Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting Draft Ready: The Mock Drafts

We are, and have always been, firm believers in the drafting of offensive linemen early and often. So if there is a criticism that we have made regarding Kevin Colbert's draft strategies is how infrequently he selects players at those positions (i.e. offensive guard and/or offensive tackle) in the early rounds. In fact, from 2000 to 2007 the Steelers have chosen a grand total of four offensive linemen in the first three rounds of those drafts -- four offensive linemen in 24 total picks (i.e. eight drafts multiplied by three rounds each).

However we believe that the 2008 is going to reverse that trend. So we went in search of information to support our view, and came up with mixed results. In the first of many such postings, and in no particular order, here's a look at some of what we discovered:
  • Scott Wright's NFL Draft Countdown: Mr. Wright has identified Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus as the man for the Steelers, saying that "Pittsburgh could be in the market for the best offensive lineman here and Gosder Cherilus is a prototypical NFL right tackle."

  • Todd McShay, Scouts Inc. (via ESPN -- subscription required): Mr. McShay also has the Steelers selecting an offensive lineman, but his pick for Pittsburgh is someone with whom the Steelers are already familiar -- Pitt OT Jeffrey Otah. According to Mr. McShay the Steelers "have bigger holes to fill inside at center and guard, but with his combination of size and skills Otah is far and away the best lineman available in this scenario."

  • NFL Draft Dog: This resource offers us a 2008 mock draft and a 2009 mock draft. This particular mock draft (the 2008 edition, that is) is interesting insomuch as it projects Oregon running Jonathan Stewart falling to the Steelers. If such a thing should occur -- and the opinion here is that it won't -- it would present an interesting dilemma. Of course, if this scenario should come to pass Mr. Stewart would become the first running back taken by the Steelers in the first round of the draft since Tim Worley (Georgia) was chosen.

  • FF Toolbox: Another non-offesnive lineman pick is suggested here. Instead, the suggestion is that the quality offensive linemen will be gone, and that the Steelers will choose Aqib Talib, a cornerback out of Kansas.

The NFL Draft will begin at 3:00 PM (EST), and features a revamped format designed to make watching the proceedings a bit more palatable.

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