And now the Minnesota Vikings are on the clock

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of buzz surrounding the Steelers' recently-acquired draft class. That's probably because with only five picks - the fewest in team history - after you grouse about the one or two players you don't like in the class, there's not a lot left.

A lot has been made of the fact the Steelers didn't draft a running back or quarterback in the first couple of rounds in the draft.

But all of that is just by writers and pundits trying to cover up the fact that they bought into the misinformation about the Steelers taking a quarterback or running back in the first round.

It was easy and sexy to buy into that talk at first. Hell, I did. But after taking a good, hard look at the Steelers' situation, a rational mind figured out the Steelers weren't taking a quarterback or running back in the first round of this draft.

Had they taken a running back and released Jerome Bettis, they would have had about 1/6th of this year' salary cap tied up in running backs.

And are you really going to draft a quarterback who first and foremost, isn't going to help you a bit this season, and secondly, will be the second QB on the roster to make more money than your starter?

Me neither.

Troy Polamalu was the player the Steelers needed to acquire to possibly push them over the top this season.

Polamalu has the speed of Tebucky Jones, the hitting ability of Donovan Darius and the intangibles of Sammy Knight.

Soon he will have the paycheck the Steelers offered Dexter Jackson.

Can't ask for more than that.

And Tom Donahoe has just selected a running back that will not only not play this season, but also won't help his pathetic defense or block for Drew Bledsoe.

The best thing about the Steelers' draft this year was that by trading their third-round pick, it ended our day early on Saturday. Pearl Jam wasn't on the agenda at the beginning of the day, but when you're done with everything early and have a way to get the tickets, why not?

I especially enjoyed their cover of the Clash's "Know Your Rights," even if most of the 20-somethings there didn't "Know that Song."

And the Houston Texans have just taken another quarterback.

Speaking of the Texans, maybe they felt if they couldn't protect David Carr, they would make damn sure they had plenty of replacements ready when he gets his head knocked off again this season.

Outside of Polamalu, the player who will make or break this draft is fourth-round pick Ike Taylor.

Why Taylor? If they can turn him into a player, they will have a 6-0, 190-pound corner who can run a 4.3 40. Those guys don't grow on trees.

A lot of people made a big deal of the fact he only played the position for one season, but some of those same people didn't have the same problem with Andre Woolfolk. And Woolfolk isn't nearly the athlete Taylor is.

That being said, Taylor and second-round pick Alonzo Jackson need to contribute this season if this team is going to be successful.

Taylor's speed will be an upgrade on special teams, where he will get a shot to return kicks and work on the cover teams. And while Jackson will also work the cover teams, if he can pick up three or four sacks this season as a situational pass rusher, that will be a plus.

The Steelers have two seasons to get Jackson good. The third year, he'll be expected to be ready to take over for Jason Gildon. If he does it earlier, so much the better.

And while Taylor will put Hank Poteat on the hot seat, the guy who will be pushed by seventh-round pick J.T. Wall will be one you probably didn't think.

Wall won't be pushing fullback Dan Kreider or hybrid Verron Haynes, although both must stay on their toes.

The player most likely to be cut to keep Wall on the roster will be Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala.

Fu has never been able to stay healthy and he's making way too much money to be the third running back. Haynes will take that job away from him and the Steelers will keep Wall as insurance for next season when Kreider is a free agent.

Best I can tell, the Minnesota Vikings are still on the clock.

--Dale Lolley

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