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Scouts Inc. Breaks Down the Recent Years of Steelers #1 Picks

With five out of their eight first-round selections exceeding expectations, it is safe to say the Steelers know what they’re doing in Round 1. On top of that, it is pretty early to eliminate LB Lawrence Timmons as a potential impact player. While the later rounds have not treated the Steelers as kindly, this first-round track record clearly goes a long way toward keeping them in the hunt year after year.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Year Player Pick Verdict Bottom Line
2007 Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State 15 Even though he had only 13 defensive tackles in spot duty, it was nice to see a player who did not play much special teams in college step up and grasp the role that was given to him.
2006 Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State 25 The only first-round wide receiver in 2006 is a big-play artist whom we expect to take it to another level in 2008.
2005 Heath Miller, TE, Virginia 30 Miller has a good combination of size, blocking ability and receiving skills. He is a versatile tight end who could upgrade a lot of teams in the NFL at this position.
2004 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami (Ohio) 11 Roethlisberger has been a starter for all four years in Pittsburgh and has taken the team to the playoffs in three of those four years, while winning the Super Bowl in 2005.
2003 Troy Polamalu, S, USC 16 Polamalu is one of the most productive impact defenders in the league. His ability to drop down in the box as a run defender or to play in zone coverage sets the tone.
2002 Kendall Simmons, G, Auburn 30 Simmons has been somewhat inconsistent at times, but has done enough to meet expectations. He is an above-average starting guard when compared to other players at this position.
2001 Casey Hampton, DT, Texas 19 There were not as many teams running a 3-4 defense in 2001, which is why Hampton lasted until the 19th overall selection. He has been the anchor of Pittsburgh’s defense.
2000 Plaxico Burress, WR, Michigan State 8 He has matured with the Giants and his game has become much more consistent. Burress can go up and take it away from the defender as well as any receiver in the NFL.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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