Video: What Grade Did The Steelers Earn In The 2013 NFL Draft?’s Alex Marvez, Peter Schrager and Laura Okmin on Pittsburgh’s 2013 NFL Draft class.

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About the author: Matt Loede




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  • George H

    ROUND 1:Jarvis Jones OLB: Great pick and great value in round 1. He provides some much needed depth to our linebacking core. In his first year,Jones will be expected to learn the playbook and most likely contribute as a pass-rushing specialist. He will get the chance to compete with Worrilds for the starting spot but coach Butler already said that no rookie on defense typically starts. Jones is a leader on and off the field and wreaks havoc on the qb. The past 2 seasons the Steelers had an immense amount of trouble consistently pressuring the qb. Jones should help remedy that. GRADE: A

    ROUND 2: Le’Veon Bell RB: I will admit I wasn’t too keen on the second round rb selection. I thought that we should have went after a safety or ILB. I would of oved Arthur Brown or Kevin Minter there. Minter went a few picks before the Steelers were drafting and maybe the FO didn’t view Brown as a projectable ILB, rather an OLB instead. That brings us to the safeties available. I was really hoping for Shamarko Thomas or Phillip Thomas in round 2… to my surprise they were both available in rd 4. So evaluating the Bell pick: Lacy and Ball were both still available. Lacy might of just been a product of a fanastic o-line at Bama and Montee Ball has a lot of miles on him already. Le’Veon Bell must have been high n the Steeers draft board to get taken in round 2. He is a big bruising rb that can catch out of the backfield and pass-protect with the best of them. Those qualities is what Kirby Wilson and Todd Haley both love in a rb. Bell has the potential to step in and start day 1 for the Steelers. I would have rather seen the 2nd round pick spent elsewhere, but after this season both Redman and Dwyer will be unrestricted FAs ad it seems that the Steelers FO aren’t too high on either of them as starters. GRADE B-/B

    ROUND 3: Markus Wheaton WR: If the Steelers know anything about drafting in the mid rounds, its how to draft a WR. Recent years we have seen Wallace and Sanders both in the 3rd and Brown later in the draft in the 6th. Wheaton has great speed and leaping ability. He might not be as fast as Wallace, but he certainly is familiar with running a complete route tree. I really like the Wheaton pick here in the 3rd. He doesn’t have to step in and be a starter right away and that will give him crucial time to develop into a starting role even as early as next season if all goes well. GRADE B/B+

    ROUND 4: pick 1: Shamrko Thomas S: I absolutely love this pick here in the 4th. I thought for sure he would have been gone by the 2nd. I’ve even heard if he was 2 inches taller he would have easily been a first rd pick. Thomas knows how to hit and play a physical brand of football. Between Jarvis Jones and Shamarko Thomas, the future of the Steelers defense will remain very tough and physical. Thomas is still a bit of a project with coverage, but who better to learn from than Troy and Clark. Thomas gives us huge depth at the safety position knowing the injury history of Troy and Clark getting up there in age. I understand we traded our 3rd round pick next year to move up, but keep in mind we will receive compensation picks for both Wallace and Lewis. GRADE: A

    ROUND 4: pick 2: Landry Jones QB: Very interesting pick here with our second 4th rd pick. Jones is a big, strong qb that has been a team leader at Oklahoma for years now. He probably would have been a first to second rd pick if he came out last year. He had a bit of some trouble when he gets pressured up the middle and tends to throw off his back foot which leads to interceptions. Jones isnt coming in to start anyway and he represents a great longterm solution to our backup qb situation. Last year Batch ad Leftwhich clearly werent the answer anymore. We needed to get younger back there and we certainly did. I’m excited to see how Ben steps up to play teacher for the first time of his career. GRADE B

  • DrGeorge

    Good comments and analysis, George H.

    Most football gurus agree that the Steelers got appropriate value for their picks. I agree. But that is only half the analysis. The other half concerns priorities. There we missed the boat badly.

    We had several pressing needs before the draft:
    1. Left OT (a chronic need for four or five years)
    2. D-line (without Keisel there is no pass rush)
    3. OLB (to replace Harrison)
    4. CB (we remain very thin behind Taylor and Allen)
    5. NG (Ta-amu has yet to prove he can back up McClendon)

    All of these deficiencies still exist after the draft, except for #3, the J. Jones OLB pick. The late round defensive picks are not likely to play this year. Some of them never will. This leaves our defense as vulnerable as it was last year. That doesn’t bode well for 2013.

    I’d give the draft committee an A- for talent, but a C- for strategy. Compared with last year’s talent loss, we are simply treading water.

  • Dr. George,

    Although I do agree about LT and DL who can get after the QB are positions of need, I believe the Steelers did not have the luxury of taking a player in either position this year with such a premium pick in this years draft. At some point, the team and coaching staff needs to see if the high investments that we have previously made are going to develope as expected or will be draft day disappointments. OLB to replace the loss of Harrison and the presence he made was too much of a need to not address. We desperately needed playmakers on that side of the ball. Our OL picks are young and the jury is still out on them (minus Pouncey), but we invested high picks and now we have to see what we have. The quality of RB play may be at its worst since the days of Abercrombie and Pollard. They are respectable but no real threats. I agree that depth at NT and CB is still a concern, but we don’t know if there are other different acquisitions on the table. Unfortunately, not all needs can be addressed in one draft. The only pick I find questionable where we could have better addressed a position we listed was Landry Jones. Gradkowski is the insurance we needed. Jones should not see the field for years. I follow college football very closely and I find him to be a system QB whose best days were made for college ball, not pro. I watched the Senior Bowl the whole week and his name came up as one who did not impress. His stock already crashed with an average Senior season. He was overrated after his junior season. He was never going to match Sam Bradford in pro potential. Loved Thomas at Syracuse. But I am a bit biased being a Syracuse alum. As for the rest of the later picks, it will just need to be a wait and see approach.

  • George H

    Finally some post draft commentary!!

    I believe the team feels that NT didnt have to be addressed this year due to giving McLendon the extension (which I love btw). They want to see what they have in Ta’amu as well. I wouldnt be surprised to see Hampton return for a very modest, if not league minimum contract.

    Offensive line is going to have to be a wait and see approach. Mike is right on when he says we have to let the top picks develop. Clearly we could use some much needed depth, but that can also be addressed via FA with whatever money we have left.

    I love the Jones and Thomas picks. I feel that they are going to bring that tough Steelers football brand and can both step in when needed and perform at a high level. I like bringing in Bell, but just not in round 2, although the way the draft played out, if we would have waited til the 3rd round, he might of not been available and we might of had to take on an oft-injured Lattimore.

    This draft began to fill some major team needs. RB had to be addressed due to next years expiring contracts and a lack of production from last year. I am in the camp though that Tomlin should of gave the ball to Dwyer more, but maybe he couldnt handle the workload due to his conditioning. Safety was a clear need as well. Thomas should make a big impact on special teams right out of the shoot and should be a more than capable spot starter if Troy or Clark goes down. I like the Wheaton pick too. He will be molded into a starting wr throughout this season and hopefully be ready to go for next year. The rest of the picks is a bit of a crap shoot… hopefully they all pan out, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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