Certainly the Steelers need a quarterback of the future to groom. And there's no doubt getting a shot at one of the top two cornerbacks would also fill a need.
But here's a cold, hard fact: The way things are looking, the Steelers could end up with none of those three players.
Every draft is considered to have layers and this one is no different. The first layer - which is the top-notch star players - is seven to eight players deep. Those players are, in no particular order, wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Roy Williams, offensive tackle Robert Gallery, safety Sean Taylor, quarterbacks Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, tight end Kellen Winslow and possibly Hall or Rivers, depending on the team queried.
That means if one of those players is available to you when you draft, you have to take them. But it also means teams will be willing to move up and get them.
The second major drop-off in talent comes in the 20 to 23 range. The players selected after that could go anywhere between pick 24 and pick 50 and nobody would be all that surprised.
So what's it all point to? A trade down by the Steelers.
It would keep the peace between Cowher and Colbert, while also allowing the team to get the offensive tackle, either Shawn Andrews or Vernon Carey, it so needs.
- One of the most interesting players to watch in this draft will be
wide receiver Lee Evans.
Unlike the other top receivers available in this draft, Evans does not have great size. In fact, he's more of a throwback to the old days (read: three or four years ago) when receivers were all between 5-10 and 6-0.
Because he's not 6-4 like the rest of the first-round receivers in this draft, Evans tends to be overlooked. But it says here Evans should be rated as the third-best receiver in this draft behind Fitzgerald and Roy Williams and ahead of Reggie Williams and Mike Williams.
When it's all said and done, Evans could end up being the best offensive rookie in the NFL next season. Because of his top-notch speed, Evans will find ways to get open. And because he'll go in the middle or end of the first round, Evans will go to a team with an established quarterback and more balanced offense.
- Here's my list of underrated players in this draft: wide receiver
Drew Carter, Ohio State; running back Tatum Bell, Oklahoma State; offensive tackle Adrian Jones, Kansas; tight end Kris Wilson, Pitt; defensive end Bo Schobel, TCU; nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, Hawaii; cornerback Derek Straight, Oklahoma;
cornerback Jeremy LaSeur, Michigan; and linebacker Roderick Green, Central Missouri State.
- Here's my list of overrated players heading into the final week: cornerback Shawntae Spencer, Pitt; quarterback Cody Pickett, Washington; running back Greg Jones, Florida State; tight end Ben Utecht, Minnesota; defensive end Marquise Hill, LSU; and defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs, Texas.