Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Touchdown Joey: Ed, would the Steelers consider taking an OLB like Barr or Shazier (both of whom they had in) and just put the Worilds extension on hold?
Ed Bouchette: I don't know that they are mutually exclusive. I would expect them to draft a linebacker or two no matter what happens with Jason Worilds' possible contract extension. I would not expect them to draft one on the first round, though.
SSA76: Terrance Garvin made at least one splash play last year. Do you think the Steelers will have him play a bigger role in the defence this season?
Ed Bouchette: They like his potential and as I have said all along regarding many a player, the rest is up to him.
Dude From Cali: Ed: what's the purpose on the meetings of players' pre draft meetings [ character issues? football IQ's?} and do they last all day or hours?
Ed Bouchette: Sometimes, they want to fill in the blanks -- maybe they did not get to talk to the kid at the Combine or anywhere else. Other times, it might reflect that they seriously intend to draft him and just want more info on him.
steelmann58: HI Ed as we getting closer to the draft do you see CB,WR being picked in the first two rounds
Ed Bouchette: That would be my guess, in either order, but someone may pop out at another position that they feel is too good to pass up.
Weegie Thomson: I recently researched the Sceduled visits, pro day, and combine and noticed the Steeler's haven't looked at one Stanford player. I think they have some very good talent especially on Defense that range from 2nd round to the 6th in many mock drafts. Is there a reason why they are ignoring Stanford?
Ed Bouchette: According to my calculations, they have not had anyone from Slippery Rock visit either.
OMAR K.: with so many areas of need, what do you feel is needed most and should be taken first in the draft??
Ed Bouchette: I believe their biggest need is cornerback with wide receiver a close second. I've also said many times that linebacker and defensive line have to be concerns as well.
Iron Trap: Any realistic chance the steelers trade up for one of the impact WRs?
Ed Bouchette: There is little chance, in my opinion, the Steelers will move up in the first round. There is a better chance they stay put or move down. For one, they do not have a third-round pick to trade in order to make such a move.
Wild Bill: The Steelers have brought in a bunch of prospects that are projected to be more late first round picks, but only a few guys (Barr and Dennard) who are likely top round picks. Do you see this as a sign the Steelers may be preparing for a hopeful trade back in the first round?
Ed Bouchette: Some of those late first-round projections sometimes have a way of lasting until the middle of the second round.
Big City: How do you handicap the Punter competition between Podlesh and Wing? I can't remember the Steelers ever having an Aussie on the club.
Ed Bouchette: Their final punter on the roster last year, Mat McBriar, is an Australian native.
Dave: How doesn't anyone see that the steelers defense starts up front and that Louis nix would be a huge draft pick for Pittsburgh?..If he falls out of first round do you think there is a chance they trade up in the second to get him?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not. As Mike Tomlin noted, the Steelers played their base defense 35 percent of the time last year, which means their nose tackle is on the field only for that amount of time.
SSA76: Do you think Seattle giving up a draft choice for Terrelle Pryor was worth it?
Ed Bouchette: They gave a seventh-round pick. As one head coach once told me, that's a throwaway.
Andy: Greetings. If the Steelers take a cb in the first round and get to the 2nd round with both wr and de/nt available that they like, who do you think they would take?
Ed Bouchette: Wide receiver.
Ryan H.: Hi Ed. Any chance this trial involving Mike Adams leads to any discipline of Adams by the Steelers?
Ed Bouchette: Disciplined for getting stabbed? I've seen nothing where Mike Adams broke any laws or was cited.
Trevor McCleary: Ed Bouchette: if Eric Ebron is still available at 15 do you think the Steelers should take him? Miller is getting to an end of his career and he would give Ben a big target
Ed Bouchette: I would not draft him at 15, but I cannot vouch for them. To me, there will be another tight end come around after Heath Miller retires. In the meantime, they have bigger needs.
Rf: Seems like Dennard is the safe pick for the Steelers do you agree?
Ed Bouchette: He is among a handful of players who would look good as their No. 1 pick, yes.
SSA76: Also did you see the movie "Draft Day?" I think it was a fantasy because it featured the Brownies having a good team.
Ed Bouchette: I heard that movie stunk.
Ed Bouchette: Like the Browns.
steelmann58: HI ED do you also see a return of Keisel to a one year deal for needed help on the DL.At the very least he can be a rotational Guy and teacher to whomever is also manning that spot.
Ed Bouchette: That is possible, but not if he's looking for much more than minimum wage is my guess.
Ryan: Has anyone in the front office made any kind clue who they maybe interested in getting this draft? Any names being thrown around?
Ed Bouchette: They're throwing them around internally, but they do not throw them at us. They will have a pre-draft "press conference" on May 5 to discuss the draft and then refuse to talk about any of the prospects in the draft. Can't say I blame them.
BDenny29: I tend to think the overriding national feeling of the state of the Steelers is a bit overblown, and that they are in better shape than many think. Pre-draft, do you feel that they are legitimate division title contenders in 2014?
Ed Bouchette: They were title contenders the past two years, so why not this one?
dave: Do the compensatory picks make it more likely that they trade up at some point in the draft instead of trading down?
Ed Bouchette: Remember, they cannot trade compensatory picks. After the first round, anything can happen.
Guest: How come Aaron Smith was drafted so low when he came into the league??
Ed Bouchette: Same reason Brett Keisel was and any number of players who exceeded expectations. They proved the scouts wrong. They got bigger, and better and showed they would not be denied. We have seen countless examples of that and the opposite, of high picks who do not pan out. As Chuck Noll said many times, the draft is not an exact science.
Dj: With recent signings pointing towards getting back to smash mouth football, do you see the Steelers searching for Hines Ward type receiver, and if so who do you think fits the mold?
Ed Bouchette: Not really. There aren't many Hines Wards out there. Jerricho Cotchery, in his ability to catch in traffic, etc., was the closest they had at the position. A good blocking wide receiver is a bonus; you want him to be a good receiver first.
Jax: Who is vocal leader of defense now. Not Polamalu
Ed Bouchette: With the losses of Ryan Clark, Larry Foote and possibly Brett Keisel, that job is up for grabs. Ike Taylor remains one.
Jud: If we went CB (Gilbert) in first round, would we have him return punts?
Ed Bouchette: I think they'd like to take that job away from Antonio Brown and give it to a younger player and he does have good return ability.
mikeflores16: I would love to trade down and pick up another 2nd or 3rd, that way we can end up with 4 picks in the first 3 rounds, addressing multiple needs.. Your thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: Just remember that the more you trade down, the less chance you have of getting a better player. Not that you can't. The Steelers moved down in the first round in 2001 and drafted Casey Hampton. You have to know that one of a few players you covet will be there if you do that.
Jon: I assume Steelers will add someone to DL - probably in draft....after first few rounds. If that's the case, does that mean they are content with what they got to start?
Ed Bouchette: Content would not be a word I'd use, but what they have may have to suffice for 2014.
Jud: Do you think Jones beats Gradkowski for #2?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not.
Go Steelers!: Ed, do you think the extended time to the draft may actually hurt the number of viewers? Personally I'm tired of the latest mocks and hearing experts explain why a player they said a team would love to draft a month ago now they will pass on. It's kind of to the point of who cares.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think it will hurt how many people view the draft. However, I understand your point. It's becoming repetitive.
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, interrupted by a phone call. We'll extend a little.
Jud: We're going to get your mock draft a day or so before correct?
Ed Bouchette: It's scheduled for the Post-Gazette of May 8.
Jud: Do you think our kicker will have trouble with longer extra points in pre-season?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think that's a concern. He's been one of the most accurate kickers in the league the past two seasons and has a good leg.
Guest: Would you want the number one pick if you were the Texans?
Ed Bouchette: No, I would not. Not this year.
Guest: Whats your thoughts on Arians as a HC? I cant lie, im impressed in what hes done in these last 2 years
Ed Bouchette: You have to go by the results and, for the most part, they have been good.
Jaggy: With the draft having so many WR's do you think the Steelers will draft Defense in the first 3 rounds and pick-up a WR in the later rounds
Ed Bouchette: No, i think they will grab a wide receiver somewhere on the first two days.
Jon: When will the schedule be out --- Wed, Thu??
Ed Bouchette: This week, Wednesday or Thursday it looks like.
Jax: Does Ike start this year
Ed Bouchette: Yes. They would not have brought him back to be a backup.
JamesinNYC: Agree with you Dennard, kid is everything I think you would look for in a player. Go to the video tape. Did you hear anything about Beau Allen? Great sense of humour from some interviews I read.
Ed Bouchette: If he cannot play on their defensive line, maybe he could star on one of their radio shows.
Stan: Is Nik Embernate still in any plans? I haven't heard anything about his recovery
Ed Bouchette: I saw him the other day and he looked good. He was on his way/from working out. I don't know what you mean by "in their plans' other than he will have a chance to compete at guard for them in training camp and they'll go from there.
Guest: Think the draft will stay where it is, or will NFL move it back next year?
Ed Bouchette: I believe it will remain in May. I'm sure it will. That stuff about Radio City Music Hall being booked as the reason they moved it back is bunk. They want it this late.
mikeflores16: Is it safe to assume the Steelers will open at home since the Pirates are away that day?
Ed Bouchette: That's usually a good bet.
Eric: If both Louis Nix & Allen Robinson fell to the Steelers in the 2nd round, who do you think they'd choose?
Ed Bouchette: Nix might be tempting, but if they did not get a wide receiver in the first round, so would Robinson. I'm flipping a coin on this one. And it came up . . .
Tony: Ed, what does Coach Tomlin need to do to get Dick LeBeau to play younger players so that they get the much needed experience early in their careers? We wait too long and then their contracts are up and just scratching the surface. Thank you.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think they waited too long, for the most part. Keenan Lewis might be the one example. I remember no one clamoring to start Jason Worilds ahead of LaMarr Woodley before last season. Cameron Heyward was stuck behind Brett Keisel, although you could argue Heyward should have played ahead of Ziggy Hood much earlier. But then Hood was relatively young too and a first-round pick.
Eric: What's more important: athletic ability or work ethic?
Ed Bouchette: I can find a gazillion people off the street who have great work ethic. I'll take athletic ability and go from there.
Enrique G: I just saw this from Sean Spence's twitter:
Ed Bouchette: I will fill in the blanks, from Spence: "Good first day in the books!"
This was the first day Steelers players were allowed to be supervised by strength and conditioning coaches in their workouts.
Weegie Thomson: Don't you think the real thieves are not the guys hanging around the stadium selling tickets, but the ticket brokers charging 4x the price and sooner or later don't you think this will hurt the game?
Ed Bouchette: I think what will hurt the game are fans discovering that the experience in front of their TVs is more enjoyable and convenient than actually paying to go to games, and if more and more parents deny their sons the chance to play the game because of concussion concerns.
Ed Bouchette: Thank you for another great chat. Only two chatting days left until the draft.