A Reading From The Book Of Colbert

Kevin Colbert set the guidelines but SCI.net publisher Jim Wexell makes the picks for the Steelers from the cozy confines of the combine.

INDIANAPOLIS – Sometimes you have to ask 15 questions before Kevin Colbert slips any news in on you. And even then you're never sure he means it.

For today let's just assume he meant it when he told combine reporters from the podium that "offensive line, particularly tackle, wide receiver, and defensive back, particularly corner, are deeper (positions) than most."

Later, with the local media, Colbert said, "I meant that I think you can get quality at those positions in the first three rounds. Mix and match any way you want. Where we're picking we think we could get one in each round."

So let's take him at his word and break it down by using the NFLDraftscout.com rankings the league provided reporters at the combine:

First Round

* OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State (6-5½, 321, 5.28 40, 23 reps).

* OT Marcus Cannon, TCU (6-5, 358, 5.26, 33 reps).

* WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt (6-4½, 228, 4.45, 20 reps).

* WR Torrey Smith, Maryland (6-1, 204).

* CB Aaron Williams, Texas

* CB Rahim Moore, UCLA

The need at tackle's being overrated by fans. Why else would Willie Colon's agent think his client gone?

At wide receiver, Colbert doubts Baldwin will drop to 31. Since we're taking him for his word today, we'll continue to do so and cross Baldwin off the short list.

The cornerbacks just arrived, so this position's still dependent on times and measurements.

The Pick: I hate to pick a corner with so much depth at the position, but let's go there since the Steelers haven't sprinkled first-round talent into the secondary since 2003 – CB Rahim Moore.

Second Round

* Jason Pinkston, Pitt (6-3½, 317, 5.47)

* Orlando Franklin, Miami (6-5½, 316, 5.20, 26 reps).

* WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami (6-2, 209, 4.46).

* WR Tandon Doss, Indiana (6-2, 201).

* CB Curtis Brown, Texas (5-11½, 188)

* CB Brandon Burton, Utah (6-0, 190)

The player who jumps off the list to me is Brown, whom I thought played better than the aforementioned Williams in the Texas games I watched closely. But we've already drafted a corner for the Steelers today.

Franklin has the size and versatility the Steelers like, but I haven't warmed to him as a player. I respect Pinkston, but he's just not making me send the card to the podium.

The wide receivers are big-bodied, and that's what the Steelers lack at the position.

The Pick: Logic dictates receiver, but with Limas Sweed still around I doubt they'll pick one this high. So let's circumvent the rules here and go with a guy who used to play wide receiver – TE Lance Kendricks.

Third Round

* OT James Carpenter, Alabama (6-4½, 321, 5.28, 23 reps)

* OT Joseph Barksdale, LSU (6-5, 325, 5.38, 29 reps)

* WR Niles Paul, Nebraska (6-1, 224)

* WR Terrence Toliver (6-4, 212)

* CB Shareece Wright

* CB Rashad Carmichael (5-10, 192)

We're left with an opening at OT, and Carpenter's a guy I've liked all along as a third-rounder. Barksdale reminds me of Chris Scott and the Steelers already have him.

I like both wide receivers here. Paul is a run-after-catch guy in the Hines Ward mold and Toliver is so smooth for his size. If both players would've had better quarterbacks last season they probably would've been ranked higher.

I like both corners, too. Wright would provide great value here. I've only seen Carmichael play with a high ankle sprain but he was still quick. It wouldn't surprise me if he puts up a great combine time.

The Pick: I just can't take a tackle here, not with the respect I have for the WRs and CBs. I'll go with a corner here to take advantage of the depth at the position, the need at the position, and as a safety net in case the first-rounder has to move back next to Troy PolamaluCB Shareece Wright.

A Wrap: Having gone through this, I believe it'll be difficult for the Steelers to select a cornerback in the first round, considering all the talent that will be available later. But it's still February. There'll be plenty of time for me to do it again – and really mess things up.

Steel City Insider Top Stories