By Clarence Tunstall There was the usual assortment of surprises, disappointments, risers, and fallers at the combine. The best grade goes to the big guys and not too soon for the Steelers. How can we blow this one? Well, we could believe T’eo’s poor workout was as insignificant as they say and eye him. You could allow the bias of the talking heads of Pittsburgh to influence improper assessment of a draft pick. It is possible, but there are so many defensive front 7 studs, it would be hard to screw this one up. The 1st round should be a no brainer. Mock drafts are all over the place because of the depth of the talent. A top 10 pick will fall to the Steelers, go with that. But for all you do, make sure the game tape and the workout agree. There are always exceptions to that rule. Tom Brady is the poster boy for this, but we have not done well lately with our risk/reward assessments… in fact, we’ve failed miserably. In the last 5 years, only Pouncey was worth his pick. David DeCastro is still unproven and needs to get stronger for the NFL guys, one of whom already pushed him into the backfield so hard that it ripped up his knee. I’m also suspect of Chance Warmack who everybody raves as the best player in this draft who had a weak combine. He excelled only in the cross blocking drill. His 40 was among the slowest, his drills looked to me like his hips were stiff and his feet barely left the ground. To me, this is a warning sign when it comes to pass blocking. Is he no better than Willie Colon who can be a road grader on the run, but holds on pass blocking? If Lane Johnson, Ezekiel Ansah, or even Cordarelle Patterson is available, pick them or a host of other defensive linemen first. I had been a big fan and advocate of Eddie Lacey and once would consider trading down for him, garnering an extra pick in the draft. But the performance and a little research of Knile Davis’ career got me rethinking that. If Davis is available to the Steelers in the 3rd round, a distinct possibility, pick him. Le’veon Bell, Montee Ball, or yes, Tyrann Mathieu could also be available in the 3rd round. I believe all of these kids will contribute to someone’s team week 1. Davis and Mathieu would top my 3rd round list. Le’Veon Bell looks completely ready to play if the season started today. I thought that was impressive. Mathieu is a playmaker no matter how you look at it. Just as they said Warren Sapp’s marijuana use made him a character issue, they’re saying the same about Mathieu who backed up his LSU stardom at the combine despite missing this season. The ONLY reason team execs are talking about him not being worth the pick is to keep him in the 3rd round. If he makes it to the 3rd round, he wouldn’t make it past the 5th pick. Matthieu’s drills were the best by far of all the other defensive backs demonstrating very fluid movement in the hips, excellent footwork, and excellent ball skills. I understand there are other cornerbacks at the top of the draft boards and maybe deservedly so, but my rankings are Mathieu, Trufant, Milliner, and Slay. There are a lot of directions we could go in the 2nd round, from reaching for Matheiu to staying with the bigs or being really brave and smart and jumping on Terron Armstead, but the 3rd round could make this draft and there are several running backs that could help us out this season. Personally, I’d reach for Mathieu in the 2nd and Davis in the 3rd and go with the Bigs and my favorite draft pick for the remainder of the draft. The latter rounds are anybody’s guess. It all depends on who’s available and what we need. Kyle Long, Terron Armstead (who should have been gone early on the 2nd day), Vinston Painter (raw, but talented), Kenny Stills, Corey Fuller, Dwayne Gratz, and Jamar Taylor (at safety) all turned in a variety of impressive performances. However, Marquise Goodwin is still my favorite player in this draft. His play at Texas, though limited this season due to his participation in the Olympics, and his combine marks show that he has the capability to take the ball to the house on any touch. A particular pundit took 1 pass of 1 drill and marked him as having trouble tracking the ball. The game link I have here shows the opposite. Funny this same commentator excused both Warmack and T’eo’s multiple poor drills and 40 times. Marquise Goodwin had the fastest 40 time and took the ball to the house for Texas, from long distance more than a couple of times. Versus Ole Miss, Goodwin demonstrated not only an ability to track the ball, but also score and play the game: http://www.youtube.com/embed/z5HXbFuAi3g I believe this kid’s game could transfer to the NFL. With a full offseason to prepare, he can be a threat from anywhere and if he’s available in the 4th round, I’d take him. Special consideration could be given to Marcus Lattimore, if the Steelers have a 7th round pick and are pleased with their draft. This kid and Vinston Painter are the only 2 athletes worthy of potential selection and they both could last into the late rounds although I don’t expect Painter to last past round 4 or 5. My Steelers have screwed up several drafts lately, picking for need on the defensive line and have come up snake eyes. Neither Hood nor Heyward, a surprise to me, could get aging defensive linemen Keisel or Smith off the field. Neither Carter nor Worlids could make us forget when Harrison or Woodley were injured. These are 4 career backups that were supposed to be starters on this team but can’t usurp the injured or aging. What meaneth this? What does this mean for Al Woods? Why is he on this team? What does it mean when Alameda Ta’amu or Hebron Fangupo can’t get a hat? How about the fact Adrian Robinson, Marshall McFadden, Brian Rolle, nor Kion Wilson are not good enough for us let Larry Foote go? That’s 11 projects or not quite ready for prime time players that are currently on a cap strapped Steelers squad that just went 8-8 with a host of injuries. Interesting how one of the positions we’ve been mired in mediocrity for so long is probably our deepest, thanks to Carnell Lake. Our Steelers is flooded with people we can’t risk getting on the field. None of them, none are able to even contend for the position of our aging stars. This is an 8-8 team with 8-8 talent behind aging stars. If we’re interested, truly interested in vying for another title any time soon, we’ve got to get out of the NFL farm business and draft talent ready to go this season. Our commitment has to be real enough to unload the bums. We’ll see if we’re committed or just interested in winning come draft day. 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