Steelers draft nose tackle
Saturday, April 28, 2012
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Dave Martin/Associated Press
Washington's Alameda Ta'Amu runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in February.
The Steelers chose nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu of Washington on the fourth round of the NFL draft, their first pick of the day.
They traded their sixth-round draft choice to Washington and swapped their picks in the fourth round so they could move up 10 spots to the 14th pick of the round in order to draft Ta'amu, who is 6-3, 348 pounds.
The Steelers went looking in this draft for the eventual replacement for Casey Hampton, who will enter his 12th season in the NFL. Hampton took a paycut this year and had ACL surgery in January.
Ta'Amu was considered by many to be the purest 3-4 nose tackle available in the draft.
"His job is to keep the LB free ... and he did that very well at the University of Washinton," Steelers line coach John Mitchell said. He added that if Ta'amu plays how they think he can, "This guy can play a long time and be a pretty good football player."
Ta'amu said he thought the Steelers were among the teams most interested in drafting him and he's happy they did so. He said he's looking forward to meeting Troy Polamalu.
"He represents lot of the Polynesians out here," Ta'amu said.
He also has watched Hampton's progress through the years.
"He holds his ground," Ta'amu said. "He takes up more than one blocker a play and im trying to do that."
Barring another trade, the Steelers now have a pick left in the fifth round and four in the seventh.
by Ryan Van Bibber
The 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft continued Thursday afternoon. For picks 106-110, the Seattle Seahawks got things started with Robert Turbin, a running back from Utah State. Turbin is powerful north-south runner with upside as a three-down back. Some have compared him to James Starks.
Pittsburgh had been associated with Alameda Ta'amu prior to the draft, as many wondered whether or not the Steelers would find a replacement nose tackle for Casey Hampton. Many believed he could have been picked prior to the fourth round.
106. Buffalo Bills: Utah State RB Robert Turbin, 5'10" 222 pounds
107. Kansas City Chiefs: Fresno State WR Devon Wylie, 5'9", 187 pounds
108: Denver Broncos: Baylor C Phillip Blake, 6'2", 311 pounds
109: Pittsburgh Steelers: Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu, 6'3", 348 pounds
Here is what Mocking the Draft had to say about the 6-foot-3, 330-pound Ta'amu:
Final word: When a defensive tackle is this big, the expectation is that the player is an immovable object in the middle. Coming out of Temple, the knock on Terrance Knighton was that he didn't play quite as strong as his size may suggest. The same thing can be said of Ta'amu. Like Knighton, Ta'amu is a better athlete than you'd expect and gets off his blocks fairly easily. There is also some versatility in how they can be used. Coming out, Knighton played both one- and zero-technique, much like Ta'amu was at Washington. While Ta’amu could hold up as a 3-4 nose tackle, he’s not quite as natural there as his measurables suggest.