Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Rivers with the 11th pick?
I really hope the Steelers are not trying to fool anyone by inviting draft eligible QBs Ben Roethlisberger and J.P. Losman to their facility next week, but conspicuously leaving out Philip Rivers. I prefer to think that they won't take him with the 11th pick because although he's 6'5", he throws side-armed -- effectively making him 6'0", he can't throw the deep ball and the Steelers have more pressing needs at CB and OT. And as I've said many times before, it doesn't always make sense to take a QB in the first round.

The Post Gazette is reporting that the Steelers are doing just that -- using the list of invitees as a smokescreen to outwit other potential Philip Rivers suitors.

There are a couple of ways to approach the draft. I think it's important to address team needs with the best available player. If Manning (and maybe even Roethlisberger) are gone by the 11th pick (and they will be), I think it's in the Steelers longterm interest to get the best CB available (which may be the first CB taken). If OT Robert Gallery is availabe at 11 (which he won't be) the Steelers have to take him. I'm no scout and no one ever asks my opinion, but the Steelers primary need isn't at QB, and I don't think it makes sense to take the third best QB with the 11th pick even though he may be only the 25th best player overall.

I really hope this is just a case of the Steelers not being interested in Rivers, but I have my doubts.

The Post Gazette also reports that other prospects visiting the Steelers' facility starting next week are two likely first-round picks, Ohio State cornerback Chris Gamble and Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews, both juniors. Andrews had weighed more than 360 pounds but has dropped about 20 pounds. Senior CB Ricardo Colclough of obscure Tusculum, considered a possible second-round pick, also will visit.