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BBV Community Mock Draft: With 18th pick, Steelers select ...

Mike Iupati, G, Idaho.

Selecting for Pittsburgh 'ross_stephen' writes:

My best friend is a Pitt fan, so I chose the Steelers. When I asked him, his answer was "Pick us a QB who can keep it in his pants, a bodyguard who can stop him if he can’t keep it in his pants, or a good lawyer who can get him out of trouble if he can’t keep it in his pants."That underscores the fact that the biggest question mark for the 2009 champs is the future of the Franchise QB.

When planning this draft, 3 spots were targeted as areas for improvement. NT, OL, S.

When NT-Dan Williams went off the board, DL was no longer an option (Ziggy Hood was taken last year). With S-Thomas and OL-Iupati on the board still the Steelers have their choice of top flight talent.

With Troy Polamalu returning from injury, and Clark resigning, the pick of S-Earl Thomas is not a required one. Note that the real value of the DBs in this draft falls to rounds 2 and 3. I also considered their division (Cleveland, Baltimore, Cincinnati): All of who are in the top 10 in rushing, and don't scare anyone through the air. Their 2010 schedule has them going against mostly running teams (New Orleans and New England not withstanding), so the need for the Ball hawking Safety is slightly minimized.

With that in mind, the Steelers pick Mike Iupati, OL Idaho.The Steelers have shown a history of willingness to pick Guards in the 1st round (Faneca / Simmons). The need to protect Big Ben is much too important.The need to re-establish the power run game is too high. The pick in the first round should be a stud, and Iupati is considered a top 15 talent, with very low Bust potential.

I found the following quote while doing research:

“The Steelers surprising woes this year can be easily identified in two places, injuries to Safety Troy Polamalu, and their inability to protect QB Ben Roethlisberger, highlighted by the 8 sacks they allowed to the Cleveland Browns of all teams. Pittsburgh must address this need by selecting the top offensive lineman available, and at this point it is obviously Idaho guard Mike Iupati. The 6-6 330 Guard has been all the rage around draft circles, after impressive performances at the Senior Bowl and combine. An unprecedented talent for a guard of his size, is just plain nasty on the field, phenomenal athlete, has quick feet, and is everything you want out of a guard. Iupati also has the ability is asked to move over to left tackle. Whatever Pittsburgh decides to do with Iupati, he will be able to add some instant protections for Ben Roethlisberger and they will be getting themselves a dominant offensive lineman for years to come.”

My take: This is a terrific pick for the Steelers, and is probably the chalk as the guy Pittsburgh most likely will take if he is available when the real draft comes along. Yes, there are two priorities in Pittsburgh. 1. Protect Roethlisberger from himself. 2. Protect Roethlisberger from getting killed by pass-rushing linemen and linebackers. Iupati can provide a great deal of help with No. 2.

'Daddyzander' will be up next with the Falcons selection at No. 19.

Remember, to read explanations for previous selections click the highlighted player name in the table below.

1 St. Louis Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma Soldier_
2 Detroit Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska soulpower
3 Tampa Bay Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma i_formation27
4 Washington Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State G Fan in England
5 Kansas City Eric Berry S Tennessee ronjohnson
6 Seattle Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame CCE718
7 Cleveland Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State GreatGatsby
8 Oakland Bruce Campbell OT Maryland Hoyadestroya85
9 Buffalo Dan Williams DT Tennessee The Greek
10 Jacksonville Joe Haden CB Florida jp2y
11 Denver Rolando McClain ILB Alabama NYG_Slater
12 Miami Jerry Hughes DE/OLB Texas Christian sunlion333
13 San Francisco Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa RIPShea
14 Seattle Trent Williams OT Oklahoma Ed V.
15 N.Y. Giants Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Ed Valentine
16 Tennessee Sergio Kindle OLB Texas Json
17 San Francisco Sean Weatherspoon B Missouri RIPShea
18 Pittsburgh Mike Iupati G Idaho ross_stephen
19 Atlanta daddyzander
20 Houston BitterEli
21 Cincinnati Woogie526
22 New England Ryan Valentine
23 Green Bay Dan Luibil
24 Philadelphia Bye Dawk
25 Baltimore Larry Soprano
26 Arizona Snipah
27 Dallas pataroons
28 San Diego hakeemthedream
29 N.Y. Jets Brooklyn58
30 Minnesota hurikaine
31 Indianapolis Charles L.
32 New Orleans GiantsReignSupreme