Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin.
kjacksonpgh: Hi ED, how would you feel if the Steelers drafted CB Kyle Fuller with their 1st round pick? He seems to have the ability to play press or zone coverage. Seems to make sense at 1: 15?
Ed Bouchette: If the first two cornerbacks, Dennard and Gilbert, are gone, I think they'd try to trade down before picking Fuller. He would be their third choice, I believe.
IVANfromMexico: Hello ED, in your experience, have you seen a player in the NFL with great talent and football skills who couldn't meet the expectations as 1st rounder in one team and have a better career in another team? Is it really difficult for a player with great football qualities like speed and size like DHB to rebound his career?
Ed Bouchette: Yes, it's been done many times before. Jim Plunkett was a great example. Jerome Bettis, although he had a sensational rookie season with the Rams. Many wide receivers. I would not put money on it happening with DHB but it could.
Don - FLorida: How much of Jason Worilds success at LOLB do you think is owed to Cameron Heyward morphing into the next Aaron Smith?
Ed Bouchette: Little. I think Jason Worilds just blossomed at the absolute perfect time for him. He also got his first chance to play regularly.
Chunkles: Ed, if Manziel is available, why dont the Steelers take him, keep him for a year, trade him next Spring for two first round picks? You know someone would take the deal.
Ed Bouchette: Yes, and someone would offer to sell the Brooklyn Bridge too. That's not how you build a team.
dave: What do you make of Colbert's comment yesterday about being glad that Mike Adams is a Steeler? Was he trying to offset some of the public criticism Adams has been getting?
Ed Bouchette: It sounded to me as though Kevin Colbert was saying he is in Mike Adams' corner.
paul: What position stands a better chance to get some playing time in their first year WR or CB? They need contributors this year.
Ed Bouchette: The Steelers rarely expect their rookies to contribute much their first year, and they do not draft thinking they will. There is room, however, for rookies at either WR or CB to contribute. A wide receiver always has the better chance, all else being equal, to play right away.
Jeff from Massachusetts: Hi Ed - would you say this is Colbert's most important draft since being GM? can't afford any mistakes as I see it
Ed Bouchette: No. I think when they drafted Ben Roethlisberger, that was the most important draft.
dave: Do you think a rookie CB could be a starter in game 1 this season?
Ed Bouchette: That might be asking too much, but that also would be up to the player and how fast he picks things up. If he were, do you think it would be for Ike Taylor or Cortez Allen?
Sam: Good Afternoon Ed, Perhaps it's all to common now with all the mock drafts, but was there ever a time a Steeler official felt you "gave away" their pick to the public?
Ed Bouchette: There were times I got feedback from someone in the organization that they wondered how I got their pick right. I don't think they ever are happy when those doing mock drafts zero in on the same players they want.
BDenny29: So much talk about a tall WR...what about a speedy playmaker like Cooks at 15 if Dennard/Gilbert/Evans are off the board?
Ed Bouchette: I'm on record loving that guy. I'd pick him after the top two wide receivers if the corners are gone and I could not trade down.
Chris: Would you be surprised if they took a TE in the first three rounds?
Ed Bouchette: A little bit. I don't think they really need a tight end.
paul: Does Gilbrt or Dennad have Rod Woodson potential?
Ed Bouchette: They are not ranked as highly as Rod Woodson was, and I don't see that kind of talent in either, but that's probably unfair because Woodson is a Hall of Famer who played a gazillion years at a high level
Jeff from Massachusetts: Ed - any new information of the teams interest in re-signing Brett Kiesel to add depth or possibly bringing James Harrison back to mentor Jones?
Ed Bouchette: I have heard nothing lately. If it were me, and I did not get a big-time pass rusher or DE this week, I'd sign them both to one-year contracts to bridge the gap. They need to get some heat on the QB. If they don't, bringing back Rod Woodson in his prime would not help their pass defense.
Chunkles: Ed, first we hear Mike Adams talked his way onto the team, convincing Tomlin and Colbert he was worth picking, now we see Colbert backing his player after he was caught lying under oath. Seems like the Steelers miss Dan Rooney, day to day?
Ed Bouchette: Dan Rooney backed many a player in his day who might have gone off the path a little bit. Ernie Holmes was one, Ben Roethlisberger another. Plus, Dan Rooney is in the Steelers offices daily now.
biff: Ed, why do you always say "on" a given round instead of "in" like a normal person?
Ed Bouchette: Perhaps I'm just not normal.
mikeflores16: Loved the beat writer's draft you posted this morning.. I love Peter King's draft, trading down with Phi and picking up Fuller and their 2nd.. Your thought?
Ed Bouchette: I haven't seen PK's but I think trading down is a real possibility.
Jud: Why have you and Ray at the compound during the draft...seems like a bit of overkill...
Ed Bouchette: Not only that, we'll have me, Ray, Gerry Dulac, boss Jerry Micco chatting during the draft and a columnist. The draft is all about overkill.
paul: Looking back to you feel the Steelers third round pick was too much to give up for S Thomas
Ed Bouchette: It is way too early to tell that.
mikeflores16: Do you believe the May draft is going to be the norm or just a one year thing? A bit of overkill I think, I have been pouring over info like crazy for the last 2 weeks, making me somewhat unproductive at work!!
Ed Bouchette: I think the NFL likes all the pre-draft buildup and stretching everything out to fill what normally would be dead time in the NFL calendar.
mikeflores16: Who is your one under the radar player on the team currently do you expect to have a breakout year?
Ed Bouchette: Markus Wheaton would be my top choice.
Jamaal: Ed, great chat - question about their 3-4 defense; since the d-line's main job is to eat blockers and create room for linebackers to make plays and sack the QB, why not find 3 nose tackle sized boys to eat up the whole offensive line and let the line backers swarm?
Ed Bouchette: Because in the 3-4 firezone defense, sometimes those linebackers drop and you have to have an end athletic enought to get to the outside and not just eat up blockers.
BDenny29: In which round do you think RB becomes a reasonable possibility, perhaps a speedy scat type like De'Anthony Thomas that Haley seems to like?
Ed Bouchette: No sooner than fifth, I would think
Jud: Do you expect draft similar to last year with largely filling need?
Ed Bouchette: The more needs they have, the more likely it is they are drafting for need. So, I would say yes, unless they draft another quarterback in the fourth round.
Jud: Any chance ILB before round 4? Spence hasn't played meaningful ball since 2011...lots of people are putting weight on his triumphant return...
Ed Bouchette: They will have to address linebacker, inside and out, in this draft. Can't say what round but they have real depth problems at a key position.
kjacksonpgh: ED, do you believe that taking Kelvin Benjamin at 1: 15 would be a mistake? He really seems to more of a TE then a WR. He is a big body receiver with average speed and questionable hands. Does he really fit the Haley offensive scheme? You're Thoughts?
Ed Bouchette: Todd Haley likes him, but I would think he'd be more of a possibility if they trade down. I would not take him at No. 15.
Zack B: Lets says they take a corner in rd 1, what about Nix in rd 2 if he is there. We can always get a wr later. Brandon Coleman is 6'6" and can be had in rd 4.
Ed Bouchette: I don't think they'll wait until the fourth round to get a wide receiver. Third has been good to them with that position. If Nix is available in the second round, he might be tempting. They could then move McLendon to end.
dave: If they used a high pick on a OLB, would that change their plan to sign Worilds to a long-term contract?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think so. I think they want to sign Worilds to a long-term deal, but I don't think they're going to start by giving him an annual average of $9.5 million.
Touchdown Joey: Does James Harrison have any shot to get in the Hall of Fame one day? I know his body of work is probably too small, but at his peak I think he was at that level.
Ed Bouchette: He was at that level at his peak, but he started late. No, I don't think he will be a HOF candidate. That is not to say he was not a great player for a number of years. As I mentioned, I'd sign him for one more if I don't get any good OLB in this draft.
Ed Bouchette: Aaron Jones, DE, Eastern Kentucky, 1988.
mikeflores16: In your years of covering the draft, what is the one 1st round pick that left you baffled?
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, answer came before the question in previous
JamesinNYC: The mock draft today was great. I think the local writers have much better grasp on who the teams want. Were you surprised at Gilbert being left for you? I would have expected Dennard.
Ed Bouchette: The L.A. Times asked me to make a pick in their mock draft the previous week and both of those cornerbacks were already gone when it was the Steelers' turn. I picked Kyle Fuller in that one but I think they'd rather trade down in that circumstance
John in Ohio: I say defense early and often. Defense wins championships. Look at what happened when #1 offense went against the #1 defense. What do you think?
Ed Bouchette: I think they need players everywhere on defense, and they also need a good wide receiver.
mikeflores16: Going back to '04, was Cowher that sure in Tommy Maddox that he wanted to draft Andrews, or was he just not sold on Ben?
Ed Bouchette: Bill liked Philip Rivers. Dan Rooney has said they wanted Andrews but he got the conversation going back on Roethlisberger.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. We'll talk about those players the Steelers actually drafted next week.