Draft tomorrow. It will probably be a couple hours from the start of coverage until the Steelers pick, but I'm going to enjoy those few hours like a Super Bowl Champion should - watching the 2009 championship DVD.
One of the reasons I haven't shared my thoughts about the draft is that I have no idea what the Steelers will do. (The other reason is sheer laziness). The consensus top needs for Pittsburgh are O-line, D-Line, and cornerback. Of those positions, I think a first round O-lineman makes the most sense. Not necessarily because Kevin Colbert thinks it is the team's biggest need (I think it is), but rather through process of elimination. The Steelers almost never take a defensive lineman or cornerback in the first round. Sure, Casey Hampton was a first round pick, but he is the only defensive lineman taken in the first round in 20 years. The last time the Steelers took a corner in the first round was 1997 with Chad Scott, and we all know how that worked out. Also, the Steelers don't need a d-lineman or corner to play right away, meaning they can select guys in the later rounds. Looking at recent starters at these positions, Aaron Smith was a 4th round pick. Keisel was a 7th round pick. Ike Taylor was a 4th round pick. McFadden was a 2nd round pick. Willie Gay was a 4th round pick. See a trend? Kevin Colbert is also on record as saying this draft class is deep on cornerbacks. Also, Keiwan Ratliff was signed by the team today, virtually guaranteeing they won't select a CB early.
That leaves offensive line as the likely pick. Alex Mack, Max Unger, or Eric Wood could all improve our team now by playing at right guard and transitioning to center next year when Hartwig's contract expires. I'd love to get two interior lineman to replace Stapleton now and Hartwig next year, but that's unlikely.
Regardless, the Steelers are in great position to take the best player available. I've spent lots of time worrying about the ineptitude of the o-line, wide receiver depth, and the age of our d-line, but when you've won a Super Bowl with the current offensive line, and the third wide receiver and fourth cornerback spots are the biggest worries, your football team is in pretty good shape.
Since I've been lazy, here are some links with good draft info:
Here's a link to a site with links to mock drafts: Alex Mack seems to be the favorite [BTSC]
Discussions on center prospects: who's better Mack or Unger. Screw it, let's take Shipley [BNG]
Post Gazette's Ed Bouchette like the Hood [ESPN]
4 Scenarios: JJ Cooper likes Wood, Eric Wood that is [NFL Fanhouse]
Dagger at postgameheroes is forecasting a trade [PGH]
Some great stuff from SteelerFury [Draft Board, 1st Round Predictions, Todd's Take, Final Mock]
BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE [Steelers Today]
Draft prospects that visited Mikey T; it's heavy on CBs and O-lineman [BTSC]
AFC North Picks from ESPN Blogger James Walker [ESPN]
Five different mocks here, none choose the same player at 32 [CBSsports]