By not addressing the defensive end position in the 2012 draft, the Front Office sent a very clear message about how they felt about the positions depth.
Somewhere on our roster are the player(s) that will back up the entrenched Brett Kiesel...Cam Heyward...and Ziggy Hood, and since Kiesel is on the wrong side of 30, so It would be reasonable to assume that at least two of the following players will be groomed to be the backups to the future tandem of Heyward/Hood. Lets take a look at the players and discuss who might reasonably see playing time over the next two years.
#65 Al Woods from Louisiana State...6'4 307 pounds. probably the most likely candidate to be the #4 DE on the team. Originally drafted by the Saints in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Signed to the Steelers’ active roster on November 9th 2011, after being released by the Seattle Seahawks to provide depth at the DE position
# 91 Corbin Bryant from Northwestern...6'4 300 pounds....Signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent on July 30, 2011. Played in one game against Arizona in week 7 of the season. Strong and hard working. Could become very serviceable with a year or two under his belt. Steelers mentality.
# 66 Mike Blanc from Auburn....from Auburn...6'4 297 pounds...Listed as a DL on the official Steelers roster, but as a DE on NFL.com. Lacks core strength and has trouble seperating from blockers. Has not cracked the roster as of yet. Looks rather soft. I'd be surprised to see him on the roster at the beginning of the season.
# 69 Ikponmwosa Igbinosun...from Southern Connecticut State... 6'4 288...2012 UDFA.....known simply as Ike, wowed scouts during his workout. He posted a vertical jump of 38 inches, a 40 time of 4.94 and three-cone mark of 7.06. Igbinosun has a versatile game as both a run stopper (58 tackles last season) and pass rusher (12 tackles for loss and seven sacks). If he goes on the practice squad...he will be gone in a New York minute. May make the team just because we all miss saying "fuamatu-ma'afala"
#68 Jake Stoller...from Yale..DE 6'3 284...2012 UDFA...Heady player with good size but limited production. Only had 15 Tackles last year but I guess the fact that he managed 4.5 sacks accounts for something. Unless he gets blasted with Gamma rays...or bitten by a radioactive spider....he is camp fodder.
Based on all this...I think Woods is the most likely to be #4 this year, with both/either Bryant and Igbinosun being groomed for the future.
What do you think?