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 Post subject: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Just wanted to start a thread dedicated to views on the early impact of the Steelers' 2012 NFL Draft Class. In my view, some of the guys will require some patience, while others will have an opportunity to "get a hat" right away. I love the draft as much as I've liked any recent draft by Colbert & Co., and I believe it could potentially yield 5 future starters (DeCastro, Adams, Spence, Ta'amu and Clemons). That's not what this post is about, however. I'm talking 2012 here. What can these kids do for the team in a few months' time?

Here's J_C_Steel's thoughts on that...

1. David DeCastro, OG

This one's easier than making HiV look foolish. DeCastro is a starter from day one. Is he at left guard or right guard? No one knows for sure yet, particularly given that the Steelers have a new offensive coordinator and a new offense. But either way, this kid will be lined up and ready to bust some heads when the team goes to Denver for Week 1.

2. Mike Adams, OT

Some think he may push for a starting position in training camp. I disagree. This kid's background makes me believe the Steelers will ease him in and not put too much pressure on him. I predict that Marcus Gilbert will man the left tackle slot and oft-injured Willie Colon will take his right tackle position. For the 2012 season, barring injuries to others, Adams will be the third tackle, learn both sides of the line in training camp, and get a few snaps in goal line packages.

3. Sean Spence, ILB

I'm impressed with this guy's speed and instincts. Several commentators predict that he'll be an impact player on special teams right away. I concur. While Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote will start at inside linebacker for the Steelers in 2012, both Stevenson Sylvester and Spence will get hats on Sundays. Spence will also push for some playing time as a sub in nickel or dime packages.

4. Alameda Ta'amu, NT

This one's tricky due to Casey Hampton's injury and the possibility that Big Snack starts the year on the PUP list. If that occurs, I see Ta'amu as the immediate back-up nose tackle to Steve McLendon. If Hampton is good to go, I'm not sure that Ta'amu will get a hat every week. It depends on how many defensive linemen the Steelers dress each week. We know Hampton, McLendon, Keisel, Heyward and Hood will always dress when healthy. When the Steelers play running teams, they may want some extra beef and therefore dress Ta'amu as a sixth defensive lineman. Against passing teams, Ta'amu will likely be wearing street clothes.

5. Chris Rainey, RB/WR/PR/KR/Bad Texter

Speed speed speed speed speed. Not sure the Dexter McCluster comparisons fit -- I think Rainey actually has some RB instincts and toughness -- but this kid will get on the field because of his one very special skill. If Spin Laden starts the year on the PUP, which is quite likely, I believe Rainey starts 2012 as the primary third-down back. He'll have to demonstrate some blocking ability to do so, but his speed and pass-catching ability make him more dangerous than the other candidate, Baron Batch. So it'll be Isaac Redman as the feature back, either Batch or Dwyer or Clay as the back-up, and Rainey as the third-down and change-of-pace RB. When Mendy comes back, what happens depends almost entirely on Rainey's production during the first six games of the season. If the kid is flying and breaking off some big plays, he'll remain the third-down back and likely work his way into other parts of the offense. If he's struggling in pass protection and not making plays, he'll sit and watch others do the job.

7. Toney Clemons, WR

Scottie Montgomery, our Duke-educated and therefore highly capable wide receivers coach, believes the Steelers got a "steal" in Clemons, who is big and fast. I think Clemons will make the team as the 5th wideout and dress, provided he can chip in on special teams. The kid looks like he's carved out of granite, so if he plays like it, he'll be an early contributor on special teams and get in some plays on offense here and there.

7. David Paulson, TE

This is a tough one. This kid isn't particularly talented, but neither is David Johnson. We know Heath Miller and Leonard Pope will be the top two tight ends, but who will back them up comes down to the two Davids and a suspended-for-the-first-four-games Weslye Saunders. I'm going to say that Paulson ends up on the practice squad, the Steelers keep D.J. for the first four games, and Saunders becomes the #3 TE for the last 12 games of the year (plus playoffs, of course).

7. Terrence Frederick, CB

I like this kid's name. Yeah, that's all I got. Regardless, the youth movement at corner continues. I see Ike Taylor, Curtis Brown, Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen locking down the first four corner spots, so the fifth spot is pretty open. I'll say Frederick grabs it and makes the final 53, though he doesn't play a lot.

7. Kelvin Beachum, OG

I'd love to see this kid take Trai Essex's job, but it probably won't happen. Practice squad.

So there you go. In my view, the Steelers get a starter, a third-down back, a third OT, a special teams demon, a back-up defensive lineman, a fifth WR, a fifth CB, and a couple of practice squad kids for 2012. I welcome thoughts and predictions from others.


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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Solid breakdown JC.

I'm still giddy about how much better DeCastro (+Colon) makes the line right away. Ben (and most other QBs) struggles most with inside pressure and a healthy Pouncey plus DeCastro is a huge upgrade.

This draft played out like we had a script and all 29 others didn't know it. Great depth at every need and some potential gems throughout.

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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
Solid breakdown JC.

I'm still giddy about how much better DeCastro (+Colon) makes the line right away. Ben (and most other QBs) struggles most with inside pressure and a healthy Pouncey plus DeCastro is a huge upgrade.

This draft played out like we had a script and all 29 others didn't know it. Great depth at every need and some potential gems throughout.


The one thing I heard from two different draft experts is that it's one thing when you draft for need. It's another when that need falls right in your lap.

Perfect storm for the Steelers. Let's hope it pays off.

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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Colbert always says he drafts for "want" not need. A good example was the Timmons/Woodley draft when it didn't seem like we really needed 2 LB (or the Mendenhall pick when Willie was at his peak). In this case the guys that fell to us happened to also fill the most glaring needs. Lets hope Adams/DeCastro works out as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
Solid breakdown JC.

I'm still giddy about how much better DeCastro (+Colon) makes the line right away. Ben (and most other QBs) struggles most with inside pressure and a healthy Pouncey plus DeCastro is a huge upgrade.

This draft played out like we had a script and all 29 others didn't know it. Great depth at every need and some potential gems throughout.


Excellent description.

Although, to be fair, I think other teams had a script, they were just written by the GM equivalent of George Lucas writing the SW prequels.

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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:55 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
Solid breakdown JC.

I'm still giddy about how much better DeCastro (+Colon) makes the line right away. Ben (and most other QBs) struggles most with inside pressure and a healthy Pouncey plus DeCastro is a huge upgrade.

This draft played out like we had a script and all 29 others didn't know it. Great depth at every need and some potential gems throughout.


Excellent description.

Although, to be fair, I think other teams had a script, they were just written by the GM equivalent of George Lucas writing the SW prequels.


C'mon, NS. Revenge of the Sith was pretty good.

And Barrys, there are 31 other teams in the NFL. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:22 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
Solid breakdown JC.

I'm still giddy about how much better DeCastro (+Colon) makes the line right away. Ben (and most other QBs) struggles most with inside pressure and a healthy Pouncey plus DeCastro is a huge upgrade.

This draft played out like we had a script and all 29 others didn't know it. Great depth at every need and some potential gems throughout.


Excellent description.

Although, to be fair, I think other teams had a script, they were just written by the GM equivalent of George Lucas writing the SW prequels.


C'mon, NS. Revenge of the Sith was pretty good.

And Barrys, there are 31 other teams in the NFL. :)


I don't recoginize the mistake by the lake or the Bungles. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Steelers' 2012 Draft Class -- Early Impact
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:23 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
C'mon, NS. Revenge of the Sith was pretty good.


Image

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