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 Post subject: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:43 am 
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Well, I wanted the offense to get some loving, I was hoping that two of the first 4 picks would be on offense and I was hoping that one of those picks would be a WR.

So far through the draft and free agency we have added 4 players for offense and 4 players for defense.

OFFENSE

2nd rounder JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC, 6'1 215, 4.54. Compared to Anquan Boldin, has that alpha dog mentality, the ball is mine attitude, great hands, just great instincts, one of my criticisms of Coates is how mechanical and robotic he is, JuJu is the antithesis of Coates. He is a natural, it is effortless, the little things are routine. Yes, he has some things to clean up and learn, but he is just 20 years old. Which to me is great, the Steelers seem to do very well taking these high upside young prospects whether it was Timmons, Pouncy, Shazier, or Tuitt. He plays big, plays to his size and length, Ben will be able to find him deep and he will win a lot of those contested deep balls that Coates and Bryant would not. I think he will also do well inside in the slot. Just a great pick and and great kid with character and the proper attitude.

Free Agent Justin Hunter, 6'4" 205, 4.44, 39.5 inch vertical. A former high 2nd round pick (34th overall) of the Tennessee Titans when Mike Munchak was the head coach. For his career he has 78 catches for 1,305 yards, a 16.7 avg and 12 TDs with 7 of those catches being over 40+ yards.

Now you can dismiss Hunter all you want but he does have that size/speed that Bryant/Coates/Bey all have and does have some production. I never believed that the Steelers were content with the WR group and hoped that they would bring in some fresh blood. So, signing a former high 2nd round pick in Hunter in free agency and spending a 2nd round pick on JuJu shows that they are indeed not happy with the WR group. If nothing else this really ups the competition and Brown is the only one I see as a guaranteed starter, everyone else is in the fight of their life, which is as it should be. Bryant can't just assume that anything is going to be handed to him, and he had better take care of his business and not screw up. Coates, Rogers and Bey have real competition.

3rd rounder James Connor, 6'1"233, 4.65, power is his game and I think the Steelers were looking to add a Blount type of RB to be a short yardage specialist and to help close out games. Williams was too similar to Bell and I think there is a danger sometimes of having too many players that are alike and you end up not having the right tool for a specific job. I can see Connor being able to help get those tough short yardage 3rd downs like 3rd and 2 or punching it in the end zone when you are at the 5. I can see him lining up in the backfield at times as a FB only to then watch Bell motion out and line up as a WR. You could still hand the ball off to Connor or have him pass protect, all kind of possibilities. And if we were up by 14 points with 8 minutes remaining it would be nice to rest Bell and have a bigger back like Connor close out the game.

Free agent, Knile Davis, 5'10" 227, 4.37, former 3rd rounder of KC. He has always been injury prone but when he is able to play he can provide an explosive element. Decent KR, 26.8 yard average on 73 returns, with 2 TDs, one went 99 yards and the other 108 yards. He had 6 kick returns of at least 40+ yards. As a RB he has a TD catch of 70 yards and a long carry of 48 yards. Davis should be a fine replacement for Fitz Toussaint, if your 3rd RB is going to be your kick returner then you have to get more production than what Fitz has done.

So, to have a RB core of Bell, Connor, Davis and Rosie Nix is pretty damn good and versatile

DEFENSE

1st rounder, TJ Watt, 6'4.5" 252, 4.69. It was a big need but he went about where he should have and he does check all the boxes. I like the fact that he was a former TE, I like the fact that he can still add weight and get stronger, he is still only 22, this is not some overaged player like Jarvis Jones was who was maxed out and did not have the frame to add weight or get stronger. I think he also is a confident young man who has a tremendous work ethic. The fact that he can come in and rotate with James Harrison and learn from him will be huge. Just has some things that can't be taught or acquired, like having huge 11 inch hands and knowing how to use those hands. And the way he can get skinny and be slippery as a pass rusher, just a lot to work with there.

Free agent, Tyson Alualu, 6'3" 300, former 1st rounder of Jacksonville. He was a bit of a tweener his whole career but I would not call him a bust at all, he did have 17.5 sacks and played the run well, he does not have the classic height of a 3-4 end but his arms length is 33" and his hands are 10" and he uses them well. He did run 4.9 or better back in the day and more importantly is that his motor never stops, great hustle. I see him as the perfect rotational piece to both Hargrave inside at the nose and at end for Tuitt and Heyward. He is an experienced vet and so does not need to learn how to play in the NFL and won't have trouble picking up the defense. It would have been really hard to find a linemen in this draft that can do everything that Alualu can do right now as a rookie. Really like this signing.

3rd rounder Cam Sutton, 5'11 188, 4.52. He was probably one of the best slot CBs in this draft with the added bonus of being an accomplished punt returner, 46 returns, 657 yards, 14.3 avg and 3 TDs. He is polished and from what I read he only gave up 3 TDs for his career and rarely gets penalized. To get him late in the 3rd round was probably very fortunate.

Free agent Coty Sensabaugh, 5'11" 190, 4.42, 37 inch vertical, 6.60 3 cone. Former 4th rounder of the Tennessee Titans when Mike Munchak was the head coach. His best season came in 2015 where he had 60 tackles, 8 passes defensed, 2 INTs and 1 TD while playing for Dick LeBeau so he has some familiarity with our defense. He is 28 years old.

I noticed that Gay was showing signs of decline last year which is why, in addition to the unknown quantity of Senquez Golson, the Steelers signed a potential free agent replacement in Sensabaugh and drafted Sutton in round 3. I still think Golson can develop into a good/great player and might have a future as an outside CB but the Steelers have really done a good job of addressing the depth here. Gay, Golson, Sutton and Sensabaugh, I think 3 make the team and Gay is the odd man out.

All in all though, through free agency and the first 3 rounds of the draft we have added 4 players each for the offense and the defense. I like the combination of vets with experience and rookies with youth and upside. I love that they seemed to make a real concerted effort to find return men in Knile Davis and Cam Sutton.

They have done all this while signing Brown to his extension, working on Bell's contract, picking up Shazier's 5th year option and hopefully will give new deals to Stephon Tuitt and Aleandro Villanueva.

When you take all that into account, I am tempted to almost give them an A-. I am still worried about the TE position and Green's issues. I would feel a lot better if we added a TE in the 4th round tomorrow, if they do that I do give them an A-.

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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:03 am 
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I agree with most of it except Watt

Id give it a solid C plus....maybe a B


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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:11 am 
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Kudos to you on your extremely timely and well informed outline here Scunge.


Well done on this effort sir.


I couldn't possibly agree more with the imperative need to have a physical WR to pair with the outside freaks of albeit very different tools and design in AB and The Alien.

The first and most glaring need that must be addressed come tomorrow for me is not that of a TE but rather a playmaker/ballhawking athlete for the deep 1/3 that can be used to eliminate Dangerfield and Golden from seeing time against the wide open offenses that are now the norm. (EX: Take a look at what the Bucs have collected to attack down field with - holy fuck balls 8-) )

I hope Golson can come back from 2 years away from the game but counting on him to do so at this point is a stretch IMHO.

I am also extremely wary of having Vince Williams as a "starter" on this defense come week one without a viable newcomer in place to push him. I cant see the try hard of Matekavich being dynamic enough to ever make this happen.

When you bring up and factor in Alualu from the Jags and his skill set to push the interior and wave in both inside and out it does create some positivity for sure.


Kudos again for your time and efforts here.


Desmond King from Iowa and Damontae Kazee from SDSU are 2 guys that intrigue me the most as excellent assets for the Black and Gold to target.


Steven Taylor is a weapon at LB that needs some weight room work but he is dynamic and worth looking at for help on the inside to push VW.


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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:36 am 
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http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/st ... 4inq2s113e

My 2 cents:

1. I love this draft so far -- I rarely feel that way after the first four picks are made. One thing I'll say for James Connor -- Dri Archer he isn't (or that other smurf RB from Florida whose name I can't recall). In the short run Connor can spell Bell during the season. In the long run if Bell isn't amenable to staying at the team's price Connor may be his replacement. I get the notion that Connor may have been around later or that Perine may have sufficed, but one thing for sure is that the Steelers have significant inside information on Connor.

2. Ben has coveted tall WRs since his rookie season with Plaxico -- hence signing Hunter and drafting JuJu. It's easier to placate Ben at this time in his career than finding his replacement (sooner rather than later). Frankly, I don't trust Bryant to be able to stay clean and had the Steelers put themselves in that position (& Bryant failed them again) people would jump the Steelers for not being prepared. The other youngins all continue to have various issues of their own.

3. Character matters come playoff time. All 4 picks appear loaded with character. All 4 played in major conferences in big games under bright lights. All 4 appear to love football, have good work ethics, and want to help their team win games. Antonio Brown has a great work ethic as a WR and I expect AB to school JuJu on the finer points of being a Pro WR. First thing I'd do if I was JuJu is befriend AB and avoid Marty Bryant.

4. I think EMR would like to see his team once again be more about character than characters. You can't necessarily replace all of the characters with character in one draft, but it's a start.

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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:02 am 
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Bling Collector Ben wrote:
http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/steelers-patriots-score-ben-roethlisberger-cobi-hamilton-drop-penalty/15t6u4ry1khuz1ow4inq2s113e

My 2 cents:

1. I love this draft so far -- I rarely feel that way after the first four picks are made. One thing I'll say for James Connor -- Dri Archer he isn't (or that other smurf RB from Florida whose name I can't recall). In the short run Connor can spell Bell during the season. In the long run if Bell isn't amenable to staying at the team's price Connor may be his replacement. I get the notion that Connor may have been around later or that Perine may have sufficed, but one thing for sure is that the Steelers have significant inside information on Connor.

2. Ben has coveted tall WRs since his rookie season with Plaxico -- hence signing Hunter and drafting JuJu. It's easier to placate Ben at this time in his career than finding his replacement (sooner rather than later). Frankly, I don't trust Bryant to be able to stay clean and had the Steelers put themselves in that position (& Bryant failed them again) people would jump the Steelers for not being prepared. The other youngins all continue to have various issues of their own.

3. Character matters come playoff time. All 4 picks appear loaded with character. All 4 played in major conferences in big games under bright lights. All 4 appear to love football, have good work ethics, and want to help their team win games. Antonio Brown has a great work ethic as a WR and I expect AB to school JuJu on the finer points of being a Pro WR. First thing I'd do if I was JuJu is befriend AB and avoid Marty Bryant.

4. I think EMR would like to see his team once again be more about character than characters. You can't necessarily replace all of the characters with character in one draft, but it's a start.




Just like our thoughts on Ben we think alike again my friend. I too love this draft so far and I also rarely feel that way. The word that comes to my mind for this draft so far is.. Gamers. These guys are all gamers, love football and love to compete. All high character, workaholic players with elite drivetrains. Culture change needed in that locker room and its coming with Watt,Juju,Sutton and Conner. Love it so far.


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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:59 am 
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You couldn't find a bigger group of characters than the Steelers 70s SB teams. You have to have both.

I'll give Conner the benefit of the doubt that he's like 25-30% healthy right now... but Sutton I don't get at all. You want to get the horses to play man and you draft a guy with 30" arms to go with Gay, Sensabaugh, and Golson-- fail.

Desmond King has even shorter arms-- he's not good enough at CB to stick and too small for safety.

Both of them seem like good kids but I want some players who can help beat NE and Dal and Oak and Atlanta and GB

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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:46 am 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
You couldn't find a bigger group of characters than the Steelers 70s SB teams. You have to have both.

I'll give Conner the benefit of the doubt that he's like 25-30% healthy right now... but Sutton I don't get at all. You want to get the horses to play man and you draft a guy with 30" arms to go with Gay, Sensabaugh, and Golson-- fail.

Desmond King has even shorter arms-- he's not good enough at CB to stick and too small for safety.

Both of them seem like good kids but I want some players who can help beat NE and Dal and Oak and Atlanta and GB


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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:52 am 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
You couldn't find a bigger group of characters than the Steelers 70s SB teams. You have to have both.



the core leadership of the 70's team was built on strong character guys -- the "characters" were not foundational guys

Joe Greene
Mel Blount
Franco
Swann
Stallworth
Ham
Lambert
Webster
Kolb
Shell
Wagner
Bleier

in fact, it's hard to name the "characters" on that team, other than Fats Holmes, who was definitely not part of the core leadership. MadDog White was a "character" in that he was funny, but not a low character person like Joe Mixon.

The 70's Steelers may have been the most high character group of guys we ever had


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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:09 am 
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Joe Greene.....notorious hot head thug and quitter

Mel Blount......Noll testified in court he was part of a criminal element in the nfl....ended Bob Trumpys promising career in retaliation by purposely breaking his jaw in 3 places

Franco......went to psu....loved paterno

Swann.....criminal record just priot to draft....resisting arrest among other charges

Stallworth
Ham....amphetamine user

Lambert.....outta control dumbfuck thug....routinely intimidated officials and flaunted nfl rules....alcoholic.....makes Romanowski a choir boy.....amphetamine user


Webster.....notorious drug user

Kolb....another big part of the Steelers drug culture
Shell.....Biggest cheap shot artist in the nfl

Wagner....2nd biggest cheap shot artist in the nfl.....effectively ended Mike Barbers career....on uncatchable ball cheap shot....

Bleier......heavy drug user of all types....notorius scam artist who stole millions


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 Post subject: Re: My thoughts so far on first 3 rounds and free agency...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:11 am 
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Who is the 3rd safety that can help cover the middle of the field? Who is the second starting corner alongside Burns that can allow the team to play more press man? Those were the burning questions coming into this offseason. Both are still massive question marks which makes the offseason a failure to me.

What is the skill that Bell and Williams lacked as a runner, because I sure as shit didn't see it. You put James Conner in the game and the threat of a pass to the RB is gone. He's a one dimensional throwback RB with awful athleticism. He couldn't get to the edge in the ACC, how the hell will he do it in the NFL? I'd much rather have a Bell duplicate than a specialized fatback. Juju is a possession receiver in an explosion league. He's a nice player, but was not anywhere near their 2nd biggest need.

Did they get a dynamic edge rusher? Not saying he can't become that, but it isn't exactly what Watt is known for.

The needs were:
1. Press cover corner
2. Dynamic edge rusher
3. Safety/slot cover guy who can slow TE's

I think they still lack at least 2 of those.


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