The Sports Jags are giving you a fresh take on weekdays. It may only be Wednesday but we’re going to party like it’s Friday with the help of our Natty Lite Sixer.
The Jags will answer the six most important questions from the past week that have kept yinzers awake at night. Well, you may not be asking them but we’re going to answer them anyways.
This week the Jags send Jordan Staal to Edmonton for some kid named Nail, their pants get tight for the Steelers’ draft, and appologize for Pedro for labeling him a bust.
Thirsty? We’ve got this round.
1. Who ended up being the best draft pick the Steelers made over the weekend?
MERX: I’m going to go with Alameda Ta’amu. Ta’amu is a space clogger and he’s exactly what the Steelers needed to eventually replace Casey Hampton. Most “experts” projected him to go in the third so for the Steelers to get him in the fourth was a really nice pick.
RETO: DeCastro is great but all first-rounders should be awesome. I’m going with Ta’amu. To wait until the fourth round to snag him was ballsy but it was incredible. I’ve been on Ta’amu Samoan wagon for months and was pumped when they got him. He’s going to be the next Casey Hampton.
AMAC: DeCastro was there best pick for two reasons. 1.) He’s the best player that they drafted and 2.) they got him at a great value spot at 24th overall.
HOETZ: It has to be DeCastro. A high talent player at a position of need that wasn’t supposed to be available. Sounds like it has all the makings of a great pick. Add to that the chip on the big man’s shoulders after hearing a few more other players names than he expected. Let’s hope DeCastro proves the Steelers to be the smart ones for picking him and not the teams that passed on him.
2. Was there a player or position that the Steelers passed on in the draft that they should have adressed?
MERX: I was a bit surprised/disappointed that he Steelers didn’t go with Lavonte David instead of Sean Spence in the third round. I really didn’t expect them to go with an OLB in Round 3 at all but I thought David was the better/safer pick there. He’s slightly bigger, slightly stronger, and was rated higher by almost everyone. The Steelers usually know what they are doing so I’ll trust them, just a bit surprised.
RETO: Yea, and inside backer. Sean Spence may have been great at Miami but he’s not what Farrior was or what Timmons is. It looks like the Steelers are relying on Foote this year then hopefully going after a true middle guy next year. I would’ve liked to see them take a defensive end too.
AMAC: It would have been nice to see the Steelers draft a safety because of how injury prone Polamalu is but I don’t think there was a safety in this draft good enough to really make an impact on the field.
HOETZ: I think anytime you can get a nearly 30-year-old quarterback in the first round you have to go for it. Sure you could pick him at least a round maybe two later, but when you find your guy you have to grab him, even if his prime is nearly over. The Steelers failed to be proactive and saw the ageless wonder Brandon Weeden get picked a couple spots in front of them by the crafty Browns.
3. Did the Steelers have the best overall draft in the NFL?
MERX: Maybe…several teams had good ones and the Steelers were one of them. I’d definitely put them in the top five. I hate to say it but I think the Bengals had a great draft.
RETO: I wish…let’s see how Adams, Spence and Rainey pan out. But did you ugys see what what Cincy and Baltimore did (sucks, I know). And no one is talking about the Cards – they didn’t have a bad pick at all.
AMAC: They certainly had an above average draft but I think there were at least two teams that had better drafts.
HOETZ: I think they had a great draft. I didn’t analyze the other teams’ drafts or pre draft needs, so the only thing I know for sure is that Cleveland’s draft was a dream come true. It wasn’t Cleveland fans’ dreams coming true, but it was every 30-year-old former high school star, who received validation that their dream of getting drafted isn’t over. Brandon Weeden is now responsible for the comeback dreams of these “athletes” and the spike in gym memberships and ACL surgeries that are sure to follow.
4. Should Shero consider trading Jordan Staal to the Oilers for the No. 1 overall pick?
MERX: I don’t know too much about the upcoming draft’s prospects but I haven’t heard of there being any Sidney Crosby-like consensus pick, so probably not. The only way I would do it is if they threw in a couple other good players and took Paul Martin with him.
RETO: I think I’ve made my stance on this pretty clear. Yea, Nail is a cool name but that doesn’t make him worthy of a No. 1 pick. This year’s draft class is garbage. Staal is notgarbage. End of story.
AMAC: Sure I would consider that move but I have to ask myself would the Oilers make that deal? The only downside is how long it would take whoever you took No. 1 to make an impact. Staal is already an established NHL player so in the long run I would stick with Staal.
HOETZ: I wouldn’t be considering it, I would be actively pursuing it. If Staal isn’t happy filling his role as great third line center and penalty killer on a great team I would be looking now to unload him to fulfill his dream as a disappointing top-six center for a garbage team. Edmonton would be the ideal destination because of the No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov, but that alone isn’t enough. My dream scenario would be No. 1 pick and Sam Gagner, who has essentially the same stats as Staal for half the price, for Staal and Paul Martin’s lackluster play and bloated contract.
5. Which undrafted Pitt Panther will have the biggest impact in the NFL?
MERX: I couldn’t begin to tell you. I’ll let Amac and Hoetz take that one.
RETO: My money’s on Nix. I still don’t know how he didn’t get drafted in at least the seventh round. Mel Kiper had him going in the fourth. Has Mel ever been wrong before? If any team goes through what the Steelers have, Nix is guaranteed to play at least one game.
AMAC: That’s a tough call. Are we taking this year or sometime in the future? Either way I’d say Lucas Nix has the best opportunity to make an impact at some point in his career.
HOETZ: I would probably say none of the above. Remember how Pitt wasn’t very good. But if I had to chose I would go with Nix because offensive lineman seem to get better with age and there always seems to be journeyman emerging as quality players.
6. Do any of you care to apologize to Pedro Alvarez for your harsh predictions of how his season will end now?
MERX: I think I was less harsh than most, and it may be too early for an apology but I hope he keeps it up…For what it’s worth, sorry Pedro.
RETO: Not a chance. Being the best player on the worst offense doesn’t make you good…yet. If Pedro keeps up his Toro Bomb pace and is hitting .250 by the All-Star break, I’ll by a flat brim hat and tuck my ears into it.
AMAC: No way. Pedro should apologize to us for playing like garbage for the last year.
HOETZ: There is still a long way to go. At this point he is making Adam Dunn look like a polished disciplined hitter. I would love to be wrong. With some offense the Buccos could be decent, and so much of their offense depends on Pedro.