Gerry Dulac: OK, lets get our weekly chat started. Fire away..
Guest: Gerry, not asking you who the steelers will draft but who are the 3 best players regardless kf position you see being available at 15?
Gerry Dulac: I would probably say Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, South Carolina DE Jedaveon Clowney and Buffalo LB Khalil Mack, with UCLA OLB Anthony Barr and Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans not far behind.
John: Blounts contract has an incentive in there for reaching 800 rushing yards this season. Do you really think the steelers could have a pair of 800 yard rushers or is that wishful thinking on my part?
Gerry Dulac: Unless Le'Veon Bell has an injury that forces him to miss extended time, I think that is wishful thinking.
Alan: What's your feeling on if Dennard is there at #15 assuming Evans and Gilbert are gone? Will the Steelers take him or is there another possibility?
Gerry Dulac: I think that is a strong possibility. There is a defensive coach who matters on that staff who really likes Dennard, so I would not discount that posssibility.
John: Whats the deal with worilds? They just waiting till after the draft or when woodleys money clears to sign a deal or will he play out this season with the tag?
Gerry Dulac: Their intention is to sign him to a long-term deal once they get all their free-agent business taken care of -- i.e., signing outside guys to fill roles and build depth. And, yes, I would expect that to happen after June 1 when Woodley's cap savings will take effect.
Mike: If the next ladainian tomlinson was available in this draft, do you think anyone would take him in the 1st round or would they try to get him in a later round given how little value a featured back has anymore
Gerry Dulac: Ha. I understand your point, but I think he would be selected in the first round because of all his diverse talents. I have to admit, I'm surprised that some running backs aren't being over-valued in this draft, especially after the way we saw a lot of playoff teams go back to leaning on the run, especially Seattle and even New England. But I think what's happened is that with so much emphasis on spread offenses in college, running backs aren't getting the chance to shine and be integral components of their attack. That has lessened their value in the draft, at least in terms of being a No. 1 pick.
mr bill: hi gerry, are there any other free agents that the steelers would like to sign after june 2 when they have more money to spend? what positions would they be looking at? thank you, mr bill
Gerry Dulac: For the most part, I think all the free agents they intend to sign will be signed before the draft, not after. Oh, there might be a rare exception, such as if there is a serious injury in OTAs or minicamp to a key player or contributor. But I think they have a done a good job of addressing their prime areas of need with some of their free-agent signings already. Now they will use the draft to further address those positions and maybe even reach a little for a player who could help them in another area, even a position of strength.
JamesinNYC: Do you think the Steelers will double dip for CBs? If Dennard is taken in round 1 what would be the earliest round you see them coming back and taking another?
Gerry Dulac: I don't think you will see a double-dip early like they did with Timmons-Woodley in 2007 or Decastro-Adams in 2012. But, I assume they will take a corner in one of the first two rounds, and then maybe go again no sooner than round 5. Mike Tomlin is committed to fixing their subb packages that feature extra DBs and he knows he needs guys who can play
James: Out of Ben Pouncey and Heyward, which of the 3 will be the first one to get an extension or new contract and would they hold off on that until next off season
Gerry Dulac: Ben will be the first because he will command the most money, and I think the Steelers will wait till next season before they re-up any of those 3. Too many oter issues going on this year restocking the team
Deon Figures: Heyward Bey at 27 would be a nice pickup. Fast, knows how to play WR. Could be a Mike Wallace type. How many yrs how much money?
Gerry Dulac: Thats what everyone has been saying about him for years with little return. I wouldnt give him more than one-year, and they won't either.
Rob: Do you have a Sean Spence update and do you think the late draft helpes the Steelers in determing how far along he will be and draft accordingly?
Gerry Dulac: He is coming along nicely, ahead of where the Steelers thought he would be, but they will see how he progresses in OTAs before they can determine if he will be able to play in 2014.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Thanx for the questions. Ill be at the Masters next week so no chat until I return.