Big Lead Sports Bar





Height: 5-10 Weight: 225 40-Time: 4.45

College Coach: Ron Zook

Finally, we can stop hearing about Tim Worley, the recently-tasered former Steeler running back who happened to be the team's last first-round draft pick at that position, way back in 1989. We can also quit hearing about how the Steelers need to find a bruising back to replace Jerome Bettis. Yes, these statements were all rendered useless after the selection of Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers' 2008 first-round choice, who fell into their lap at #23.

A quick rundown on Mr. Mendenhall:

--2007 stats: 13 games, 261 carries, 1681 yards, 6.4 yds/carry, 17 TD

--2007 Big 10 MVP

2007 Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award semi-finalist

--Ranked 8th in the nation and 2nd in the Big 10 in rushing in 2007

--Will be used as the complementary back to Willie Parker

--Joins a crowded backfield that also features Parker, Najeh Davenport, Mewelde Moore, and Gary Russell

--A one-year starter at Illinois

Rated the No. 1 recruit in the state of Illinois by out of high school, where he averaged 9.1 yards per carry as a senior

--Wanted to pursue a career in graphic design, which I'm assuming will be put on hold


I felt the pick addressed a need that was not worthy of a first-round selection. But it was a tremendous value pick, and they clearly took the "best athlete available". In short, I'm down with this choice.

Required Reading:

Steelers Profile
Illinois Profile
NFL Draft Scout Profile


Anonymous said...

Had no business being there at #23. Can't believe he's a Steeler!

Willie's a great back, but what about Willie makes him a great back? His blazing speed.

Speed like his does not tend to last over the length of a career. Given the mileage he's incurred 2005-07, I'll bet we see 2 more yrs of "Fast" Willie...if that. Remember, he's coming off of a broken leg.

I think Willie's a great back, but Mendenhall is the future.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all the stats on the draft choices.

rob said...

Hard to pass on this kid at #23 overall. He was rated to go in the first half of the draft. Mike Mayock had him as his top RB prospect and #9 overall in the draft. He is Marshawn Lynch (#12 last year) with better measurables, better production, less mileage, and none of the baggage.