Time for the eighteenth overall selection in our second annual Canal Street Chronicles community mock draft. Our very own CSC contributor, saints-nation, is our Pittsburgh Steelers representative this year and is in charge of making the pick for them. That selection can be found right after the jump.
Thank you, saints-nation, for your participation.
With the eighteenth pick in the 2010 CSC community mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select...
Mike Iupati, OL, Idaho
The Steelers have been doing a magnificent job of mailing in the season after winning the Super Bowl the past two times. When you've got big expectations in title town, a quick bounce back is always assumed. It may not be that easy to jump right back into the playoff conversation for the Steelers, though. At what point does this team decide, for starters, that their two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback was a bad investment?
Yeah, that's right, I said it. The guy holds onto the ball longer than it takes Sting to complete an orgasm. Last year he was sacked a whopping 50 times. Besides Aaron Rodgers, also sacked 50 times, the next most sacked quarterback last year was Jason Campbell at 43. Drew Brees, by comparison, was sacked twenty times. Think about that for a second, Roethlisberger was sacked more than Brees by 250%. The last four years Roethlisberger has been sacked 46, 47, 46 and 50 times, so it's pretty clear the guy isn't getting any better with his release (that's what Sting said). While he's got enough size to absorb more hits than the average quarterback, at what point do the face sitting sessions he's getting from 300+ pound monsters start to affect his longevity? Forget making it out of the regular season alive, he almost didn't make it alive out of the offseason. Let's also not forget that he's obviously got a penchant for the "no means yes" philosophy.
Am I suggesting the Steelers should admit their mistake in committing to Roethlisberger and groom a replacement? I wish business in the NFL was that simple, as I'm sure the Steelers do too. But come on, let's not be stupid. I'm just suggesting they were stupid for banking on him in the first place. This team's foundation, at it's peak, was good enough to win with many different signal callers.
That's not to say Roethlisberger's play on the field hasn't been outstanding at times, but there's also a reason that despite the fact that he ranks ahead of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees in Super Bowl wins, he's never mentioned in the same breath with those guys in terms of ability. The problem is, now that the foundation is starting to crumple, the Steelers need big Ben to carry them. They don't really have a choice either, since they're on the hook for $102 million over eight years (signed in 2008). So now more than ever is the time to protect their investment by rebuilding that foundation around him.
Here's the question facing the Steelers as they look to make their first round selection: Do they improve protection for Big Ben by adding a ready-to-start lineman to the mix? Or do they start the youth movement on their aging defense? While the defense is old, as long as Troy Polamalu can stay healthy (which is no given) it's safe to say the Steelers' defensive production can be steady. They'll go with the best offensive lineman available to keep their poster boy clean on the field.
The man that fits this bill is Mike Iupati of Idaho. He's ready to start in the NFL immediately at guard, and he's versatile enough to shift over to tackle if necessary. He's 6'6" 330lbs. and he's big, mean and powerful. Just what the doctor ordered.
As for keeping their poster boy clean off the field...good luck!