We pick up the TST Community Mock Draft at pick #18. Representing the Steelers is mooseknuckles41.
WIth the 18th pick in the draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho.
For a team just one season removed from winning it all, the Steelers have a surprising number of positions to address. Not even taking into account the most recent meathead antics of their QB, or the alleged glass-throwing exploits of Holmes- they need upgrades on both sides of the ball, whether or not suspensions or jail time are part off-season plans. A quick glance at their depth chart shows age and injuries on the defensive line, underachievers in the secondary, and an inconsistent O-line full of role players.
The past few Drafts have found the Steelers going after guys they can slowly integrate into the system (Mendenhall, Ziggy Hood, Timmons, Woodley) and they've been successful in doing so. However, taking a look at their recent post-2nd rounders, they've really struggled to add any depth to the trenches. The Steelers need to let their scouting department put their pride on the line, and choose the player they feel can contribute on opening day, instead of lining up for special teams and being the lookout for Big Ben's bathroom adventures.
I was hoping I'd have a more shocking pick at 18, but Mike Iupati just makes too much damn sense. His size, strength and positional versatility should make Tomlin giddy at the idea of bringing a bit more of the ground n' pound to Heinz Field. Big Ben was sacked freakin' 50 times in 2009! Too often last season the run was all but abandoned as they played from behind and made Ben scramble for his life (sound familiar?) Assuming he stays out of the clink, and gains control of Little Ben- he's an investment worth protecting. Since the departure of Alan Fanceca, they haven't had any muscle up front, and this pick should go a long way in solving that. Iupati should get the start from day one of training camp.
VanRam: Nice pick, but it's always a little shocking to see an interior lineman in the top twenty, though not as unusual as it seems. I once hoped this guy would fall to the Rams in the second, but that's not likely to happen.