Don't expect the Steelers' Ike Taylor to tweet, "It's been fun Pittsburgh,'' anytime soon.
Unlike the New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush, the veteran cornerback had to be happy with how his team drafted the past three days, even though the Steelers selected cornerbacks in the third and fourth rounds.
Taylor, a starter for the last six seasons in which the Steelers have gone to three Super Bowls, will be an unrestricted free agent once a labor deal is finalized. The Steelers almost assuredly will try and re-sign him, but his price tag just went higher.
The Steelers' biggest need in this year's draft was cornerback due to Taylor's status, the sub-par play in 2010 by Bryant McFadden and free agent William Gay, and the non-emergence of 2009 third-round pick Keenan Lewis.
In a perfect world, the Steelers would have addressed their biggest need in the first two rounds, but the draft gods didn't come through for them.
It's hard to fault the Steelers for waiting until the third round to take a cornerback. The top three corners were already gone when they selected in the first round on Thursday, and they took a player, defensive end Cameron Heyward, who can make an immediate and long-term impact.
The draft also didn't play out well for them in the second round. Virginia's Ras-I Dowling, a corner whom the Steelers were possibly hoping to be available with their late second-round selection, was snatched on the first pick of the second day by the New England Patriots.
Texas' Aaron Williams went to the Buffalo Bills with the next pick, leaving Miami's Brandon Harris as the only top cornerback remaining. The Steelers waited through 25 more picks until the Houston Texans grabbed Harris three selections ahead of them.
At that point, the Steelers would have been reaching for any of the corners remaining on their board, so they picked offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert.
They then tried to make up for missing out on the top corners by taking Texas' Curtis Brown and the Citadel's Cortez Allen with their third and fourth picks. Both have potential and could turn out to be great picks someday but not this coming season.
The Steelers still feel they are a Super Bowl-caliber team, and Brown and Allen aren't going to be guys who can step in right away and start. It took Taylor, a former fourth rounder, two whole seasons before he became a starter.
Right now the Steelers' depth chart would be McFadden and Lewis as the starting corners with Crezdon Butler, Brown and Allen behind them. That doesn't sound like a formidable group that could stop Joe Flacco this year, let alone Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Even before the draft, it was apparent the Steelers needed to try and re-sign Taylor, a guy they've invested a lot of time and money in over the last eight seasons and someone who fits their system well.
After the draft, it's apparent they must re-sign him.
SUBHD: Other draft thoughts
n If the Steelers do sign Taylor, they'll have a nice battle for the other cornerback spots on their roster.
n The Steelers did not draft a tall wide receiver, so Limas Sweed should get another crack at making the team.
n Fifth-round pick Chris Carter, a defensive end from Fresno State, will be given a chance to play outside linebacker. It the lockout drags on through the summer, it will be difficult for him to make the tricky transition.
n Sixth-rounder Keith Williams, a guard from Nebraska, is a typical Steeler backup lineman in that he may be able to play multiple positions on the line.
n Free agents Matt Spaeth and Mewelde Moore also should be feeling better. The Steelers did not pick a tight end, and they didn't take a third-down running back until the seventh round.
Buck Frank can be reached at 946-7461 or email@example.com.