Gerry Dulac: We're getting close to chat time so get those questions ready. It's nice to be back.
Cowhers Jaw: Hello Gerry. I do not understand the compensatory selection process and how Baltimore received 4 substantial extra picks. Last offseason, the Ravens lost outside linebacker Paul Kruger (Cleveland), inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (Miami), safety Ed Reed (Houston) and cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia) in free agency. Both Ellerbe and Kruger singed big contracts. Reed and Williams contracts were not near as big as Keenan Lewis. In addition, they signed Elvis Dumerville to a substantial contract while Pittsburgh signed Bruce Gradkowski. So, how do they get such high compensation of one 3rd round, two 4th round, and one 5th round selections and the Steelers get a 5th round for Lewis? To me, it does not add up. Even if Dumerville was not considered a free agent signing, I believe the Steelers should have at least received a 4th round selection for the loss of Lewis. Thanks!!
Gerry Dulac: I'm with ya there and I'm not sure I have a good answer for you because I don't quite understand it either. But they did lose four starters on defense and a host of other players. Still I thought the Steelers would get at least a third and a fourth for losing Wallace and Lewis, not to mention Mendenhall, who was considered a starter.
John B.: No matter what happens after the draft, do you think it wise to bring The Beard back with the youth movement they're trying to implement?
Gerry Dulac: I do not think that is their intention,. If they do bring him back, it is not with the idea of him being a starter, rather a situational player in their sub packages. But they want a player who is healthy enough to rely on and they don't know that he is that guy.
Guest: If we pick up a DT do you see McClendon being the back up a la Hoke or do you see them moving him to end?
Gerry Dulac: I don't see McLendon being a backup, no matter where they use him.
Gerry Dulac: I like your thinking and I won't disagree with the positions in order -- CB, WR and DL -- because I think they won't have a shot at the WR they would like in the first round. Those would be the positions i address in the first 3 rounds.
John B.: Would you consider ILB an underrated priority?
Gerry Dulac: Yes I would. Unless, that is, I knew Sean Spence was ready to come back and play effectively, and they still don't know that right now. They like the young players they have there with Vince Williams, who will be much better in year two; and Terence Garvin. And I think getting Arthur Moats, who can play inside and out, was a nice pickup because he is a more than solid backup. I wouldn't call it a priority, but I wouldn't say it's a position of strength either.
Bernard: Hi Gerry I say Dennard or Roby first, Martavis Bryant or Allen Robinson second, then best DL in Third. Your thoughts
Gerry Dulac: Oops...this question went with the answer previous to the last one, the answer about drafting CB WR DL in first 3 rounds. My goof.
Alan: Do you think the D lineman from Minnesota - Hageman or Tuitt could be sleeper picks in round 2?
Gerry Dulac: I don't think they're sleepers and I don't think they will last long in round 2...if they make it to round 2. I think Hageman is great fit for the Steelers, but not in the first round for sure and I don't think he'll last that far in the second round.
Guest: How much of an impact do you think Jarvis Jones can make this year?
Gerry Dulac: That remains to be seen, but it's all up to JJ. He needs to come back stronger, and if he does that, then I think he can have a very big impact. It all depends how much time he's spent in the weight room.
James: In your honest opinion, how many more solid years does Ben have before he starts to fade
Gerry Dulac: Hard to say. But I really think he has 4 to 5 more good years, espeically if he learns to play smarter with the ball and throw it away more.
Alan: Just a general comment - Let's hope the Steelers get their bye week toward the middle of the season! Seems like their bye weeks are always early.
Gerry Dulac: Well, it's not only general, its misguided. The last three times the Steelers were in the Super Bowl, their bye came in weeks 4 (2005), six (2008) and five (2010). Better early than late, apparently.
NaplesDave: Hi GD, Enjoy the chats. Steelers trading down? Unlikely as 15th not high enough for teams to get their man. I like DB Fuller & and ILB early, current WRs need to step up & play. Thoughts?
Gerry Dulac: I have thought for a while that the Steelers could trade down (although not very far) if 4 players are not available -- Mike Evans, Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard or Kelvin Benjamin. But I think one of them will be there. But I also think the Steelers would love to get a pick back in the third round (not counting the compensatory pick) and might consider doing something that would facilitate that.
Jon: Do you see Roby as a legitimate 15th pick or is that a little too high?
Gerry Dulac: I think Roby is a great talent who needs a little seasoning. He also needs to have less character issues about him, which I think could hurt his draft position.
Jon: I know CB is a huge position of need and isn't as deep as wide receiver but I think Beckham Jr. could be a special player. What is your take on him as a potential first round pick?
Gerry Dulac: If the Steelers draft a wide receiver on the first round, it will be to take one of the tall guys -- Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin. They like Beckham, but I think it's more likely if they're going to draft a receiver that size (5-10 or 5-11) after the first round its going to be Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. But those aren't the types of receivers the Steelers need or want, at least early. They want a tall guy, so keep an eye on Clemson's Martavis Bryant, who is 6-4, 211, if they don't take a receiver on the first round.
Guest: Does it look like Jarvis Jones is building muscle? From the look of pictures on the Steelers site he hasn't.
Gerry Dulac: I havent seen those pictures, but I doubt they are current pictures anyway. They are likely from last season.
Mike: Whats your take on the AFC North after this first wave of FA? Which teams improved the most or worsened?
Gerry Dulac: I think they all improved, especially the Ravens and Browns. But the Browns signed a lot of older players whom they hope still have a good year or two left in them. To me, the biggest addition the Ravens made was hiring Gary Kubiak to be their offensive coordinator. I think that will really benefit Joe Flacco.
Al: Why did they move the draft back? It's hard enough for players to make the transition from college to the pros.
Gerry Dulac: They are pushing everything back two weeks to spread out the season, starting with the combine, which is supposed to be in early March next season. Right now, it's too close to the Super Bowl.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids, Good chat, good questions. See you next week.