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NFL Draft: Day 1
April 29, 2011 - Ray Eckenrode
> The second the Titans took Jake Locker at #8, Cam Heyward became a possibility for the Steelers, and when the Vikings took Christian Ponder at #12, Heyward became a likelihood. (Check out our Facebook status at 9:29 p.m. last night via the link at right------->!) Pittsburgh entered with glaring needs at cornerback and on both lines and Heyward was obviously the best player left on their board at one of those need positions.
> Heyward's selection probably means the Steelers felt the same way about Aaron Williams and Brandon Harris as many experts, that Williams' eventual position will be safety and not corner and that Harris will be an NFL nickel back.
> The Heyward selection could mean the Steelers have Virginia speedster Ras-I Dowling targeted for their CB in Round 2. It also means that Ike Taylor, who will be a free agent come Monday morning, made some money Thursday evening without even swaggin'.
> Yes, Mark Ingram's emotional answer to Suzy Kolber's loaded question about his father (former Giants WR Mark Ingram, who's in prison in Texas) made a nice TV moment, but we'll take the less scripted "look on Cam Heyward's face when he realized he was going to be a Steeler" as the evening's best image -- of course, we're biased.
> You have to wonder if the Steelers even put much time into a medical evaluation of Da'Quan Bowers, ranked as a Top 5 talent on everyone's board but still undrafted after Round 1 because of injury concerns after microfracture knee surgery.
> Memo to NFL GMs: STOP trading with New England!
> It's funny how we all perceive The Hoodie and the Patriots as draft day geniuses while Patriots fans are completely frustrated that their team hardly ever actually picks anyone.
> Early Day 2 intrigue: Who will nab QB Andy Dalton? The Bills and Bengals are two of the teams who might take a run at Dalton and they have the second and third picks in the second round (#34 and #35). If the Bengals want to leapfrog the Bills or someone else wants to leapfrog both of them they'll have to deal with the team who holds the #33 selection which is ... the Patriots, of course.