Saturday, April 24, 2004

And with the 2nd pick: cornerback Ricardo Colclough
Round 2
The Steelers moved up six picks to take Division II standout Ricardo Colclough (pronounced coke-lee) and it looks like the right move. They gave up their 44th pick (2nd round) and their 107th pick (4th round) to move up to 38 to get Coclough (they traded with Indianapolis). The Steelers had nine picks coming into the draft and giving up a 4th rounder may be worth it if Coclough can do anything to shore up a defensive backfield that has struggled since midway through the 2001 season.

Although raw, Coclough had 11 INTs, 24 pass breakups, 29.1 yds/kickoff return (2 TDs) and was named SAC Player of the Year last season. With a definite need in the defensive backfield and plenty of offensive linemen still on the board, Pittsburgh filled a need at CB. He's listed at 5'10" 195 lbs. but needs to add some upper-body strength to be effective with the new contact rules coming into effect next season in the NFL. Still, Colclough is very quick, pretty fast (4.53 - 40), physical with good ball skills and (perhaps this is overkill) he's a really good return man (at last count the Steelers now have Antwaan Randle El, Lee Mays and Ike Taylor returning either punts or kickoffs -- I guess we can add Coclough to the list).

As I mentioned, he'll need to refine his technique coming from Division II where he dominated, but this guy has all the tools you look for in an aggressive, physical cornerback. The Steelers still have to address the offensive tackle position and so far (through the 38th pick) only two (three if you consider tackle Vernon Carey, taken 19th overall by the Dolphins, even though he's projected to be a guard in the NFL) tackles are off the board (Robert Gallery - 2nd overall; Shawn Andrews - 16th overall). It's been widely reported that after Gallery there was a large dropoff in talent at the tackle position so not jumping on one in the 2nd round might be the right move. That said, Nat Dorsey, Kelly Butler, Jacob Rogers, Travelle Wharton, Tony Pape and Max Starks are all still on the board and are competent choices. Also look for Shawn Andrews' brother, Stacy Andrews to be a late round sleeper.

Check back later for my third round commentary and if you missed the first round take on Ben Roethlisberger, check it out here.