Now that Santonio Holmes has been jettisoned (couldn’t resist with that one), how does Sunday’s trade impact the Steelers’ draft plans?
With Holmes, it was widely thought the Steelers would address needs at cornerback or along the offensive line with the No. 18 pick. In fact, in all three of our in-house mock drafts, Boise State CB Kyle Wilson was the pick for the Steelers. Connections have also been made to G/T Mike Iupati and G/C Maurkice Pouncey.
Even with the stated belief in Mike Wallace after a fine rookie season, there’s now a void at receiver for the Steelers, a definite “need” to address in the draft for a team that historically drafts by taking the best player available. As it stands, Wallace is in line to join Hines Ward (now 34) in the starting lineup, with Antwaan Randle El, Arnaz Battle and Limus Sweed as the backups.
Pat Kirwan noted in his weekly chat Monday he now wouldn’t be surprised to see the Steelers look to Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas at No. 18, given that Dez Bryant would be off the board.
An interesting opinion floated by analyst Brian Baldinger is that the Steelers want to get back to a run-focused offense next season, lending credence to taking an interior lineman with their first pick. The Steelers hold 11 picks, giving them plenty of ammunition to manuever in the draft.
Following the trade of Holmes, it seems the Steelers at the very least have put themselves in the market for a receiver in the early rounds.