late-round draft pick. The defensive line also has become a strength, and it seems unlikely they would draft in that area except that they have had success converting collegiate defensive ends into NFL linebackers -- just ask Joey Porter. The announcement on Sunday that Arkansas' all-world defensive end Jamaal Anderson is making himself available for the draft is good news for one of the team's picking in the top five.

Defensive Backs (Overall Rating: Average)

NameSchoolPositionHeightWeight40 time
Laron LandryLSUFS6'2"2044.5
Leon HallMichiganCB5'10"1954.49
Michael GriffinTexasSS6'1"2054.5

Linebackers (Overall Rating: Below Average)

NameSchoolPositionHeightWeight40 time
Paul PoslusznyPenn StateOLB6'2"2354.7
Patrick WillisMississippiILB6'2"2304.6
Stewart BradleyNebraskaOLB6'3"2404.7

Defensive Linemen (Overall Rating: Above Average)

NameSchoolPositionHeightWeight40 time
Jamaal AndersonArkansasDE6'6"280Unavailable
Gaines AdamsClemsonDE6'4"2614.7
Quentin MosesGeorgiaDE6'4"2504.65



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