2008 NFL Mock Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IMarch 16, 2008

Previous Five Picks

18) NFL-Houston_Texans-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Houston_Texans-050308">Houston Texans: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon 

19) NFL-Philadelphia_Eagles-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Philadelphia_Eagles-060308">Philadelphia Eagles: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas

20) Buccaneers-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Tampa_Bay_Buccaneers-090308">Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma 

21) Redskins-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Washington_Redskins-120308">Washington Redskins: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida

22) Cowboys-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Dallas_Cowboys-140308">Dallas Cowboys: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee St.

Click here to see the entire Mock Draft. 

The Longest Mock Draft in NFL History Continues...

This was going to be up early Sunday morning, but instead I felt the urge to tell everyone how much I love Hank Steinbrenner

With pick No. 23 coming off the board and my genius idea to merge both Cowboy picks into one column, I’m actually starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

As one of my biggest fans has suggested in the comments section of a few of these, I’ll soon be able to stop clogging up his Google News with my draft articles!


Pick No. 23: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh  Steelers spent the entire 2007 NFL season hovering in and out of the NFL’s elite. 

For the first half of the season, they seemed like a juggernaut that was ascending to the level of the New England Patriots.   By the end of the season, they were an injured shell of their former selves.

It’s impossible to know what the result would have been if the Steelers had met the Patriots earlier in the season, but when they did meet in week 14 it was clear that the Steelers just weren’t there yet.

They will have to improve if they want to challenge the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and San Diego Chargers for supremacy in the AFC.  But that will be easier said than done, especially when you take into account the rise of the Cleveland Browns

The Browns have improved to the point where they may be the odds on favorite to win the AFC North in 2008.  The Steelers will have to worry about the AFC North before they worry about challenging for the AFC championship.

Long Overdue Steeler Rant

There’s something about the Steelers that always bothered me. 

While they have some really good character guys like Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, and Willie Parker, they always seem to compliment them with morons like Anthony Smith or Joey Porter who love to run their mouths for no good reason.

I just wish the Steelers would shut-up and allow NFL fans to enjoy them, because they really are a talented and exciting team.  Not many teams have spent as long at or near the top of the NFL as they have. 

The problem is, there’s always some moronic player on the Steelers that’s more than willing to remind you of just that.

End of Long Overdue Steeler Rant

Giving Big Ben a monster contract was the right decision, even though it’s stupid, NBA-like money.  You have to back your franchise quarterback, and even though Big Ben has his deficiencies, there really aren’t any better options out there.

You have Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer…after that, you could throw Big Ben’s name in there. 

When you have a guy who is arguably the fourth best quarterback in the NFL, you pay him whatever you need to pay him.

Even though it bothered Hines Ward, I agree with Roethlisberger—he needs a big, tall wide receiver.  

You can’t be throwing jump-balls in the endzone to 5-foot-11 Hines Ward.  He needs his Randy Moss.

But there’s a bigger problem in Pittsburgh. 

Big Ben took a big beating last year. 

Then he lost what was probably his best, most consistent offensive lineman when Alan Faneca signed with the Jets

The Steelers need a replacement for Faneca. Preferably someone who can keep defenders off of Big Ben.

The Pick: Branden Albert, OG, Virginia

The Steelers will go offensive line with this pick, no doubt about it. 

Branden Albert is the best offensive lineman left on my board, so he’s the pick. Jeff Otah gets consideration, but I don’t have him ranked as highly as some.  To me, Clady and Long are the only two pure offensive tackles in this draft that warrant consideration in the first round.

Albert gives the Steelers a guy that has the athletic ability to move between guard and tackle.  He is a great pass blocker and a decent run blocker.

Once he gets his technique down, I expect that he’ll become a great run blocker as well.

He’s strong, athletic, and mean. The perfect addition to a power offense like Pittsburgh’s.

I’m SeanMC.

SeanMC is a Senior Writer at Bleacher Report. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.


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