Sunday, June 1, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Team Grades: Pittsburgh Steelers

15th Overall Pick: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

I wasn't quite sure where the Steelers were going with this selection, but I didn't expect Shazier to be the pick. I think this is a bit early for Shazier, who I pictured going in the 20s. He doesn't fill a huge need, but this will certainly help out the front seven. The Steelers have a great history of developing linebackers, so they should be able to get the most out of him.


2nd Round: Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame

The Steelers are great at catching falling prospects, and that's what they did with Tuitt. I think this is a good range for Tuitt, but I also wouldn't have been surprised if he went in round one. The Steelers certainly needed some help along the defensive line, and Tuitt could easily step into a starting role. Steelers fans should be very happy with this selection.


3rd Round: Dri Archer, ATH, Kent State

I labeled archer as "athlete" because that's really what he is. He doesn't have a true position. He's even less of a running back than Darren Sproles, whom many are comparing Archer to. Archer can lineup as wideout, a slot receiver, a running back, and a decoy. He can really do it all on offense. I always worry about small players like Archer, but he could be a new, special kind of weapon for Big Ben. This fits the range for him too.


4th Round: Martvis Bryant, WR, Clemson

With all the hype around Bryant leading up to the draft, I find it shocking he fell into the fourth round. Most had him going in the second in their final mocks. Bryant doesn't have a ton of production, but he's a physical freak with all the potential in the world. He won't start week one, but if he can develop quick enough, he could easily work his way into the starting lineup for Pittsburgh sometime this season.


5th Round: Shaq Richardson, CB, Arizona

Richardson was expected to fairly early in the third day of the draft, so getting him in the middle of round five is solid value. I'm shocked that Pittsburgh waiting this long to grab a cornerback, but at least they got a good one here.


5th Round: Wesley Johnson, C/G/T, Vanderbilt

I'm surprised Johnson lasted this long because his amazing versatility is quite the draw for most teams. The Steelers were in need of talented depth, and Johnson is a guy who can back up pretty much anywhere on the line aside from left tackle. This is a solid choice.


6th Round: Jordan Zumwalt, ILB, UCLA

I viewed Zumwalt as a fourth or fifth rounder for most of the draft process, so this is solid value. He won't get a chance to start anytime soon, but he'll be a solid depth player with the potential to start down the road.


6th Round: Daniel McCullers, NT, Tennessee

I would have given the Steelers an A if they grabbed McCullers two rounds ago, so this is insane value. I wouldn't have been shocked to see McCullers drafted on the second day of the draft. This is an absolute steal on a player who could start for them this year.


7th Round: Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass

If I were unbiased I'd give this selection a B. The need some youth at tight end to develop and Blanchflower fits the range. However, I'm very biased, so this gets an A+. Go UMass.


While the Steelers first round pick is solid, it's actually my least favorite selection. Every other pick received a B+ or higher from me. They found value on every single one of their selections, and as many as many as six of these guys could end up playing significant roles this season. I don't think the Steelers are getting as much credit as they should for this draft class.


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