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Draft review: Pittsburgh Steelers

Jarvis Jones AP

The Steelers plunged to 8-8 in 2012.  Some think they’ll be worse in 2013.  Here’s a look at the quality of a draft class aimed at helping them get better.

What they needed Running back, receiver, linebacker, quarterback, cornerback, tight end, offensive line.

Who they got:
Round 1: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia.
Round 2: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State.
Round 3: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State.
Round 4: Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse.
Round 4: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma.
Round 5: Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois.
Round 6: Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma.
Round 6: Vince Williams, LB, Florida St.
Round 7: Nick Williams, DT, Samford.

Where they hit:  They needed a high-impact pass rusher, and they got the guy with both potential and production.  Jones could be the next great Steelers linebacker, and they wisely waited for him to fall into their laps at No. 17.  Bell gives them a guy who could instantly become the starting running back, and they’ve once again taken receivers in the two rounds (three and six) where they found Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown.

Where they missed:  Thomas, an undersized safety whose best attribute is his ability to deliver big hits, suffered multiple concussions last season.  It’s too much of a risk to take with a fourth-round draft pick.  Ditto for Jones; if the Steelers are looking for a backup, they could have waited until a later round than four.  The decision not to take a tight end could be a problem, if Heath Miller suffers a setback while recovering from a torn ACL.

Impact rookies:  Jones and Bell likely will instantly be added to the starting lineup.  Barring injury, each could become a candidate for rookie of the year on their respective sides of the ball.

Long-term prospects:  A solid draft class with a couple of guys who could become contributors and leaders in the near future.  And if the Steelers are still as good at scouting receivers as they were when finding Wallace, Sanders, and Brown, Thomas and Justin Brown could become difference makers, too.

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33 Responses to “Draft review: Pittsburgh Steelers”
  1. dietrich43 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:00 PM

    At te, they have David Johnson returning from a knee injury, and Matt Spaeth returning from Chicago. Neither is going to put a healthy Miller on the bench, but they are fine as injury replacements.

  2. therealpittbull says: Apr 29, 2013 9:05 PM

    I’d give the Steelers a B+ on their draft. Taking Jones would not have been my ideal choice, but, getting the best pass rushing LB in the draft, you can’t pass up.

    Rather than Bell, I’d prefer Ball. I don’t need him to carry the rock for 10 years, but 5, and he has that in those legs. Would have fit pgh system.

    Wheaton was an EXCELLENT pickup. Speed, great route running, and can move Sanders and Brown outside the hashes.

    A cornerback with the 4th pick would have been better than Landry, but I also understand them wanting a young QB to develop, as Ben continues to play reckless.

    Biggest miss, no TE. Heath is coming back off a ACL and PCL tear. Wasn’t the fastest guy to begin with, now relying on backups and retread resigns to handle the load.

  3. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 29, 2013 9:07 PM

    To everyone else: please takes notes on how the best front office in football handles its business.

  4. steelerdeathstar says: Apr 29, 2013 9:15 PM

    I believe the Steelers took Landry Jones as Big Ben’s heir apparent. If it doesn’t work out that way, they could quite possibly flip him for a good pick or two down the line. In the meantime, he should be a good, solid, young backup as he develops…until such time as one or the other of the aforementioned occurs.

  5. Stiller43 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:20 PM

    Steelers lost 5 games by 3 points and a 6th by 6 points when they had 8 fumbles and 3 interceptions. At the end of the day, its 8-8…but a bounce here, a tighter grip on the football there, and they could have easily been 13-3.

    The sky is NOT falling in Pittsburgh. Im happy with their draft haul, but only time will tell if they pan out. Im looking for at least 10 wins in 2013, and another shot to hoist a Lombardi. Go Steelers!

  6. flaccosunibrow says: Apr 29, 2013 9:23 PM

    Best front office in football? Ugh yeah about that..

  7. pittsburghsteelerz says: Apr 29, 2013 9:24 PM

    Florio: “Impact rookies: Jones and Bell likely will instantly be added to the starting lineup.”

    Steelers coach Keith Butler: “Everybody talks about Jarvis coming in and stuff like that and is Jarvis going to start his first year?” Butler said. “We’ve never started a linebacker since I’ve been here. … Some of you think that way. I certainly don’t think that way.”

  8. rwpsych16 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:28 PM

    I really like the S Thomas. I think he could be a big contributor for the Steelers down the road.

  9. thesteelers says: Apr 29, 2013 9:29 PM

    We just drafted nine future Hall of Famers. We understand why you’d be jealous.

  10. pittsburghsteelerz says: Apr 29, 2013 9:31 PM

    “Where they missed: Thomas, an undersized safety whose best attribute is his ability to deliver big hits, suffered multiple concussions last season.”

    Excellent little nugget. Hadn’t heard that. I knew of the one against Pittsburgh where he was knocked unconscious. Also another one from a 2011 preseason practice.

  11. morganstan100 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:42 PM

    Poor guys. Stuck with a bunch of losers for 2014 and probably beyond. Go Ravens.

  12. navyeoddavee9 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:44 PM

    Bill Pollian, thought Jones, was best QB, in the draft, so I don’t think they reached. Thomas is a stud, will be a starter and a star, passed the medical exams, they passed on Lacey, because of medical issues, so I’m sure Thomas is fine

  13. reilt25 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:44 PM

    “And if the Steelers are still as good at scouting receivers as they were when finding Wallace, Sanders, and Brown, Thomas and Justin Brown could become difference makers, too.”

    Wheaton and Justin Brown could be difference makers too. Unless Shamarko is playing some slot for Pittsburgh this year. Oh yea!

  14. classyjacklambert says: Apr 29, 2013 9:48 PM

    “And if the Steelers are still as good at scouting receivers as they were when finding Wallace, Sanders, and Brown, Thomas and Justin Brown could become difference makers, too.”

    That sounds much better than “the scouts that found Limas Sweed and Dallas Baker.”

  15. ravensdominate says: Apr 29, 2013 9:50 PM

    Lol! Terrible! Jjones is the only one that’s decent on that list. The steelers will be 3rd or 4th in the division for a long time. Keep polishing those old rings!

  16. nattypoes says: Apr 29, 2013 9:53 PM

    crownofthehelmet says: Apr 29, 2013 9:07 PM

    To everyone else: please takes notes on how the best front office in football handles its business.

    ________________

    Like knowingly letting Mike Wallace walk without getting anything in return? And doing the same with Sanders after this season?

    Yeah we’ll take note on how not to run a team. Thanks.

  17. steelcurtainn says: Apr 29, 2013 10:02 PM

    In due time, this draft is going to turn out excellent and will be one to look back on. Bell and Wheaton will be immediate impact starters. And it won’t take long for Jarvis Jones to claim his spot after learning Lebeau’s defense. I highly doubt Thomas is a miss. He is a very hard hitter and has unbelievable closing speed.

  18. hines86for6 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:22 PM

    ProFootballFocus had Matt Spaeth rated as the best blocking TE in football last year.

    If Paulsen can catch some passes, we’ll be okay until Heath gets back.

  19. steelfan66 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:36 PM

    I think we did a pretty good job. Problem is, so did the Ravens and the Bengals. Should be a tight race again (if we don’t get decimated with injuries again).

    I guess I’m still in the minority regarding the RB situation. I just don’t think we needed to take one that high.

    I wish we could taken a chance on guys like Arthur Brown, John Jenkins, Barrett Jones, Alex Okafor, and Ryan Swope.

    I was actually praying that Warmack, Cooper, or Vaccaro would some how slip to us but I’m still very pleased with the Jones pick.

  20. ravensdominate says: Apr 29, 2013 11:32 PM

    This draft brings a while new purpose for terrible towels… With each terrible pick “yoonz” should wave your annoying towels to show just how terrible the pick was. Then, this season when your steelers play terribly and cannot compete with the World Champion Ravens, you should wave around your dumb towels some more. Sound good?

    World Champs

    Out

  21. steel420 says: Apr 30, 2013 12:21 AM

    “Thomas, an undersized safety whose best attribute is his ability to deliver big hits, suffered multiple concussions last season. It’s too much of a risk to take with a fourth-round draft pick.”

    I’d say you’re way off with the assessment that he was too much of a risk. Poke around and you’ll find out Shark is the most popular pick among Steelers fans from this draft.

  22. enoughofthatalready says: Apr 30, 2013 9:24 AM

    Ummm….until the Ravens play against and beat football teams from other countries, they are not World Champs. They are Super Bowl Champs, period.

  23. enoughofthatalready says: Apr 30, 2013 9:26 AM

    Ummm, natty? Steelers will get at worst a 3rd round pick next year for Mike Wallace. How is that getting nothing for a guy that already put his foot in his mouth before practicing as a Dolphin? And if the Steelers lose Sanders……..what has Sanders done in his career besides last year?

  24. skippernuts says: Apr 30, 2013 1:38 PM

    “Where they missed: Thomas, an undersized safety whose best attribute is his ability to deliver big hits, suffered multiple concussions last season.”

    Do did in Troy in his senior season.

  25. citizenstrange says: Apr 30, 2013 2:57 PM

    Last season Roethlisberger could not get the Steelers into the playoffs even with the #1 defense in the entire NFL.

    Lat season Roethlisberger could not get a single win when the Steeler defense gave up over 17 points.

    Roethlisberger could not get a win in a HOME game of playoff like win or go home importance when the Steeler defense held the Bengals to only six points.

    Roethlisberger’s ultimate success comes down to three plays.

    1) Fast Willie Parker’s record setting 75 yard touchdown run
    2) Antwaan Randle El’s 43 yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward

    In the playoffs leading up to Super Bowl 40 Roethlisberger had already peaked as a pro and he played horribly as his 22 qb rating will attest. Without the above 14 points that Roethlisberger had 0.00000% to do with the Steelers lose 10 to … wait for it ….. 7.

    3) James Harrison’s 100 yard interception touchdown return.

    Without that the Steelers lose. And before Roethlisberger’s miracle last second touchdown pass to Santonion Holmes he had “led” the Steelers to a grand total of … wait for it …. 13 points.

    The Steeler defense will probably not be # 1 in the entire NFL for the next few seasons.

    They have to find a quarterback who is not always in the bottom 10 in the league in scoring or they have no chance of making the playoffs.

    As long as Roethlisberger is the starting quarterback there will be no more playoff wins.

  26. steel2372 says: Apr 30, 2013 8:38 PM

    I couldnt agree with you more. Roethlisberger actually played very well last season when he wasnt hurt. And I think the Steelers will be #1 or at least top 5 in the league next season. Its not the players its the system. Pittsburgh always is tough on defense.

  27. steel2372 says: Apr 30, 2013 8:41 PM

    Shark will be a great Steelers as well as the Hawthorne. I am actually excited about the young talent on defense. All of a sudden this defense isnt as old as everyone thought. if Heyward can step it up this year and Jones can make an impact in situational packages this defense will have an excellent year.

  28. blackngold4life says: May 1, 2013 2:51 AM

    What’s funny is the SAME comments on every STEELER thread by the same 4 lames. Either y’all spend waaay too much time on GOOGLE checkin our stats or you Spend a lot of time watchin Steeler games. Cincy & Ratbird fans act like they won 13-14 games,when they was Barely 2 games better then 8-8 they selfs..and now they both supposed to be super team?? And you call Steeler fans arrogant and Delusional??

  29. steel2372 says: May 1, 2013 12:37 PM

    ravensdominate says: Apr 29, 2013 11:32 PM

    This draft brings a while new purpose for terrible towels… With each terrible pick “yoonz” should wave your annoying towels to show just how terrible the pick was. Then, this season when your steelers play terribly and cannot compete with the World Champion Ravens, you should wave around your dumb towels some more. Sound good?

    We will always compete with the Ravens in the AFCN and history shows we win our share. Wouldnt be surprised if we get a Charlie Batch type win like last year. Sound good? lol

  30. eddiek77 says: May 1, 2013 5:27 PM

    As a longtime Steelers fan, I actually was happy that Colbert and Tomlin allowed Wallace, Harrison and the others hit the road. After all, this team ‘mailed it in’ last year, and that’s being nice. You couldn’t even say they quit on the season—they just played like they didn’t care.
    On one hand, I kind of like some of the Steelers choices but on the other, any time you have Ike Taylor in the secondary, you have to be wary.

    I’m willing to give Steelers brass the benefit of the doubt where this draft is concerned but will say that they didn’t go far enough in cleaning house.

    And I guess this means Worlds just isn’t panning out?

  31. olcap says: May 2, 2013 11:50 AM

    I doubt that they will have as many as TWO guys remaining on the roster from this draft by 2015. I agree with the poster on Ball rather than Bell. No question Ball is the better back for the Steeler game, and I really doubt that Bell will have much success in Pittsburgh.

    I also went over their schedule, and I see the Steelers going 5-11 in 2013. They will be in the cellar of the AFC North.

  32. jftreshj76 says: May 6, 2013 9:47 PM

    The Steelers wanted B. W. Webb, (a William and Mary guy, just like Tomlin) with that Landry Jones spot. But they got punked by Jerry Jones who took Webb right before their pick. Jerry Jones knew the Steelers liked Webb for their secondary. That’s why it took the Steelers every bit of their five minutes to go ahead and take Landry Jones since they wanted a QB in the draft this year any way. Jerry Jones may have wanted some CB depth in this draft but his biggest thrill that day was punking the Steelers.
    Two old sayings come to mind: “What goes around, comes around”, and “Things happen for a reason,” We’ll see.

  33. meft89 says: May 21, 2013 6:56 PM

    Do any of u ravens fans even remember that Pittsburgh beat y’all once n almost beat y’all the first game too with Charlie batch under center if I were anything but a Steelers fan I would b really concerned about this year we lost Harrison ok so we keep 45 yards a game we let Wallace walk again we don’t fumble 2yards after the catch or let Dallas pick Ben to win that game wake up ppl Pittsburgh is the best team in football no matter what the record said last season

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