Draft Wrap up: Take Two

As promised yesterday, I will make some notes on the Steelers 2008 draft picks.  Let’s get right to it, I need to get back to watching the Pens assfist the Rangers. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 2008 Draft Selections

1(23). Rashard Mendenhall                  RB               Illinois

I was sceptical about this pick when I first heard it, but the more I thought about it, the better I liked it.  The Steelersmost obvious need was at O-Line, but with 7 offensive linemen being selected by the time Pittsburgh picked at 23, picking the best available talent makes sense here.  Selecting any of the available O-linemen would have been a stretch.  Fast Willy Parker is a tremendous talent with breakaway speed, but the entire league knows that he isn’t a 30 carry a game type of back.  He needs a thunder to his lighting.  Mendenhall’s 225 lbs should complement Parker nicely.  What about Davenport, you ask?  Well ‘The Dump Truck’ (if you are wondering the origin of this nickname, just Google ‘Laundry Basket Poop’, and click on the first link that comes up titled something like “Davenport Gets Into Loadof Trouble in Miami” and prepare to laugh your ass off) is an adequate spell back for Parker, but the team needs something more, and spending their first round draft pick on the top RB available should instill confidence in the Steelers faithful that they are not going to shy away from their traditional running game.

2(53). Limas Sweed                            WR                Texas

There is a lot of upside here.  Once again this was a value pick.  Pittsburgh’s greatest need wasn’t at WR, but it was felt that Sweed was the best available talent out there, so they scooped him up at 53.  In fact, Sweed was considered by many to be a first round talent, but he fell through the cracks into the second round.  I like this pick because he is a big receiver, and Big Ben loves big receivers.  He has had some injury problems, so I don’t think he’s reached his full potential yet.  If he stays healthy, the combination of Heins Ward, Santonio Holmes, and Limas Sweed could be lethal. 

3(88). Bruce Davis                            OLB                UCLA

I don’t know too much about Bruce Davis, but I do trust Steeler’s management when it comes to drafting defensive players, so I am going to go ahead and give this one a thumbs up.  He seems to be a good size (6’3 250lbs) for the OLB position in the 3-4 defense, so hopefully he will provide some depth at the position.

4(130). Tony Hills                            OT                  Texas

I don’t know about this pick.  I suppose Hills is a pretty good value at 130, but he has been hampered by injuries his entire career it seems.  He is a converted TE, so at least you know he is agile, but my guess is that Hills will continue to be plagued by injuries.  I hope that I am wrong.  In any case, O-line was Pittsburgh’s biggest need, and they at least started to address the issue here.  I still think that they need to go to free agent market and get another veteran to help anchor down that line.

5(156). Dennis Dixon                       QB                   Oregon

I like this pick.  These types of players always seem to work out well for the Steelers, and I am hoping that Dixon is no exception.  Kordel Stewart, Antwaan Randel El, and Heins Ward were all QB’s in college (Ward split time between QB and WR i believe), then used as a receiver at the pro level.  Much like they did with Stewart, I believe the Steelers will use Dixon as another ‘Slash’ type of player at first, using him in the slot and mixing him into some trick plays.  Eventually they would like Dixon to be able to take over the backup QB role, a job which is currently held by old timer Chaz (Soft)Batch. 

6(188). Mike Humpal                       OLB                   Iowa

Destined to be a special teamer. 

6(194). Ryan Mundy                         S                       West Virginia

Again, probably a special teamer, although Mundy did play for both Michigan and West Virginia.  Also injury prone it seems. 


So that’s my take on the Steelers 2008 draft.  All in all I thought they did a pretty good job of making the best selections of the talent that was available at the time.  They didn’t make any drastic moves, but then again, they never do.  They do still have some holes to fill (insert mom joke here), but one or two more off season moves and I think they will be ready to regain the AFC North title this year. 




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