Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Couple of Prospects...

Well boys and girls, with the NFL Draft coming up in a few weeks, I felt it was time to tell yinz about a coouple of the guys that numerous mock drafts have us linked to. Now keep in mind, this is all subjust to change based on who's left, etc..., but here's the linemen we've been linked to, and next time i'll post about the cornerbacks...

Alex Mack is a center from Cal, who is considered the top prospect at his position and would be a nice fit for the Steelers. He is a very strong and physical blocker, which would be a nice change for the Steelers, as we've been having trouble recently with the bigger noseguards in the AFC North. He's a three time All Pac 10 player and two time All-American, and has been impressive thus far in the scouting process.

If it were up to this humble reporter, Alex Mack would be our first round selection.

Another name being thrown around is Max Unger from Oregon. He may possibly go before the Steelers pick, but to honest, he doesn't seem like as good a fit as Mack. Unger is very versatile, and can effectively play all three positions on the line (although he's mostly thought of as a center/tackle). The problem I have with him is he's known as more of a finesse blocker, and once again, the AFC North has a lot of big bodies to move so you best be strong as an ox or you could be in a lot of trouble.

Phil Loadholt, a massive left tackle from Oklahoma is another name possibly on the Steelers draft board. His size is definitely a plus, although he's not really known as a quick player and may have fallen into the second round. He'd be a nice fit for the Steelers as he's a big man who can play physical, however we already have a project in last year's pick Tony Hills, so therefore I wouldn't take him unless both center options are taken. But he has visited the Steelers' complex, so that might be an indicator that he's on our radar.

Finally, the last lineman linked to us (at least that I've seen) is A.Q. Shipley from Penn State. He's a second to third rounder, and is somewhat like Mack in that he is strong and very tough. He has also visited the Steelers, and he won the rimmington trophy as last year's best college center.

So what's with all the centers you ask? Well, first off, no one drafts guards in round 1, unless there's an Alan Faneca type player available, which there isn't this year, and secondly, with us having the last pick in round 1, most if not all of the first round tackles are expected to be gone. But who knows, I personally think the Steelers will probably trade down or pick a corner in round 1, as players like Shipley will be available in the later rounds.

Until next time...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Wind-Down

Here's another new entry from our newest contributor, Fat Daddio...he'll be posting about once a week or so, and I'll be posting something on Wednesday...


-- Pitt's big three of DeJuan Blair, Sam Young, and Levance Fields held up their end of the bargain at the dance. But every game was a struggle, in large part because Tyrell Biggs, Juan Dixon, and Brad Wannamaker didn't show up. If we have one bit of advice for Jamie Dixon next season, it would be to trust Ashton Gibbs a little more and Wannamaker a lot less.

And give Agnus Berenato lots of love. Her team is risen with a bullet, and unlike Dixon, she took over a program with no tradition and fewer players. Her girls may be in over their heads in the NCAAs now, but she's put them on the map.

-- And some props should go to Duquesne's Ron Everhart and Suzie McConnell-Serio. They're single-handedly dragging basketball back to prominence on the Bluff. We can't wait to see the City Game regain the edge it had when the Mike Rice and Tim Grgurich teams got it on.

-- The Pens are amazin'. Sooner or later, all that penalty time is gonna catch up to them, but right now their guys are playing pond hockey as well as it can be played. Our only question is whether or not their legs can stand up to the pace, especially in the every-other-day Stanley Cup format. But what a difference Sergei Gonchar, Chris Kunitz, and Billy Guerin make on the ice. Ray Shero has reinvented the team.

-- Pitt is getting ready to step out in football this year, but they still have a lot of question marks. Can the linebacking come together? Will a running back step up? And most importantly, can Tito Sunseri wrest the QB job from Billy Stull? Wanny has some players now, but he still doesn't have the depth that a Top-Ten team needs.

-- The Pirates start on April 6th against the Cards. Does anybody care? Hey, they should be better this year, but they'll go as far as the rotation takes them. Paul Maholm looks like a hoss, but will Ian Snell rediscover his nasty stuff and can Phil Dumatrait rejoin the staff before it's too late? The answer best be yes if the Buccos want to avoid their historic 17th straight losing season.

The cavalry is on the way, with Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, and Jose Tabata all looking ready to join the show in the next season or two. But the minor league pitching hopes hinge on Altoona starter Brad Lincoln and Lynchburg's Bryan Morris, and that's not exactly what you call depth.

But as long as you've got bobbleheads and the Zambelli Brothers...