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Monday, April 27, 2009

Draft Thoughts and Report Cards

Putting the ridiculousness of grading players who have never set foot on an NFL field aside, fans clamor for draft grades and who am I to ignore the fans. Grades for the Steelers' draft have been all over the map; I have seen A's and I have seen an F. It is hard to believe anyone would give us an F given our stellar draft history but someone did. I guess there is a first for everything. One interesting comment I heard, considers this year's draft class combined with last year's draft class.

Last year's draft class made very little contribution to the team. Mendenhall was injured for the majority of the season, and the rest of the class rode the pine with all the quality starters ahead of them on the depth chart. Patrick Bailey, who was undrafted became the team rookie of the year. The upcoming season, we get Mendenhall back which was likened to having an extra first round pick in the mix. Same for the rest of last year's class that will have another shot to make the team and contribute significantly, Limas Sweed being a main example.

Here were all the picks. I can't complain much. Positions of need were dealt with nicely (D-line, WR, O-line, CB). Everyone knows that we are drafting for depth, not starters. This is a luxury I will take every year. I wish we were drafting for an O-line starter but once again we did not draft an O-lineman in the first round. I would have like to see us take another O-lineman in the 7th when Cadogan was still there but we went tight end (shocker). Arians will put out as many tight ends as possible if given the opportunity. In other good news, the steelers drafted another player who can be the next Bettis in Frank "the tank" Summers. Take a look at him and you will see why. He is already shouldering the hopes of all Steeler nation as our short yardage back.

DRAFT PICKS courtesy of BTSC

Round Player Position College Height Weight
1 (32) Evander "Ziggy" Hood DE/DT Missouri 6'3 300
3 (79) Kraig Urbik OG Wisconsin 6'5 328
3 (84) Mike Wallace WR Mississippi 6'0 199
3 (96) Keenen Lewis CB Oregon State 6'0 208
5 (168) Joe Burnett CB Central Florida 5'9 192
5 (169) Frank Summers RB/FB UNLV 5'9 241
6 (205) Ra'Shon Harris DE Oregon 6'4 298
7 (226) A.Q. Shipley C Penn State 6'1 304
7 (241) David Johnson TE Arkansas State 6'2 260

Undrafted free agents signed are always an area of intrigue. James Harrison was undrafted, Willie Parker was undrafted and our rookie of the year, Patrick Bailey was undrafted as well.

Here are some of the names that have leaked out so far:

Courtesy of Mondesi's House:

LS Mark Estermyer (Pitt)
LB Tom Korte (Hillsdale College)
T Ramon Foster (Tennessee)
QB Mike Reilly (Central Washington)
WR Tyler Grisham (Clemson)
S Derrick Richardson (New Mexico State)
QB Kevin McCabe (Virginia)

2 QB's in the group so including Ben, Charlie and Dennis we will have 5 in camp.


I would give the draft a B. We addressed needs. We added depth and we brought in multiple people who can compete to take over our kick and punt return duties which in my opinion is the biggest need on our team. Our returns were pitiful last season and pretty much have been since Antwan Randle-El left for the 'skins. I would have like to have seen o-line in round 1 but the steelers didn't want to reach with Mack and Wood already picked. I heard they did try to trade up in round 2 to get Max Unger but it didn't happen.

There are grades all over the net. Here are some links:

From ESPN:
- I couldn't get the chart to fit in. Check out the link. It lists a good variety of grades from various sources.

BTSC's Draft Grade Roundup

The Post-Gazette has a decent amount of coverage

On ESPN, you have to be an insider to see Kiper and McShay's grades as far as I can tell.

What does anyone else think about the picks?

1 comment:

Josh said...

I think it will be a solid, but unsexy draft. Then again, when you lose only one starter from a Super Bowl team, you're doing well if you can add a couple role players. Would have like to seen more offensive lineman added, especially a right tackle, but I think there are roles available for Hood, Urbik, Wallace (KR), and Summers (special teams, goal line).