Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
In 2012, the Terrible Towels were used for more than just waving around in Heinz Field hyping up the teams and fans. They were also used to dry up the tears of the Steeler Nation. After a disappointing 8-8 season with losses to teams like the Browns, Titans, and Raiders, the Steelers failed to make the playoffs. This is something that the Pittsburgh faithful is not used to. In the 9 years that Big Ben has been the starting QB for Pittsburgh, they have accomplished double digits in wins 6 times, winning 2 Super Bowls, and fielding a top notch defense the whole way through.
There is no shortage of talent in Pittsburgh, but they seemed to get hit with the injury bug pretty hard last season. Not one of the top projected skill position starters played 16 games last season (Ben, Wallace, Brown, Miller, Mendenhall/Redman/Dwyer). Well if you count the fullback, he did appear in all 16 games. James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, and Lamarr Woodley also missed multiple games. It also seems that the OL is always playing musical chairs, because of injury. The 2012 1st round pick, David Decastro, started his 1st game in week 15 after tearing his MCL in the preseason. If Decastro starts 16 games, then that is an added bonus to an offense that underachieved last season.
So who will the Steelers go with in round 1 of this year's draft?
STEELERS DEFENSE: (6th in points allowed, 1st in yards allowed, 1st in least 1st downs allowed)
Remember what I said above. Harrison and Woodley missed around 3 games, but Taylor and Polamalu missed over half of the season. But this defense was STILL 1st in least passing yards allowed and 2nd in least rushing yards allowed. Dick Lebeau is one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL history and Pittsburgh seems to always be deep on defense. So will the recent/possible losses of some of the defensive players of a year ago actually hurt this defense this year?
The Steelers are high on Cortez Allen, so while the loss of Keenan Lewis is a nice gain for us, the Steelers can actually afford this loss. I think the Steelers will look in the latter rounds for some CB depth (reload vs rebuild) but will feel OK with Taylor, Allen, Victorian, and Gay.
The Steelers already have a suitable replacement for Harrison. Jason Worilds. 25 years old, 4.72 in the 40, 6'2" and 265 lbs. He's the future, so Harrison can walk without a problem.
The biggest problems I see on defense is the age of the safeties and MLBs and a lack of experience at NT. Casey Hampton's time is done, so I really wanted to go NT here. Richardson was more suited for a 4-3 and I thought I'd be reaching for Jenkins, so I'm thinking that I will look at NT with their mid round pick in round 2.
Troy Polamalu has played hard for a decade in the NFL, so I have to assume that those bones are even older than his age. He being healthy for 16 games would be a bonus for this team. But Vaccaro is long gone, so I can't go safety here. Maybe mid draft, since I have 7 picks in this draft.....
Which leads me to who I almost picked here.....Alec Ogletree. Larry Foote will be 33 this season, but I see Sean Spence and believe that he's more than capable of taking over if Foote or Timmons miss time. Besides, this was one of the best defenses in the NFL, so I had to go offense....
STEELERS OFFENSE: (22nd in points scored, 21st in yards gained, 14th in passing yards, 26th in rushing yards)
The offense really let the Steelers down in 2012. There never seemed to be good team chemistry on that side of the ball. With all of the uncertainty at RB and a disgruntled Mike Wallace, the offense failed to meet the expectations that many set for them with their young speedy WR core. While the loss of Decastro for most of the season did not help, Big Ben and the passing game rarely had games where they looked in sync. Jonathan Dwyer should carry the load this season, with Isaac Redman as a nice change of pace type of back.
Mike Wallace is gone. He was Big Ben's favorite deep target. So now Big Ben has this group of WRs to throw to:
Antonio Brown: (5'10", 186 lbs) He has big play WR ability, but only has 7 TDs in 38 games.
Emmanuel Sanders: (5'11", 180 lbs) Another WR with big play potential, but only 5 TDs in 40 games. 94 catches in 40 games is not exactly what I want to see out of my potential #2 WR, especially when the offense was so bad last year.
Plaxico Burress: (6'5", 232 lbs) He's also 36 years old coming off of a 3 catch season.
Jerricho Cotchery: (6'1", 200 lbs) Will be 31 this year. Has averaged about a catch per game since coming to the Steelers. Doing just fine as a #4 WR.
So I couldn't help it. WITH THE 17TH PICK OF THE 2013 CSC MOCK DRAFT, THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS SELECT CORDARRELLE PATTERSON, WR, TENNESSEE.
Cordarrelle Patterson: (6'2", 216 lbs) The Steelers need some size at WR. Since Burress will have to earn his roster spot (since he did nothing to prove he should have one in 2012), I decided to go with Patterson over Austin simply because of the difference in size. While I admit that he is a project, he does have all of the physical tools to be a great addition to an offense desperate for size in the passing game.
Pittsburgh has a history of loving to add versatile guys. Patterson proved to be one of those at Tennessee. He played WR, RB, returned kicks and punts. Since Sanders and/or Brown are counted upon to return kicks/punts, the addition of Patterson may help the other 2 focus more on the increased roles in the passing game or could simply add great depth to that skill. Patterson is a Pittsburgh type of weapon. If he can learn to be a more physical WR, with his 4.4 speed and size, Big Ben and Patterson will so some serious damage in the AFC North.
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2013 CSC Community Draft Section.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||
OT Luke Joeckel - Texas A&M
QB Geno Smith - West Virginia
||Dragon Ninja Warrior||48%|
CB Dee Milliner - Alabama
OT Eric Fisher - Central Mich.
DE Dion Jordan - Oregon
DE/OLB Ezekiel Ansah - BYU
||Fan since the Aints||54%|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||OT Lane Johnson - Oklahoma
||Joseph Williams Stern||94%|
|8||Buffalo Bills||G Chance Warmack - Alabama
|9||NY Jets||S Kenny Vaccaro - Texas
|10||Tennessee Titans||G Jonathan Cooper - UNC
|11||San Diego Chargers||DT Sharrif Floyd - Florida
|12||Miami Dolphins||DT Star Lotulelei- Utah||Ralph Malbrough||58%|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||CB Xavier Rhodes - Florida St.||jeff.l.b|
|14||Carolina Panthers||CB Desmond Trufant - Washington||Stilljreming|
|15||New Orleans Saints||DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo - LSU||Dave Cariello|
|16||St. Louis Rams||OLB Jarvis Jones - Georgia||caomhin|
|17||Pittsburgh Steelers||WR Cordarrelle Patterson - Tennessee||aryanspecial|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||Fan since the Aints|
|22||St. Louis Rams (from Washington)||Kevin Held|
|24||Indianapolis Colts||Legatron Morstead|
|25||Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)||Fan since the Aints|
|26||Green Bay Packers||caomhin|
|29||New England Patriots||ShadowFlash|
|30||Atlanta Falcons||Dave Choate|
|31||San Francisco 49ers||BlackandGold4ever|