´ Steel Curtain Rising: Steelers Draft Needs: Running Backs and Tight Ends

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Steelers Draft Needs: Running Backs and Tight Ends

The Steelers Situation at Running Back

A little over a year ago, the Steelers seemed to be set or almost set at this position.

Willie Parker was the starter, Rasshard Mendenhall was the up and coming first round pick, Mewelde Moore the unheralded backup who nonetheless went out there and got it done, and then you had Gary Russell who, if he didn't have Barry Foster-like power that he'd flashed, was at least blossoming into a excellent short-down yardage back.

In the last year: Mendenhall seized the starting, Moore, though still reliable, has perhaps revealed his limits, Parker has signed with the Redskins, and Gary Russell got himself cut.

What the Steelers Should at Running Back in the Draft:
If both men stay healthy, the Steelers could probably manage the entire season with Mendenhall and Moore. But that possibility remains unrealistic.

Behind them, Frank "The Tank" Summers and Isaac "Redzone" Redman offer some potential and some catchy nicknames, but neither has a carry in the NFL regular season.

Art Rooney II has dictated that the Steelers must run better which means that they Steelers need to find a reliable back up running back in the 2010 draft and/or a true full back.

Given the Steelers needs at wideout, defensive back, and on the lines, running back probably does not merit a first or second pick (unless of course another Mendenhall falls in their lap), but picking up a running back or fullback in the third round pick would not be too early.

The Steelers Situation at Tight End

In Health Miller the Steelers have what is perhaps one of the NFL's best-kept secrets.

Behind Miller there is Matt Spaeth, who after three years largely remains a mystery -- he cannot block yet they ask him to, however, Spaeth can catch but they have a Chuck Nollish refusal to throw to him.

After that you have 2009 7th round pick David Johnson, whom the coaches are high on, and Sean McHugh coming off of IR, both of whom seem to be more regarded as hybrid FB/TE's.

What the Steelers Should Do at Tight End:

Arguably, this is the only position that the Steelers can afford to ignore in the early and middle rounds. A real bruising, blocking tight end would be a welcome addition, but perhaps David Johnson could fill that role.

Thanks for visiting. Disclaimer - college football gets little air time down here in Buenos Aires, but you can click here to read all of Steel Curtain Rising's coverage of the 2010 NFL draft.

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