Left from the dust of the Antonio Brown drama is the Pittsburgh Steelers sitting with 10 draft picks. While the Steelers have ten picks it would be surprising to see them walk away with ten rookies. The team needs to package some of these picks together to pick and choose their spots in the draft to add impact players.
According to a study done by Optimum Scouting, players drafted in the first 48 picks are almost three times more likely to be retained on a second contract compared to players picked from 48-97.
Picks 48-97 are still twice as likely to be retained than a pick from 98-208. That wide range of picks have a similar outcome of success, and any pick after 209 is a 1-in-100 proposition. Yes, the Steelers hit on Antonio Brown and Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick. Those are the ones in the many hundreds of misses.
The Steelers need to draft potential impact players, not lottery tickets.
The idea is to get into the top 48 or even 97 with as many picks as possible because the odds of finding a hit after are just as good no matter the draft slot.
The Steelers have ten picks, but only one is in the top 48 and four are in the top 97. At this point, they have the chance to add four potential impact players with six lottery tickets on the back end.
The Steelers need to try to turn some of those lottery tickets into picks that have the potential to make an impact next year.
This may not mean moving up in the first round. However, if there were ever a year to make a splash with a high draft pick, this could be that year. This may not mean moving up in the second round. However, if they did want to move from 52 into the low 40s to add a player they know can get on the field right away, the odds show that is likely worth a couple of those lottery tickets.
The Steelers have two third-round picks. They could package one of those with a lottery ticket or two to move up into the second round.
However, their best bet would be to try to move their fourth-round pick, pick 122 and get into the top 100 using the fifth round pick the Raiders gave them or any of their three sixth-round picks. They could also try to move that fifth-round pick, at 147 to move up closer to the top 100.
The Steelers could also try to turn some of their lower draft capital into veterans, bypassing free agency and keeping them in play for a compensatory pick for Le’Veon Bell.
The New England Patriots do it all the time. Last year, they turned their sixth-round pick into a seventh-round pick and cornerback Jason McCourty. This year they traded a fifth-round pick for Michael Bennett.
The Steelers acquired a sixth-round pick for an injury-riddled right tackle on the wrong side of 31 with one year left on his contract. The Steelers did not need help on the offensive line but could they take a risk similar to Gilbert on defense? Could the Steelers flip a sixth-round pick for the cornerback version of Marcus Gilbert?
The Steelers have a variety of options with these picks. However, what they cannot do is sit on their six picks outside of the top 100 and hope that one of them hits like another Antonio Brown. The Steelers have draft assets. Having draft assets is good, but in this case, the Steelers must sacrifice some dart throws to pinpoint top 100 players.
Report: Antonio Brown and Buccaneers Agree to One-Year Deal
Free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to a one-year deal, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Update: Antonio Brown and the Buccaneers have reached agreement on a one-year deal, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2020
Language still has to be finalized, COVID protocols passed, but Brown is likely to make his Bucs’ debut in Week 9 against the Saints.
Brown is set to arrive in Tampa on Friday night and visit with the team Saturday, immediately entering COVID-19 protocol.
Brown is currently serving an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy, but he will be available to return to the field in Week 9 when the Bucs face the New Orleans Saints.
In addition, Rapoport and Schefter are both reporting that Brady has been a “driving force” behind the Bucs’ pursuit of Brown. The duo played a single game together in New England last season and found immediate success, connecting on four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
Tom Brady has been a driving force behind Tampa’s interest. Now both sides working to make it happen. https://t.co/rIyKcYN3Mu— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2020
Tampa Bay adds Brown to an already star-studded receiving core that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski. Evans is currently second in the league with six receiving touchdowns on the year.
Not only are the Buccaneers be bolstering themselves, but they are also stealing Brown’s services from the Seattle Seahawks, who were also reported to be interested in adding the four-time All-Pro this week.
Selected by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Brown spent the first nine years of his career in Pittsburgh. He is second in franchise history in receptions (837), yards (11,207) and receiving touchdowns (74), trailing only Steeler legend Hines Ward, although Brown played 87-fewer games.
Around the NFL: Browns Look to Bounce Back Against Burrow and Bengals
Welcome to Around the NFL, where Cale Berger of Steelers Now will recap early-week action and take a look ahead at some of the most important matchups from the Pittsburgh Steelers perspective.
AROUND THE NFL THIS WEEKEND
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m., CBS Regional
Coming off last weekend’s shellacking at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns will look to right the ship in their second-straight matchup against a AFC North rival in the Bengals.
Cleveland still owns the league’s top rushing attack at 169.5 yards per game, even after their disastrous ground performance at Heinz Field last week where they mustered just 75. The Browns run game will have a great opportunity to get back on track in the Bengal’s defense, which is fifth-worst in the league against the run. Cleveland ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns on Cincinnati in Week Three.
They will also need to see a bounce back showing from quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has reverted back to his cavalier attitude with the football that plagued the Browns in 2019, throwing four interceptions over the last two games. He had just two over the first four games of the season.
As for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, he performed well in the first meeting between these two clubs on Sept. 17 in what was just his second start. Burrow passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns, but had 61 total attempts. Cincinnati will have to establish the run game early and force mistakes of Mayfield to support Burrow and earn their second win of the season.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington, 1:00 p.m., FOX Regional
Ravaged by injuries and coming off a beatdown at the hands of Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, the reeling Cowboys will hit the road for the first time in three weeks at Washington.
Without their leader Dak Prescott for the foreseeable future, the Dallas offense will have to rely on their run game to support backup quarterback Andy Dalton, which they were unable to do against Arizona. Star running back Ezekiel Elliot rushed for just 49 yards and coughed up the football twice. As for Dalton himself, he will need to be more accurate and protective of the football. The former Bengal went 34 of 54 for 266 and a touchdown with two costly interceptions.
While Titans-Steelers will be a battle of strengths executing and defending in the run game, Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Washington can be described as a battle of weaknesses. Between Dallas’ horrendous, last-ranked defense and Washington’s 30th-ranked offense, somethings got to give. Dallas is allowing a league-high 36.3 points per game, while Washington has scored just 108 points all season.
If the Dallas wants to salvage their season and remain competitive in the NFC East race, their defense must improve and they need to lean on their handsomely paid offensive weapons. They can take the first step towards improvement and stability against the lowly Football Team this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m., KDKA-TV
Following Pittsburgh and Tennessee’s slugfest, fans in the Pittsburgh area will be treated to Jimmy Garoppolo’s homecoming game when the 49ers travel cross country to face the Patriots.
Approaching the three-year anniversary of the trade that landed him in San Francisco for a second-round pick, Garoppolo’s 49ers tenure has been a roller coaster ride, and this season is no exception. A year after leading his team to an appearance in Super Bowl LIV, the quarterback has been fairly average to start 2020. Garoppolo is completing 63.6% of his passes and has tossed seven touchdowns, but he is only throwing for 183.8 yards per game. He has also been hampered by an ankle injury that forced him to miss two games.
Garoppolo is not the only quarterback with something to prove in Sunday’s contest, as Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is also looking to get back on track after a bout with COVID-19. Newton only missed one game with the virus, but looked shaky in his return to action versus Denver last week. The former Panther looked great through his first three games in a Patriot uniform with six total touchdowns and just two interceptions, but he threw two picks, fumbled twice and was sacked four times against the Broncos.
Newton should have a good opportunity to reestablish himself against a 49ers defense that has been decimated by injuries, while Garoppolo will attempt to navigate a Bill Belichick-led defense for the first time in his career as an opponent.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m., CBS Regional
Just when it seemed like the Kansas City offense couldn’t get anymore explosive, they go out and sign former Jets and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The two-time All-Pro is expected to make his Chiefs debut in Denver on Sunday.
Now Bell will be utilized by the offensive genius Andy Reid, as opposed to the consistently outwitted Adam Gase, who amazingly got no 100-yard rushing performances or runs over 19 yards out of him. Still, Bell will not be the feature back in Kansas City, understandably splitting touches with rookie phenom Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who leads the league with 682 yards from scrimmage. Both will face their toughest of the season to date in the Broncos defense, which is fifth-best in the NFL.
Even without starting quarterback Drew Lock, the Broncos are looking to win their third-straight behind their revitalized rushing attack. Coming off back-to-back 100-yard performances by running backs Melvin Gordon and Philip Lindsay, respectively, Denver will need to rely on their ground game again facing the league’s 29th-ranked rush defense in Kansas City. Not only will a strong run scheme give the Broncos a much needed boost offensively, but it will more importantly keep the ball away from Mahomes.
REST OF THE SCHEDULE
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m., FOX Regional
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m., KDKA-TV
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m., FOX Regional
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m., CBS Regional
Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m., FOX Regional
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m., FOX Regional
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m., CBS Regional
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, 8:20 p.m., WPXI-TV
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams, Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Report: Ravens Planning to Sign Dez Bryant to Practice Squad
The Baltimore Ravens are planning to sign veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant to their practice squad, according to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The #Ravens plan to sign veteran WR Dez Bryant to the practice squad if his workout goes well and he passes a physical, source said. Baltimore previously worked out Bryant in August, so this is more of a check-in. He should land in Baltimore, finally.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2020
The 31-year-old had signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints last season, but suffered a torn Achilles his first day on the practice field.
Baltimore explored adding Bryant back in August, but it never materialized, likely due to ongoing concerns regarding his health.
While he may not provide much of a boost to the Ravens passing game on the field, he could add some much needed experience and a veteran presence in a young receiver room.
Bryant spent the first eight years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, catching 531 passes for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns. He has been selected to three Pro Bowls, and named First-Team All-Pro once.