Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Steve: Do u like or love the blount signing?
Ed Bouchette: I believe it is a good signing for the Steelers. He should give them a better backup than they've had the past 2 seasons.
BDenny29: All this talk of a "big" WR...do you think they could just take a really good shorter WR like Lee or Cooks in round 1, if/when Evans is off the board?
Ed Bouchette: I think if they have a higher-rated cornerback, they should take him. I agree on the tall wide receiver. Take the best. Limas Sweed was tall.
Mark: can you see the Steelers trading down if Evans and Dennard are gone?
Ed Bouchette: Kevin Colbert said many teams might want to trade down in this draft. If that's the case, you might not get as good a value as in the past. If you have a player you want at 15 and he's still there, you grab him. If you think you can get just as good a value at 20 or 22 and someone is willing to trade, then trade.
John: Do you think that we will stray from this talk of drafting a CB or WR in the first round beings that Colbert said the draft is deep with both. Do you forsee us instead attacking a position that isn't as deep?
Ed Bouchette: Not if there is some CB or WR who you have rated highly when it's your turn. Grab him.
Steve: what should be made of CB Brice McCain signing from Texans? camp body?
Ed Bouchette: He had a tough time in Houston and was released after one season. He'll compete for a roster spot with the Steelers.
Big City: Ed, despite tight end not being a dire need, I think Eric Ebron could be a much better value pick than any corner, particularly the one out of Michigan State with average speed. Thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: If you are going to draft a tight end in the first round, he better be great, especially for a team that has so many other needs. Ebron reportedly had a poor pro day.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, with so many mock drafts do you believe the Steelers will still take the most highly valued player on their board even if it is not a player of need?
Ed Bouchette: They will to an extent. They're not going to draft a quarterback or center in the first round, and I don't think they'll draft a guard or tackle or safety. I still think it will be a cornerback or wide receiver.
Rich: Hi Ed. Welcome back. Why does it take so long for rookie D-lineman to play for the Steelers? Why can other teams get their guys up to speed so much quicker?
Ed Bouchette: That's not necessarily true. In the case of their two first-round picks at end, Ziggy Hood played behind Aaron Smith and Cam Heyward played behind Brett Keisel. They weren't going to replace either until one was hurt or no longer on the team.
Jud: What are your plans for the draft? Would they give you a peek inside the draft room (a la what Peter King got?)
Ed Bouchette: Peter King did not get a peek inside the Steelers draft room and I can guarantee you no other journalist will.
Chris: After June 1, will they have enough cap space to sign their draft picks, including the compensatory ones?
Ed Bouchette: Way more than enough. That's when LaMarr Woodley gifts them $8 million in cap room.
Tony Balogna: Hi Ed, question about Jones - obviously better suited for ILB physically, why not sign Harrison for vet minimum and let Jarvis shine where he is meant to play?
Ed Bouchette: I do not understand why so many people want to move Jarvis Jones inside, or that he suits that position better. He was OLB at Georgia and Steelers drafted him to be an OLB.
Adam: Is there any chance that the Steelers would take an NT (Louis Nix III) in the first round? Or would that be too high a price for someone that may not play all 3 downs?
Ed Bouchette: I think there is little chance they will do that. The NT does not play as often and it just doesn't make good sense for them.
Leaper: Do you see Dennard being better than Gilbert and Fuller?
Ed Bouchette: I like Denard.
BDenny29: In his chat, Ray Fittipaldo seems in favor of considering Ebron at TE as a round 1 option. How many good years do you feel Heath has left?
Ed Bouchette: Ray is an old offensive linemen, and those guys are always looking for help from tight ends. I think Heath Miller has 2 or 3 left.
M.J.: Hey Ed, Should we expect three yards and a cloud of dust now with Blount and Bell?
Ed Bouchette: Those days are gone. And Bell showed he also can be an excellent receiver.
Jud: How much contact do you have with the players in the off season? Do you see them in the halls and is there a lot of "off the record" conversations that go on?
Ed Bouchette: No, very little contact until OTAs.
Gino: Great chat Ed, as always - please tell me they're got something up their sleeve for WR. Wheaton and a draftee is a recipe for disaster. Any rookie WR (save Randy Moss) takes at least a season to get up to speed, correct?
Ed Bouchette: That is why they signed Lance Moore as a free agent. Antonio Brown, Lance Moore, Markus Wheaton, Derek Moye and at least 1 rookie drafted in first or second round.
WillieFromWilkinsburg: Ed, What would you assess as the position for which the Steelers have the least talent?
Ed Bouchette: Cornerback. Liinebacker if you count the lack of depth.
Taz: Ed, welcome back! I saw some reports this past week that Mike Tomlin proposed moving the PAT to the 1yd line. Then I saw some other reports calling the idea Mike Brown's. Any clarity you might be able to provide?
Ed Bouchette: Everything I heard is that it was Mike Tomlin's idea and he is on the competition committee.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, do you believe teams draft based on their next years schedule? Does that play a role in the decision to draft more of one position than another?
Ed Bouchette: That would be foolish. I do think the division they play in can have a bearing on their draft and their FA signings. How much, though, I can't tell you.
Spacman: Would you rank nose tackle 3rd on the need chart?
Ed Bouchette: I still think it's linebacker, outside or inside.
Chuck: question about 3-4 defense - wouldn't it seem ideally suited for 3 nose tackle types at DE? Since it's not the 'glamour' position in this defensive scheme wouldn't it be smart to have 3 Casey Hampton types there and just let the linebackers swarm?
Ed Bouchette: Those ends still have to be good and nible enough to control both the inside and outside gaps.
Pedro: Ed, what happens with Mike Adams this year? Will they give him a chance to compete with Gilbert for the RT spot?
Ed Bouchette: I believe that is the plan, yes.
Malik R: Do you think jason Worilds can become a full time start for the steelers or is this going to be another emmanuel sanders type season where we post his free agent value and then he leaves?
Ed Bouchette: By full-time starter, I assume you mean beyond 2014 because he will be their full-time starter at LOLB in 2014. If they cannot reach a long-term contract with him, they can always franchise him next year if he plays well in 2014.
Leaper: Any chance Cam Thomas starts at DE?
Ed Bouchette: Well, someone has to. If they do not re-sign Brett Keisel, I'd say Thomas is the leader in their clubhouse for the job right now, unless they want to flip-flop him and Steve McLendon.
Guest: Can you comment on Mike Munchak's influence on the offensive line so far? Who is being penciled in as starters?
Ed Bouchette: By CBA rules, the coaches are not permitted to have anything to do with their player's workouts yet. So, I'd say little at the moment, but they do expect him to make an impact with those young linemen.
Jud: Peter King got a peek inside a St. Louis war room in 2013 when they picked Tavon Austin. article here:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/-nfl-draft/news/20130429/nfl-draft-peter-king-monday-morning-quarterback/
Ed Bouchette: Yes, we know that. He asked about the Steelers.
Pedro: Any predictions on a breakout player for 2014?
Ed Bouchette: Jarvis Jones, perhaps.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday.