Gerry Dulac: All right, sorry for the brief delay, I was working on my draft board. Let's get our chat started....
JamesinNYC: The Steelers take?
Gerry Dulac: Now if I knew that James, I could make a lot of money. In all honesty, they don't know who they are going to take because they don't know who is going to be available. If there is a run on quarterbacks, like some thought a month ago, then more players will fall to them. But, provided they don't trade down, I would put my money on OklaSt CB Justin Gilbert because of who might not be available.
Joe: Any word on the BYU LB in rd 2? Sounds like he could play outside or in.
Gerry Dulac: Funny you should ask Joe because as I'm putting together what I think (or maybe would like) the Steelers' draft will be, I have that kid to whom you are referring -- Kyle Van Noy -- in the second round. He can play outside and inside and is very athletic. I like him.
Miller: There's no heat on Colbert and Tomlin, but if they miss on this deep draft and don't score two stars within this draft, in three years, I've got to think the temperature has to rise, right? Your thoughts?
Gerry Dulac: I don't think the temperature will or should rise. Their draft last year, getting Jarvis Jones, LeVeon Bell, Markus Wheaton and Shamarko Thomas with the first four picks, was very good. The year before, the injury to Sean Spence disrupted a draft that included David DeCastro, Mike Adams and Kelvin Beachum. What I didn't like about that draft, however, was that they drafted three players with questionable character or issues -- Adams, Alameda Ta'amu and Chris Rainey. You saw how that panned out.
Kristian: How good should the running game be this year with this backfield duo?
Gerry Dulac: I think -- and the Steelers think -- it should be very good, so long as Bell stays healthy. I think it also allows them the opportunity to draft a speedy specialty back -- say Kent State's Dri Archer -- in the fifth round or so.
Pedro: Safe to say they will draft a WR or a CB in the 1st round? If not, what other positions are in play?
Gerry Dulac: Safe guess. I think other positions are in play, such as a pass-rushing interior lineman, if they trade down. But WR and CB are best bets.
Pat: Gerry, if Kyle Fuller, Darqueze Dennard, and Justin Gilbert are all there at 15, who do you take? And why?
Gerry Dulac: Fuller is only a possibility, and not a strong one, if Dennard and Gilbert are not available. I've said this before: If you want speed, you take Gilbert. If you want a cover guy, take Dennard. Of course, it doesn't matter which corner is back there if you can't pressure the passer. And, believe me, the Steelers are aware of that.
Miller: I remember your comments on K. Benjamin and I sent this to Ray, but would like to hear your thoughts on this: A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report polled 17 personnel men with "national responsibilities" to name their five top wide receivers. Kelvin Benjamin was tied for seventh with Cody Latimer and Paul Richardson and is reportedly almost 20 lbs. overweight. Combine all of that with his blowing off of a workout with NFL clubs saying he was too tired, doesn't seem like a "Steeler"-type of player to me, no?
Gerry Dulac: Hey M, you might be right.
Mikey: If Dennard and Fuller are there at 15. Who would the Steelers favor? would they risk a trade down and losing both?
Gerry Dulac: Like I said earlier, Fuller is an option only if Dennard and Gilbert are not there. And I will emphasize 'option.' Don't hold your breath on that one. And, if the Steelers trade down, they will not trade away from a player or players they like. Kevin Colbert stressed that the other day.
Leaper: Would you take Fuller before either Dennard or Gilbert? Is #15 a reach for him?
Gerry Dulac: No. And a big reach.
John B.: Who do you think is the best QB to go with this draft?
Leaper: More likely to happen, two corners taken or two receivers?
Gerry Dulac: I'm taking my chances w Johnny Football. But I think Derek Carr might turn out to be the best one.
Gerry Dulac: Oops....here's my answer to that second question....
Mikey: Why doesn't Le'Veon Bell get the respect that he deserves from the media? I saw NFL.com release their top 5 RB duos (one would think Bell and Blount would have to be on that list) but they weren't. Is Bell not yet a household name around the country?
Gerry Dulac: That's because his numbers weren't that great. Don't worry, once he plays a full season, he will. I think their combo is very good.
Fitz in GA: With the Steelers reluctance to start rookies, are any of the top prospects possible starters in 2014?
Gerry Dulac: They better. In today's NFL, your No. 1 draft better be able to come in and play right away.
Pedro: Gerry, you mentioned pass rushing interior lineman. Is Aaron Donald a possibility? Considering the Steelers spend 60%+ of their snaps in the nickel/dime packages, Donald could really help their pass rush, even though he wouldn't be a great fit in the base. Any thoughts?
Gerry Dulac: I like Aaron Donald a great deal. He has proven his worth on the field in college, in practice at the Senior Bowl and in testing at the combine. But he is more of a 4-3 defensive tackle and would be out of position on the Steelers defensive line. You're right -- he probably could be a good fit in the sub package.
Louis: Gerry, What's the going rate to trade up from, say pick 22, to get pick 15? A third rounder?
Gerry Dulac: Yes. Thats a long way to jump.
Zack B: If they trade down what about Roby? Ideally I would trade down with San Fran and get a bunch of picks. We need dline depth and the extra picks would help.
Gerry Dulac: I don't think there's any question the Steelers would like an extra pick, especially getting that third-rounder back. Roby is a great talent, but he has some issues, and I think (and hope) the Steelers have had enough of those type of players.
Pat from Pittsburgh: Any chance Louis Nix or Stephon Tuitt fall to us in the second round? Or Pierre Desir falling to us in the third round?
Gerry Dulac: I don't know the answer to that question, but if all of those players fell to where you suggest, they would be great value picks, especially Tuitt. Desir is a physical talent, but I worry about his small school background (Lindenwood). Still, I think he would a steal in the third round, but I don't think he will last that long.
Louis: Gerry, Is it wrong for me enjoy Draft Day and Draft Weekend far more than I enjoy (non-Steeler)Super Bowls and the 2 weeks preceding them?
Gerry Dulac: Not at all. It just shows that you are seriously ill. :)
Leaper: What position gets addressed first, OLB or DE?
Gerry Dulac: Just depends on which players are available. But I would be willing to be both will addressed by the fourth round.
Nick: If the Steelers owned the first pick, and couldnt trade, who would they take?
Gerry Dulac: If you mean the No. 1 overall pick, I think it would be Khalil Mack or Sammy Watkins. And I'd say Watkins, whom the Steelers think is a beast.
Richy: WR is a known need on offense with multiple needs on defense. Which is the 2nd greatest need on offense?
Gerry Dulac: I'd say backup tight end
Adam: How does the ability to come in and play right away (NT, RB, maybe WR) impact their decision making with so many holes to fill?
Gerry Dulac: It should have a huge impact. Like i said earlier in the chat -- in today's NFL, with veterans being cut for salary-cap purposes, young players have to come in and contribute much earlier. That is especially true of No. 1 draft picks. Ready or not, he has to play the first year, unless of course you're the defending Super Bowl champ.
Gerry Dulac: That's all the time we have today kids. Hope you enjoyed the extra period. We'll evaluate the draft next week in our chat. As my friend Phil Bourque says, Buckle Up Baby!!