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    Default 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    4 picks complete Class of 2011
    April 30, 2011
    By Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest

    The Steelers stayed true to themselves.

    Naturally, they like their picks and feel good about the players’ chances to help the team. That’s the case in every NFL city immediately following a draft. So yes, Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin were happy about the seven players picked as their part of the 2011 NFL Draft, but what really tickled the Steelers about the whole thing was that they stayed true to themselves.

    “We didn’t feel like we reached for anything, which is important,” said Colbert. “You have to stay true to your evaluations, and if it happens to meet positions that can help your team, great. We think it did. Only time will tell.”

    The Steelers final tally for this draft was: two cornerbacks, two offensive linemen, one linebacker, one running back and one defensive end. They picked the defensive end first, and one offensive lineman and one cornerback second and third, respectively, and then they completed their work with four picks on Saturday.

    The events of this third and final day of the 2011 NFL Draft mean that Richard Korczynski and Cortez Allen forever will be linked in Steelers history. Korczynski, a Steelers season ticket holder since 1971, stood at the podium at Radio City Music Hall and announced the Steelers’ fourth-round pick, and the name he read was Cortez Allen.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Allen, from The Citadel, was the second cornerback chosen by the Steelers in this draft, and he was attractive to the team because of his combination of measurables and inexperience.[/HIGH-LIGHT] He’s 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds, and he also has a nice combination of quickness and speed. He only played one year of football in high school, and The Citadel competes at what used to be known as Division I-AA.

    Allen started 28-of-39 games for the Bulldogs, and he finished with 121 tackles, 16 passes defensed and five interceptions that he returned for a total of 130 yards and two touchdowns. Defensive backs coach Carnell Lake believes this portfolio will serve as a nice foundation for what he believes Allen can become in the NFL.

    “I don’t want to speak for the other teams in what they say or didn’t see in him, but we’ve noticed that with limited experience he looks pretty natural at cornerback,” said Lake. “He plays off-coverage well and bump-and-run well. In our defensive scheme you want somebody who can do both, and his reaction and vision are really good. With his size he’ll be able to better compete with some of the receivers out there, especially the receivers that the other teams in our division have been drafting. I see him as a very versatile player who is not afraid of contact. With a little more experience I think he is going to do really well.”

    Allen’s football experience was limited by the fact that an extracurricular activity such as football falls behind both academics and military training at The Citadel.

    “The Citadel is not a ‘football factory,’” said Lake. “A lot of the work that he gets is very limited in terms of football. I asked him when he came to visit us, ‘How much time do you get to work on your craft?’ He said, ‘I don’t get a lot of time because I have to do The Citadel stuff.’ So I thought, this guy is really playing well, and he’s not working on his craft that much because of his limited time. If he can spend a lot of time working on his craft I see a lot of upside for him. I think that is one of the reasons why we selected him.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Carter (6-1, 248), the fifth-round pick, was a rush end during his time at Fresno State, and he was productive when it came to getting the opposing quarterback on the ground.[/HIGH-LIGHT] As a high school senior, Carter posted 21 sacks, and he became an immediate starter at Fresno State. In four years there, Carter posted 19.5 sacks, 11 in 2010 as a 21-year-old senior.

    “He has a good motor and a lot of speed off the edge,” said linebackers coach Keith Butler about Carter. “He’s been mainly in a three-point stance most of his career and (Fresno State) stuck him outside or wide outside and brought him off the edge. Teams have had problems dealing with him. His biggest asset is as a speed rusher off the edge. He did stand up a little bit and play in a two-point stance, but that’s awkward for him right now, and it’s something we’ll have to deal with in his transition to play outside linebacker.”

    Some teams might consider Carter short, but he has long arms, was strong enough to do 27 repetitions of 225-pounds at the Combine and he also posted a 36-inch vertical jump.

    “Most people see him as a 4-3 defensive end, but we think he can stand up and be as effective in a two-point stance,” said Butler. “We’ll see when we get him to training camp. Hopefully this CBA thing gets done and we can get him in here and start making the transition a little bit easier for him.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]After adding some competition at offensive tackle with the pick of Marcus Gilbert in the second round, the Steelers added a guard in the sixth round when they chose Nebraska’s Keith Williams (6-4, 318).[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    “Keith is a very physical player,” said offensive line coach Sean Kugler. “He likes to mix it up, he has nasty to him. He’s an aggressive player. He has pulling skills. They utilize that at Nebraska and that shows up on film. We had Keith in the building, and we brought him up here because we wanted to get an even closer look at him. We liked what we saw on film. We wanted to get him on the board to see how he handles the learning, and he was excellent. He is a smart kid, and I think he’s going to be a quality guard for us.”

    During his final three seasons in college, Williams started 33 games at left guard, and he comes to the NFL with a reputation as a better run-blocker than he is in pass protection.

    “Sometimes with guys who are over-aggressive and physical that’s the tendency with them – they get over-aggressive in pass protection,” said Kugler. “That shows up every once in awhile, but it’s something that can be corrected. He’s a willing worker. He’s in good shape and a tough kid. The thing we like the most about Keith is his toughness, and that’s a good quality in a lineman.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]The team’s final pick of the draft was Texas Tech running back Baron Batch (5-9, 200), who spent his college career in Lubbock operating as a de facto third-down back, which will be his role with the Steelers.[/HIGH-LIGHT] Because the Red Raiders operate a wide-open spread offense, their running back is a guy who does on every down what the NFL asks backs to do on third downs.

    Batch finished his college career with 2,501 rushing yards and 140 catches, and he scored a combined 32 touchdowns.

    “Baron Batch has been an excellent running back in the Texas Tech offense, which is really like a third-down offense in the NFL,” said Colbert. “His ability to receive or catch the ball was impressive for us.”

    And there it is, the Steelers Class of 2011. How it is to be remembered will be up to the seven players who comprise it.

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...4-f82bc2dff9cf
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    I can't say I'm overly excited about this draft.

    We'll see what happens in camp.
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    I can't say I'm overly excited about this draft.

    We'll see what happens in camp.
    Every year someone says this and pretty much every year we are in contention.I'll stick with the FO's judgement.

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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Well, I can't say I'm underly excited about this draft..........
    "When you start talking about attitude and focus, Jack is the epitome. He was the most focused individual I've ever had."-- Chuck Noll

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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    Every year someone says this and pretty much every year we are in contention.I'll stick with the FO's judgement.
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    It is so nice to read actual football content again! Even if it is ever so brief.
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    I can't say I'm overly excited about this draft.

    We'll see what happens in camp.
    I try to compare most Steeler drafts like eating your vegetables. Not really exciting, but good for you in the long run.
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Drafting 31st is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your....oh hell, forget the forest gump crap..... from where we drafted, I like what we got, though I thought they'd take Derek Sherrod for 1st pick, but Heyward was a nice surprise IMO......now PLEASE bring on the 2011 season! I am really excited about that!!!
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambert5958 View Post
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    from where we drafted, I like what we got
    X2... But time will eventually tell...
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    But time will eventually tell...
    Yep, as it always does...........
    "When you start talking about attitude and focus, Jack is the epitome. He was the most focused individual I've ever had."-- Chuck Noll

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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    This is gonna end up being one of those draft classes that may not stand out but just gets the job done. Heyward is gonna be a stud.
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    I gotta say, I think I would have taken Devine instead of Batch in the 7th.

    I wasn't crazy about he Gilbert pick either but the rest I like.

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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    I gotta say, I think I would have taken Devine instead of Batch in the 7th.

    I wasn't crazy about he Gilbert pick either but the rest I like.
    Ohhhh Mr...."just because I ran away with the PST Fantasy League, I can offer an opinion on everything!" J/K Sod!

    I was so torn, cause I am a WVU guy and watched Devine break ten TD runs of 70+ yards, but he just wore down and by his senior year was barely a shell of the player he was...With that said, he could possibly fill a darren sproles type role in the NFL and he can catch the ball well. Just not the guy you want picking up the free blitzer running at Ben. So I wish him well (except when and if he plays the Steelers). Chris Nield the NT from WVU who the Redskins drafted in the 7th was the WVU guy I wanted to see the Steelers take in the 7th.
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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    I gotta say, I think I would have taken Devine instead of Batch in the 7th.

    I wasn't crazy about he Gilbert pick either but the rest I like.
    When you get to the 7th rd,does it even really matter?What are the odds the guy even makes the team?

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    Default Re: 4 picks complete Class of 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    When you get to the 7th rd,does it even really matter?What are the odds the guy even makes the team?

    If it doesn't matter why do they have a 7th round?

    Bdeff, I'm sure they know something I don't about Devine I don't. I'm guessing they picked Batch because he (supposedly) is good at picking up blitzers and Devine isn't much of a blocker. Add in his characters issues and I'm sure that's why they went another direction.

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