Things in steel town have been unusually noisy this spring, which is contrary to the way the franchise likes to approach the game. There is turmoil for the yellow and black attack, and their quarterback situation remains mired in speculation and concern.
As things stand right now Ben Roethlisberger is still a Steeler, but whether he remains such is still up in the air. The feel at the moment is that trade talks are off the table. The franchise made enough noise about moving him that combined with the current six-game suspension he seems adequately shamed and punished.
However, for fantasy purposes, all of this puts a twist in the various values of Steelers players, above and beyond Big Ben. Let's take a look at how things stand post-draft.
The Steelers draft: Pittsburgh had 10 picks in this year's NFL draft including three in the fifth round, and perhaps one of the draft's best steals in round six.
Round 1: Maurkice Pouncey, OC - Pouncey will help fortify a frontline that allowed 50 sacks last season, much of which was attributable to Roethlisberger's penchant for hanging on to the ball too long, but his presence makes any Steeler QB a bit safer.
Round 2: Jason Worilds, OLB - He's fantasy relevant only for the fact that the Steelers could have and should have taken WR Golden Tate here, and instead wasted a pick on an oft injured LB who will play back up in 2010.
Round 3: Emmanuel Sanders, WR - With Santonio Holmes gone and Hines Ward near retirement, they finally grab a receiver, who should be a strong WR3. Arnez Battle and Antwaan Randle El are on the squad, along with the lackluster Limas Sweed. The only safe bet at WR right now appears to be Mike Wallace.
Round 6: Jonathan Dwyer, RB - With the first of their two sixth round picks the Steelers nabbed what could be one of the steals of the 2010 draft. The Georgia Tech RB, nicknamed "Diesel," will likely win the role of Rashard Mendenhall's back up this year. Dwyer was originally pegged by NFLScouts.com as a second or third round pick, and the sixth best back in the draft. Instead he was taken as the 12th RB in the 6th. Mendenhall is a solid talent, but he has only last season under his belt in terms of consistency and durability.
Guys to target in 2010: Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall
Sleepers: Hines Ward, Jonathan Dwyer, Antwaan Randle El
This is Part 1 of a 32 team post draft review. Next up the Seattle Seahawks.