Three Prospects visit Steelers


There were three different things that happened this weekend which left me scratching my head.

For starters, did anyone watch the college basketball national championship last night? In a game where Butler set a record for worst shooting percentage, 19 percent, in a championship game, most people were left wondering if UCONN is the best team in the country, or the beneficiary of a burnt out Butler Bulldog team.

Secondly, Charlie Morton got a win yesterday. Please read that sentence again; the man who went 2-12 last season with an ERA of 8, and had become the poster child for Buccos futility actually won a game. Not only did he win, he went six innings, allowed one run, and put the Pirates in perfect position to improve to 3-1 on the young season.

Not to be outdone in this wacky sports weekend, the Steelers brought in three perspective draft picks that do not make a whole lot of sense to me.

Those three men are all offensive tackles — Jarriel King of South Carolina, James Carpenter of Alabama, and Marcus Gilbert of Florida.

Contrary to what most Steelers faithful think, I believe the offensive line could be one of the Steelers strongest points in the upcoming season…..barring injury of course.

With Max Starks, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Willie Colon, and the hopeful return of Flozell Adams, the Steelers will be playing with a very formidable wall protecting Big Ben. As far as depth is concerned, utility man Doug Legursky had a strong year filling in for the various holes which popped up on the Steelers line last season. And even Ramon Foster has had some bright spots while wearing the black and gold.

Now it’s not that I think it would be outlandish for the Steelers to draft an offensive tackle, but in a heavily saturated defensive draft, and no glaring need at the position, I do not know if going offensive line in the first round is the smart choice.

Of the three tackles that came to visit with the Steelers, I like Jarriel King of South Carolina the most. King was the best offensive lineman for a team with a true freshman running back in Marcus Lattimore, who earned first team All-American honors. With the hopes the Steelers will be relying on Mendenhall again this season to open up the offense, King would be a nice fit for the Steelers if the team chose to look in that direction.

I do not think Marcus Gilbert of Florida is a strong candidate. For starters, while I know there are different positions which require different skill sets on the offensive line; Gilbert is not the best prospect Florida has to offer. If the Steelers are looking at the Gators, I think it should be Mike Pouncy or bust. Having a Pouncy brother duo on the line would be a dream come true, but an unrealistic one at that. In most mock drafts, the younger Pouncy routinely gets selected earlier than the Steelers will be picking…… a burden a team which reaches the Super Bowl must face.

While I have put down the idea of drafting an offensive lineman, you might be wondering where I think the Steelers should be looking for its first round pick…….. You will have to check NPC on Thursday to see for yourself.