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2008 Steelers Draft Could Be One For the Ages
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2008 NFL Draft could be one for the ages. Time will only tell now. The success of a project can’t really be judged until three or four years later, but on the face of it, you have to like the hang of it. No one could have predicted running back Rashard Mendenhall would have fallen in the Steelers’ round with the 23rd overall pick with so many teams ahead of them needing a quality comeback.
He was the first running back taken by Pittsburgh in the first round of an NFL draft since the team selected Tim Worley in 1989 with the 7th overall pick. For my part, I was sure the way the draft started the Steelers would have given up on that pick. I’m glad I was wrong. To make matters even better, Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed fell to the Steelers in the second round, the 53rd selection overall. Ben Roethlisberger has gotten his wish for a great wide receiver and Sweed should help him as Hines Ward winds down his illustrious career.
Day two wasn’t quite as sexy, but LB Bruce Davis out of UCLA should slowly become a big filler as the Steeler defense is expected to slowly migrate to a two-man Tampa-style hybrid defense. Sweeds’ Texas teammate, offensive tackle Tony Hills, is a beast and will be primed to take the left side tackle position. Most diehard Steeler fans consider quarterback Dennis Dixon a throwaway draft pick, but with Charlie Batch aging, he was definitely worth a flyer because of his athleticism. Rounding out the day, two picks were linebacker Mike Humpal from Iowa and safety Ryan Mundy from neighboring West Virginia. If either of those two draft picks can stick and at least contribute to special teams, it’ll be a win.
If those two sixth rounds can stick, it would be a slam dunk. If the 2008 Steelers offensive line can improve and stay healthy through the season, I truly believe the Steelers can once again capture the AFC North Division and have another run at what would be their sixth NFL Championship. . Again, time will tell.
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