Smokin' Jim Frazier rips Steelers' draft

Those who follow Smokin' Jim Frazier's newsletters and television show know one thing about him: He doesn't polish the apple, nor is he looking to win a popularity contest. So, how did SMOKIN' JIM rate the Steelers 2011 Draft?

I thought the Steelers AGAIN did a very POOR job in this year's draft and I gave them a D- minus grade. This is still BILL COWHER'S TEAM. The bulk and best players/coaches are from the Bill Cowher era. The Kevin Colbert-Mike Tomlin era has done a horrible job of finding offensive linemen and defensive backs.

ROUND I

Craig "Ironhead" Heyward in 1987 at Pitt rushed for 1,791 yards and was fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft.

Ohio State has a history of sending defensive line bums to the Steelers: Rodney Bailey, Doug Worthington and Thaddeus Gibson. Cameron Heyward (6-5, 300), Ironhead's son, and the Steelers' first round draft choice, will break that cycle.

But, is HEYWARD going to help the Steelers win the next Super Bowl?

The answer is no, because: 1.) Aaron Smith is still the best defensive end of this team; 2.) Casey Hampton; 3.) Brett "The Beard" Keisel, who looked more like a band member of ZZ Top than a Pro Bowl lineman in the Super Bowl; 4.) Ziggy Hood; and 5.) Chris Hoke.

By selecting Heyward, the Steelers drafted the BEST SIXTH MAN this side of the Lakers' Andrew Bynum.

ROUND 2

Franchise quarterback "Big" Ben Roethisberger should prepare his body for another 50-sack season. Marcus Gilbert, who is 6 feet 6, 330 pounds, played left tackle at Florida, but he is too slow to play tackle in the NFL and is too weak and slow to play guard. Physically, Gilbert has narrow shoulders, collapsing lats, and a pot belly.

There's a better chance of Dez Bryant pulling up his pants in the mall than of Marcus Gilbert EVER becoming a good player in the NFL. Maybe the Steelers should give him a yellow game day security jacket and help him get on with his life's work as a secret service agent.

ROUND 3

Pittsburgh may have found a future starter when it selected 6 foot, 185-pound cornerback Curtis Brown of Texas. Brown is a speedster with a 4.4 time in the 40 and ran the 100 in high school.

ROUND 4

Uncle Sam thought he had a second Lieutenant before the Steelers decided to Roll the Dice on a project. Cortez Allen, of The Citadel Military College, is a 6-2, 200 pound cornerback and runs the 40 in 4.5.

Allen is a very raw prospect. He didn't play football until his senior year in high school and was only a two-year starter at The Citadel.

ROUND 5

Colbert and the Steelers again had a brain freeze in the fifth round by adding outside linebacker Chris Carter (6-1, 250) of Fresno State.

The Steelers have the best two outside linebackers in football in James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, and both are in the primes of their careers. Jason "All" Worilds and Stevenson Sylvester were added to the roster last year. Lawrence Timmons is also an option at outside linebacker, so Carter figures to be nothing more than a cheerleader in 2011.

ROUND 6

Keith Williams, who is 6-4, 320 pounds, played offensive guard at Nebraska. The sixth round draft choice will be fighting for a roster spot.

ROUND 7

Few college players have impressed the Steelers so much with their dedication to continuing education in all matters related to training and nutrition as Texas Tech's Baron Batch.

Isaac Redman, former Bowie State star, emerged at the end of last season as the team's primary and BEST backup option to Rashard Mendenhall. Mewelde Moore is a free agent, so the versatile Batch (5-10, 200) will get every opportunity to earn the third-down back position.

However, Batch is a player with some GLARING faults. His size-speed ratio is not very impressive, and he ONLY carries the football in his RIGHT hand, so look for Batch and Mendenhall to combine for the most HIGH POP-UP FUMBLES in NFL history.

The NFL football draft is an event based on opinion. Of course, you get a different perspective when you are part of the process. And even then, many so-called experts see things differently based on his idea of what makes up the ideal football player. But, the consensus outside of the organization was that the first-round draft choice needed to be a defensive cornerback.

Several teams, including the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, were able to cut up the Steelers' secondary like a hot knife through butter. Bryant McFadden, Anthony Madison and Keenan Lewis proved they cannot consistently stand on an island and handle their business, and Pittsburgh didn't address a replacement in rounds one or two.

There are several reasons why the Steelers didn't win the last Super Bowl. With Santonio Holmes playing for the New York Jets, and Antonio Brown on the bench, the Steelers didn't have a go-to receiver on the field for the final drive of the game. But, perhaps the most glaring of their flaws was the lack of playmakers in the secondary.

Starting cornerback William Gay? He's been a bust the last two years and doesn't cover or tackle well. Gay wouldn't hit Jeffrey Dahmer if he was sprinkling hot sauce on his girlfriend. It makes one wonder if the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the infamous Cam Bonifay.

So I gave the Steelers draft a failing grade. Colbert and his scouting department seem to be Gomer Pyle-ing their way through the draft. Enough's enough!


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