Dude_From_Cali: Ed: Will you post your mock pick the night before the draft?
Ed Bouchette: No, day off, a week from Thursday. You'll have all day to gnaw on it.
Diamond: Big turn out for beginning of workout?
Ed Bouchette: These "workouts" consist of lifting weights and running. No coaches allowed other than strength/conditioning coaches and no footballs allowed. It's like that for two weeks. The parking lot looked pretty full to me.
Jason: Ed,in the unlikely event that the Steelers lose Wallace do you see them taking a WR in the 1st 3 rds or did signing Cotchery make this less urgent?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think that would change their thinking one way or the other. They have needs everywhere and only three picks in the first three rounds. Rob Rang's picks for them, which I posted on the blog today, include a wide receiver in the second round.
Guest: Ed what do you think the prospects are of signing Leftwich ? If he goes does Dixon fall back into play for the Steelers to resign?
Ed Bouchette: I'm a little surprised he hasn't signed by now, especially since Charlie Batch has. They have a new offense, a new coordinator and while these workouts aren't that important, it is the first time the coaches can talk to the players about football. Kevin Colbert said he wanted both Batch and Leftwich back, but maybe Leftwich has other ideas.
Pittsburgh Jersey: Ryan Clark was on NFL Live yesterday on ESPN. He said he doesn't take part in OTAs because of his sickle cell issue...instead he works out on his own. Am I just forgetting that this is something he does every year? Also, would you tag him as "most likely to go into broadcasting" from this current crop of Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: I've always thought Ryan attended those things, but I will defer to what he said. He certainly is the one who seems most likely to want to get into broadcasting.
Okiesteeelerfan: Ed any early insight on when the Steelers play the Cowboys? I live three hours drive from Jerry's World and need to get my plans together.
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, I'll know when the rest of you do tonight.
kjacksonpgh: Ed what is your gut felling about Mike Wallace and the Steelers able to come together on a long term contract. Do you believe that this will be an extended holdout. Hopefully not like the Deshon Jackson situation in Philly.
Ed Bouchette: I've said all along that I believe Wallace will play for the $2.7 M this year and become an unrestricted free agent next year. I think he will hold out this spring but come to his senses and sign his tender by June 15 and report to camp on time because I've never seen a player win playing that kind of hardball against them.
Guest: Ed, would it not, in a sense, be better for someone make an offer to Wallace? He wont get Fitzgerald money out of the Steelers and seems to not be a fit for the Steelers, ie., not physical and somewhat sulky, so it's this year and done for him. your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: He may already have received many offers as far as we know, just none that suits him so he didn't sign any. I can't say he doesn't fit the Steelers because he looked like a pretty good fit until the second half of last season. If he leaves as a free agent after the 2012 season, the Steelers are likely to receive a third-round compensatory draft choice for him in 2014.
Jason: Reports are that Dontari Poe's draft stock is falling for whatever reason. You have shown your support for Cordy Glenn if he's available. Does this hold strong even if Poe falls to 24?
Ed Bouchette: Poe is this year's yo-yo prospect, apparently. His stock rose after the season because of his great combine workouts, now people are saying it's dipping again. I'm leaning more toward Glenn.
Okiesteeelerfan: Ed I keep seeing the nose tackle from BYU and Dontari Poe mentioned as a Steeler draft pick, what round do we go for D-line help?
Ed Bouchette: Maybe we should only talk about those players who HAVEN'T been mentioned as a possible Steelers draft pick. They don't need D-line help, they specifically need a nose tackle. There aren't many available in this draft, so if you're thinking of getting one, you better do so in the first two picks.
Dennis: Are the work outs closed to press?
Ed Bouchette: If they were open, I would not watch. Once the OTAs begin and they actually, sort of practice late in the month of May, I will be there, even if Mike Wallace is not.
bleedblkngld: Good morning Ed from California. Any new news on the Mike Wallace front... are the trade rumors false? Also as team activities started this week were most of the guys there?
Ed Bouchette: Let's talk about those trade rumors. From what I've seen, it was merely written that other teams were interested in trading for him. Really? What would you give up? Certainly, not a first-round draft pick because someone already could have had him for that. The Steelers would likely receive a third-round compensatory pick if he signs as a UFA next year. What's in it for the Steelers to trade him?
Hombre De Acero: Ed, wonder if I might both playfully poke you and pick your brain with this question. In Dawn of a New Steel Age you concluded that Dan Rooney's firing of Art Jr. as scouting director failed to improve the Steelers drafting. Given that Noll drafted Woodson and Dawson (in addition to guys like Lloyd, Hoge, Lake) in the succeeding drafts, are you ready to reevaluate that conclusion?
Ed Bouchette: I wrote that book during the 1992 season and finished it early in 1993, so I was well aware of them drafting Woodson (they were lucky) and Dermontti Dawson. If you look at the first-round draft choices after Art left (his last draft was 1985), I think you'll see that they did not get any better drafting them until the 2000s. They hit some, they missed some, just as Art/Noll did.
Clueless: if, on the off chance, a player WANTED to practice in pads, is he allowed?
Ed Bouchette: Not unless he does it in his back yard.
Pittsburgh Jersey: If the Steelers generally go for the highest person on its draft board regardless of position, who do you see the team taking in the unlikely event that Hightower, Poe and Glenn were all available when they pick in the first round?
Ed Bouchette: Remember that only 23 players can be drafted before it's their turn, barring a trade to move up, which I don't think they'll do. There are all kinds of players who could be available if those are gone, including OT Mike Adams of Ohio State, OLB Melvin Ingram of South Carolina, DT Derek Wolfe of Cincinnati, OLB Nick Perry of USC and more.
Pittsburgh Jersey: Have you seen Ben at OTAs? Does he look heavy or in shape? Also, does he weigh in with the higher-ups on his draft thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: OTAs do not start until the end of May. Roethlisberger began working out in February and yes I've seen him and talked to him. I am not obsessed with his weight as some fans seem to be.
Steel Curtain Rising: Ed, when you consider how much he accomplished, Chuck Noll rarely gets his due at least outside of Steelers Nation. Do you think the fact that Woodson and Dawson's selection into Canton gives him 12 Hall of Famers to his credit will change that?
Ed Bouchette: No because Chuck was never a self-promoter and remains out of the spotlight. The New Orleans Saints didn't even ask him to take over their coaching job for 2012.
James_Pittsburgh: Who do you give the most credit to for the Steeler draft success from 2000-2011? And signing unbelievable undrafted free agents who turn into Pro Bowlers.
Ed Bouchette: Kevin Colbert's the boss so I would give it to him.
FoolBack: Ed, I liked your reader Mock Draft from a few years back. But, it seemed to be difficult to run, and took some time. Any word on doing another one?
Ed Bouchette: It just took too much time. I asked for suggestions this year and received none I thought would work. The best of these with reader input I've seen were Stan Savran when he was on old WTAE Radio. His listeners made good picks and they did so when prompted. The format with the blog just doesn't work.
Guest: The relationship (or lack thereof) of Hines and Ben - much ado about nothing or truly were antagonistic? Could the team/offense actually gain this year with Ben being the unquestioned leader?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think their relationship (or lack thereof) had any effect on the field. Roethlisberger has been a leader on offense for a number of years so I don't think anything would change because Ward is no longer here.
Go Steelers!: If safety Mark Barron is there at 24, do the Steelers pick him?
Ed Bouchette: It would depend on who else is available. I'm not big on taking safeties in the first round, although Troy Polamalu certainly proved to be an exception.
kjacksonpgh: Ed it seems that every year someone has a great combine like Dontari Poe's. It helps their draft stock but does not always translate into a pro ready player. Should buyers beware and rely on the film study of players. That is a more reliable evaluation don't you think?
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers say they base nearly all of their evaluations on players on what they did on the field. They do gather information in the offseason as other teams do to supplement that. You can believe them or not, but they've done a pretty good job in this century, especially on the first round.
James_Pittsburgh: Ed, I see the Steelers franchising Wallace in 2013. Draft a receiver this year and either the pick or Sanders is the starter opposite Brown in 2014.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think you'll see the Steelers paying any receiver more than $10 million for one season.
Ed Bouchette: thanks all for today's chat. See you next Tuesday.
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