Ask Alex: Steelers Mailbag – Steelers Depot
Welcome to your Pittsburgh Steelers mailbag. The last one before the start of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s going to be a crazy night. We’re here for the next hour for last-second answers.
To your questions!
NickRVA: Hey Alex, have a great draft day! It was great to hear your excitement about returning to St. Vincent this summer. With all the additions to the team over the years they’ve been around, is there one person (currently on the roster or soon to be) or unit you’d most like to watch this summer?
Alexander: Happy draft day, Nick! Without a doubt, I’m excited to return to Latrobe. I don’t know if there’s anyone above the rest that I can’t wait to see. I’m interested in all of them. The young guys trying to make the jump, the new faces, how all the pieces fit together.
Obviously there will be interest in Trubisky and life after Ben. Double if this team drafts a QB today.
The 2nd years of guys like Dan Moore Jr. and Kendrick Green are definitely worth watching too.
SteelerFan08: Hey Alex – How many receivers are we leaving with the draft this year?
Alexander: I will say one. Probably from the second round. Round 3-4 at the latest. Always the chance to double up late, but they only have seven picks this year. When they double up, it’s often because they have a ton of picks (8+).
falconsafey43: Do you see the ILB as a first-round possibility (Dean, Harris, Quay Walker would seem to “fit”)? I don’t know how their view of Bush plays into this possibility. Not as clear as with Edmunds (who they clearly agree to leave from) at SS.
Alexander: As a possibility, of course. I think Walker would fit best and be the likeliest option in the group. But with Jack signed and some hope on Bush for 2022, that’s much less likely than other positions. But it is worth mentioning.
JMD: If the Steelers become ILB in the first round, would they turn around and immediately trade Bush for picks in 2022?
Alexander: I don’t think he would have a ton of value right now. ACL in 2020, bad game in 2021. I’d rather stick with him and see if you can turn things around. Otherwise, move on after this season.
With all the draft brouhaha, how soon do you think the Steelers will announce the next GM after the draft? If you’re the Rooneys, how fast do you want your next guy to take the chair before all the workout routines start?
Alexander: I don’t know the exact timing, but I guess it’s mid-May. Interview the finalists a week after the draft, make a decision a week later. But it could be a little later than that. There’s not a super big rush for that to happen now, I guess. Quieter part of the offseason and obviously no one else is competing to hire a general manager right now. But I think it’s good to make this transition earlier so that the new guy runs the show.
SteelDodo: Hi Alex,
All the fake drafts have predicted what will happen tonight. If you were the general manager, how would you like to make the draft? For example, which players/positions would be your top 3/4 picks?
Alexander: I don’t feel as strong this year as I did last year. It’s more mixed. I would look at Willis/Corral as first-round QB options. Then watch the slot/safety on day two, OT on day three with an RB that also receives strong consideration. I guess it’s not too different from conversations right now.
I don’t have a “guy” I want to take at 20 like I did with Creed Humphrey last year. To say that if Kyle Hamilton falls, it is terribly difficult for me to pass the baton, even if the QBs are there.
I can’t wait for you to weigh in on what
really happened tonight.
Read what you think is going to happen for months now.
becomes very tedious.
Alexander: It’s a little worn out for me too. Looking forward to getting answers tonight. Enjoy the draft!
HardPunkKore: Alex, thank you for all the great work you and the depot team have done to educate us on draft prospects and what the Steelers can do. My question for you is who is your favorite player in this draft? So who is a late-game gem that will be a draft steal?
Alexander: My favorite overall? Man, that could be Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State’s EDGE. I think the guy will have a great career. Not having enough love at the bottom of the first round. Same with WR Jahan Dotson.
Late Round Jewel? Several safeties that fit this bill. I would put Virginia S Joey Blount at the top of the list. Happy the Steelers have shown some interest.
Billjump: Could you see the Steelers make another trade this year similar to Loudermilk’s for an extra pick? If so, for which positions do you think this could make sense? Maybe tackle?
Alexander: Don’t rule it out because of that gap between the 4th and 6th round picks, but a minor trade like this is harder to do knowing you won’t get any comp picks next year. So unless you can pack your 6th/7th for a fifth, Colbert might not want to.
Which position? It could be DL again given the unusual body type the team is looking for at the end. Other than that, it could just be down to their board and a guy they really like.
JMD: Alex, let me go back to one of the previous questions: which player do you not want the Steelers to take over (out of the guys playing at #20)?
Alexander: Good question. I don’t know if a name comes to mind. Devonte Wyatt would be a surprise from a historical standpoint. I have a lower mark in the 2nd round on Kenny Pickett. So I would probably answer him in terms of “guys who could become Steelers, I wouldn’t.” Same with Desmond Ridder.
Regarding interest in quarterbacks. Wouldn’t a responsible organization want to go and meet with them as often as possible, go to every pro day and have them all come in for the QB/OC coach/decision makers to watch the tape to understand their treatment etc. to make sure they’re not their guy? A good process is to do all the due diligence possible, which excludes someone and excludes them.
Alexander: Sure. It’s the smart thing to do and what they should/will do every year until they draft a QB. You’re right that sometimes it’s about excluding guys like excluding them. But it’s hard for us to know which guys are or aren’t. Why it has been difficult to assess which direction they will go. Hard to believe they don’t like five of these guys.
Bill Secherngost: Hi Alex. Great coverage as usual from everyone preparing us for the draft. So if the Steelers don’t draft a QB in the first round and some of the top 5 or 6 quarterbacks fall in the second round, would you draft/trade to get one in the second?
Alexander: Generally against. If you don’t like a QB in the first, I don’t know what makes him even more likable in the second. Either you think he’s the guy or he’s not. But we’ll see how the table unfolds. Maybe it’s a case of Kyle Hamilton or Jordan Davis dropping and they can’t pass it on, so they take it and then go back up.
Happy draft day Alex!
Are you planning to go on vacation out of season?
Alexander: I was too busy to think about that. Perhaps. No idea where I’m going. At the moment, my focus is only on the draft and the next three days.
Daniel Moon: Hey Alex, I really hope the Steelers don’t move forward by giving up a future 1st round pick because this year’s QB class doesn’t impress me at all. I think the Steelers are 1 or 2 pieces away from being competitive and their addition of a QB will not make this team any better this year. Why not go for someone like WR Olave, WR Williams, WR Wilson, DL Davis, S Hamilton who will contribute straight away.
Alexander: The argument seems to contradict itself. if they’re not one or two pieces away, why worry about writing a WR that will “contribute right away?” If anything, it should make the team look to a QB’s future and make a move for this guy. You would be more likely not to if you were 1 or 2 coins away from winning right now. What I agree with you, they are not.