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NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Success And Failures Over The Past 5 Years

2014 NFL Draft

Over the past five years of the NFL Draft,  the Pittsburgh Steelers have made solid draft choices, and some that have made pro football fans scratch their heads. From finding hidden gems, such as Antiono Brown, to misses such as Ziggy Hood, the Steelers are a few solid picks away from being a complete team.

One of several things the Steelers have done well in the five most recent drafts is rebuilding their offensive line. First round draft picks Markiuce Pouncey (2010), David Decastro (2012), Kelvin Beachum (2012) and Marcus Gilbert (2011) are all reliable starters on the offensive line.

The Steelers have also done a great job of surrounding Ben Roethlisberger with pass-catching talent. Some of those players have included: All-Pro Antiono Brown (2010), Markus Wheaton (2013) and Martavis Bryant (2014).

Some of the areas where the Steelers have missed the mark on offense was at backup quarterback. Landry Jones has showed little to nothing in his first two seasons (including the preseason) and is rarely active.

At backup tight end, Rob Blanchflower is a project at best and David Paulsen (2012) out of Oregon lacked the strength and blocking ability to stick with the Steelers.

On defense, Cameron Heyward (2011) has turned into a solid player, but unfortunately the Steelers have missed quite a bit on defensive players during the same time.  Jarvis Jones (2013) is looking like more and more like a bust. Cortez Allen (2011) has been up and down. Shamarko Thomas (2013) has shown flashes but has been injured often.

Fortunately, Ryan Shazier (2014), Stephon Tuitt (2014) and Daniel McCullers (2014) show good upside.

It’s past due for the Steelers to hit the mark in drafting a cornerback. Drafting a good cover corner will lift this defense from a wild card team to a possible Super Bowl contender.



  1. DaveB.

    March 4, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Lets not be to hasty in labeling Jarvis Jones a bust . Granted , 2015 is a big year for him and he needs to stay on the field to get any kind of an assessment on his future . However , with the wrist injury from last year theres no way to get a read on this kids ability . He needs more playing time before we label him as a bust .

  2. DrGeorge

    March 4, 2015 at 11:05 am

    You’re right, Dave B — it’s too early to call J. Jones a bust, although it is fair to say he has failed to impress and has under-performed. The same can be said for the athletic, but disappointing Cortez Allen. But both may flourish under Butler if they are used a little differently. Likewise, on offense, there is Cody Wallace, who is much better than his present role suggests.

    As we have learned in recent years, a player who languishes in one system may blossom into a star in another. Think of Mike Vrabel’s unhappy career at Pittsburgh and his emergence as a Super Bowl hero in New England. The Steelers’ staff has failed to use several promising players in a way that allows them to perform at their best. As in business, a man can be coached to failure as well as to success. Let hope that in 2015 the coaches are a little more creative in adapting their schemes to the talents of their players. That is in part what coaching is all about.

  3. Denise

    March 4, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I would have to agree that J Jones may make a difference this season with hard work and putting a lot more effort into his performance and see how it works out – IF not then he would be considered a bust.

    I will have to say that they surly need to do some backup quarterback searching if something happens to Ben ( heaven forbid) but you can’t just depend of one guarterback for a season at anytime. They really need to focus on this as well. The coaches can be positive or negative on a player but I believe that it is up to the player to know the plays- execute them to the fullest so the biggest pressure is on them to do their job and can’t be blamed solely of the coaches.

  4. Denise

    March 4, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Great Article Robert- Keep up the fantastic writing of articles. I enjoy reading them

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