Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon. We'll start a little early because I want to leave a little early to get to the viewing for Bill Nunn this afternoon.
Touchdown Joey: Odds of a James Harrison return? It seems like a good move looking at the OLB depth chart.
Ed Bouchette: They have not talked to him or his agent about returning. Usually what happens is, they will go through their rookie camp this weekend and then take time to assess what they have. I don't think the chances are good right now for him to return. I think they're wiping the slate clean. He has been keeping in shape, which is what everybody would expect, and perhaps if something happens in camp or early in the season, they could call him the way they did with Max Starks two years ago.
Ed Bouchette: Strictly as a fifth-round pick, and a late one as a comp pick at that, I would give him a 50-50 chance. However, it is entirely up to him. What he has going for him is his ability to play every position in the offensive line.
Rocky: Hi Ed. Do you think the OL Johnson from Vanderbilt will make the team?
Bahama John: Hey Ed....So I am a little worried about OLB. Both Jarvis Jones and lack of depth. Any idea if Jarvis has been hitting the weights at all and beside James Harrison, are there any other FA OLB that would fit our system?
Ed Bouchette: Before I answer, the previous answer came before the question, so flip-flop it.
I would not look for them to sign anyone else at that position at this time. Harrison would be the only one out there. It is thin, as I wrote in today's Post-Gazette:
Pucks Joey: What grade would you give the Steelers for their offseason thus far? I'd think at least a B.
Ed Bouchette: They've done as well as could be expected, considering their position under the cap. The toughest decision they made, keeping Jason Worilds and letting LaMarr Woodley go, I think was the correct one. They should have tried harder to keep Jerricho Cotchery.
Mike in Downtown: Are the Steelers out of the Hard Knocks running now that Michael Sam was taken by the Rams (another eligible team)?
Ed Bouchette: I think the Steelers following is much higher than the Rams no matter what their storyline. HBO will get better ratings and probably a few more customers by having the Steelers than the Rams, although personally I hope they do not pick the Steelers.
Dude_From_Cali: Ed: If Sherzeer works out, he'd be a superior pick than Odell Beckham. There's only 1 ball to go around and AB would have issues. Agree?
Ed Bouchette: It's time you learn how to spell his name at least. It's Ryan Shazier. I did not think Beckham would be a good fit for them, but they apparently felt otherwise.
Big City: Do you think the Rooneys would have had any hesitation to draft Michael Sam, assuming they felt the player and slot were good value?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not sure he fit what they want in a 3-4 end. As for the broader question, I think they would have overlooked the fact he played at Missouri.
Dude_From_Cali: Is Moats $800k contract guaranteed or he has to make the team first?
Ed Bouchette: He would have to make the team and be on the roster for the first game in order for it to be guaranteed.
Wild Bill: Fans have been askig for a younger D but is that going to mean better?
Ed Bouchette: Well, last year's defense dipped quite a bit in both yards allowed and in big plays allowed. For the third straight year, they have been below par in sacks and forced turnovers. They had little choice but to change things up and they did that mostly by moving out old vets and adding young players.
Dude_From_Cali: Ed: when draft ended you saw all the speed and potential, what was your initial draft grade?
Ed Bouchette: I do not grade drafts. I leave that up to the "experts.'' I rarely come away thinking that they just drafted poorly. Certainly, the Steelers were happy with their draft. I do think they needed to get a cornerback, but not reach for one just to get one. The front 7 are still more important.
Carl: What do you make of Mike Adams being sued for malicious prosecution?
Ed Bouchette: I took a course in business law in college and loved it, but never had a criminal law course. It would seem to me that Mike Adams did not prosecute his attackers, that they were arrested by the police and prosecuted by the DA.
Bruce: Talk of three guys starting as rookies. What draftees do you think will see playing time in some capacity?
Ed Bouchette: At some point, maybe even the start of the season, the top two picks should start: Ryan Shazier at ILB and Stephon Tuitt at DE. Dri Archer will be used all over the place on offense, but certainly not start. He also will return kicks and they would like to have him return punts, even though he did not do that in college. Martavis Bryant might have the toughest time starting. He will have to surpass Markus Wheaton to do that.
Guest: Mr B, are the steelers hoping to sign another CB or 2 after June 2? Any names jump out?
Ed Bouchette: I do not see them signing another corner unless someone on June 1 cuts a veteran corner for salary cap reasons they think might help them.
Bob form Walnut CA: Ed Im troubled with the Monster pick Mccullers I dont see how he's going to be successful he's too big for a NT and too slow for an DT/End?
Ed Bouchette: I'm kind of with you there, but then he's a late sixth-round draft pick and as they always say, you cannot teach size. Maybe he can just clog things up.
Bobby: Speaking of Bill Nunn, how much did he contribute to this particular draft?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think he was a big contributor. All of his evaluations came from video. However, you never know what little nugget he might have found and passed along that they used.
By the way, Kevin Colbert became emotional when he signed off his post-draft press conference with this testimony to Bill Nunn:
Overshadowed by all the news of the draft Sunday, was Colbert's emotional tribute to longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn Jr. who died last Tuesday at age 89.
"Bill Nunn touched this organization like not many have," Colbert said. "Coach Tomlin and myself, anybody that has worked with the man, knows how important and what a special guy he was. It's ironic that this was the 40th anniversary of the best draft in NFL history. We talked about that the other day and of course Bill was a big part of that. He'll be missed, but he certainly will not be forgotten."
Added Mike Tomlin: "We obviously worked with a heavy heart this weekend. Hopefully we honored his legacy with the work that we were able to get done and learned some of the lessons taught to us by Bill with the work that we were able to get done this weekend."
Bahama John: Ed...do you think Archer could cut it as a Punt Returner?? No question about Kick Return abilities but he will probably only get 1-2 chances per game to make a difference on KR with most being touchbacks.
Ed Bouchette: As I mentioned, he did not do it in college but I'm told they will try hard to have him do it here. That should start at rookie camp
Pucks Joey: Care to offer an on-the-record prediction for Pens/Rangers game seven?
Ed Bouchette: Yeah, off the record, how can anyone predict this series? Watch and enjoy.
Wild Bill: Anyone who got drafted by another team you would have like to have watched in a Steeler uniform?
Ed Bouchette: Justin Gilbert, who I'm told they would have picked had he been available at 15.
Billy T: Seems like several picks are high risk/high reward. Agreed?
Ed Bouchette: None of the high ones. The lower you get, the riskier things get for everyone.
Chuck: Can you please elaborate on the reasons why they'd have no interest in Santonio Holmes? I know he was a pain when he was younger but that was 5 years ago. Please enlighten...
Ed Bouchette: Santonio Holmes was a pain in the neck to them, No. 1. They suspended him and then got fed up and traded him. He's been hurt often since he left. He was a pain in the neck to the Jets. He is older, not as good and, as you can see, not wanted by anyone in the league as of May 13.
Tim: So now that Mike Adams has legal troubles of his own, might we see the end of him in a Steeler's uniform?
Ed Bouchette: That is a civil suit filed against him, whether it has merit or not. It will not affect his standing with the Steelers.
Carl: How do you envision Dri Archer being used in the offense, and will the Steelers use the no huddle even more than they did last year?
Ed Bouchette: See Chris Rainey, 2012, only they hope they get more out of this guy.
Rocky: Have your ever heard John Mitchell so excited about some of his draftees?
Ed Bouchette: No, I do not think I have. He downplayed them in the past, maybe because he knew they were not going to crack the lineup with what was in front of them. It's different now.
Ed Bouchette: OK, thanks for another great chat. As I said, I wanted to leave a tad early to show my respects to one of the finest men I've known, Bill Nunn.