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Monday, June 14, 2010

Random Steeler Monday - Draft Update

For today's installment of RSM, I am not going to feature a particular card(s) of any player.  Why?  Well for the most part, the players I wanted to talk about don't have cards that feature them as a Steeler yet (that I know of).  They least, most of them will. 

One hurdle for many NFL teams has always been the signing of draft pics after the draft.  With all the lucrative marketing/advertising deals and the prevalence of the Jerry Maguire mentality of agents, teams are having to pay premiums for unproven, and sometimes inferior talent.  While I have never been the type of fan that watches the draft coverage from beginning to end in hopes of finding the next big thing, I do always follow my Steelers and how well they address their pressing needs.  This year was no exception.

So far,  three draft picks have been signed out of the seven that were drafted.  That's not bad considering it is only June.  I am predicting there will be at least one hold out here but I hope it isn't going to be 1st rounder Maurkice Pouncey.  The offensive line is always in need of an upgrade and I think Pouncey's size and understanding of the game will be extrememly beneficial to the Steelers offense, regardless of whether they put him at guard or center (which I think he is going to be used as right guard for now).

But that's not who I wanted to talk about.  It's the three draft signings.  The photos are all picks that I would love to see of them on cards when they don the Steelers uniform.

First, we had the 4th Round pick, Offensive Linebacker, Thaddeus Gibson out of Ohio State.  Gibson's deal was for 3 years but I can't speak to the terms since that info is usually kept quite.  A rough estimate is going to say no more than $2 million.  So far we have yet to see Gibson because some class requirements at OSU prevented him from participating in the Steelers OTA's.  I am not too sure on this pick.  I haven't read a whole lot about him and also haven't heard any "rave" reviews of his performance while at OSU.  Even Keith Butler could only say that the thing that impressed him the most was his ability to improve during the season.  I just hope that missing OTA's doesn't cause him to take the whole 2010 season to "improve".  If he does make the team, he will more than likely spend the majority of his time on the special teams squad.

The second pick signed was 7th Round selection, Doug Worthington, Defensive Lineman out guessed it, Ohio State.  The talk I hear on this one is that it's a three year $1.25 million contract with a $33,000 signing bonus.  What you say?  $33,000 is nothing?  I agree.  That doesn't even pay for the gold infused pen and ink they use to sign on the ancient Egyptian papyrus scrolls, which is customary for NFL contracts these days, does it?  Either way, this is a great if not for one thing...line stuffing.  Worthington has the size and speed to quickly fill in the gaps on the line and prevent the opposing running game from getting off the ground.  I see Doug being used in this capacity, possibly on third down and short situations and possibly goal line scenarios. 

Finally, today, it was reported that 3rd Round pick Emmanuel Sanders inked his own deal to become the third draft pick signed.  That is, if you believe his Twitter from earlier in the day (Or is it Tweet?  Is the past-tense called Twatted?  I haven't jumped on that bandwagon yet.).  Sanders is a Wide Receiver out of SMU (Southern Methodist).  With the departure of Sansmokio for "greener" pastures, the vacancy is looking to be filled by anyone with the capability to step up.  Sanders has those skills.
He is being compared to Mike Wallace, who as we saw last year, has both tremendous speed and pass catching ability.  The thing that impressed the Steelers most about Sanders, though, was his leadership abilities both on and off the field.  This is one thing you can be sure they need right now in Pittsburgh.  I am all but positive he will earn himself a roster spot, possibly a 4th or 5th WR but most definitely as a return specialist.  As you can see by his Twitter post in the link above, he looks to be quite excited about the idea of playing in Pittsburgh.  I hope that translates onto the field.

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