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hawaiiansteel
04-25-2012, 11:07 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grading the Steelers Last Ten First Round Picks


2011: Cam Heyward, DE, Ohio State

After not earning much time in 2011, there isn't really anything bad that can be said about last year's first round pick besides "Why didn't we use our first round pick last year?" I expect him to be used a lot more this year with Aaron Smith gone. He can team up with Ziggy and hopefully make the D-line one of the best in the league.

Grade: Incomplete

2010: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

What a pick. Probably the best rookie center in history. The team is visibly so much better with him in the lineup. As long as Maurkice can stay healthy, I envsion him being a leader on the Steelers offensive line for years to come.

Grade: A

2009: Ziggy Hood, DL, Missouri

With 59 tackles and 5.5 sacks through three seasons, Ziggy is starting to come into his own. Now that older guys are stepping out of the way, I think we can start making a true judgment on how good Hood is during this upcoming season.

Grade: B-

2008: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois

I haven't been a big Rashard Mendenhall fan during his time in Pittsburgh. Ball security continues to be a problem in big situations. He gives a good burst of speed and has sick agility when toting the rock, but he hasn't been what I had hoped he would be coming out of Illinois. His recent ACL injury may not guarantee he's back next season

Grade: B

2007: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State

If I were grading this draft in 2008, I would have said that the Steelers should just say that LaMarr Woodley was their first pick in 2007. Now, I feel like Timmons is a complete package. Can lay a big hit in the run game and has developed into a very good pass defender.

Grade: B+

2006: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State

Anytime I ever speak about this draft, I get upset. When the Steelers traded up, I was sure they were going to go with DeAngelo Hall and get themselves a feature defensive back. Instead they went with Holmes, and now he's more gone than the girl Hall and Oates sang about. At least he was here to catch the Super Bowl winner.

Grade: B-

2005: Heath Miller, TE, Virginia

I think if utilized, Heath Miller can be one of the best (most productive) tight ends in the league. He can catch AND block, which makes him one of the more dynamic ones, and I'm definitely excited to see him under Todd Haley's offense.

Grade: B

2004: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami (Ohio)

Ben has been anything but a static character. I'm not a fan of his personality but he wins football games. All I have to say is: 2 Super Bowl Rings.

Grade: A

2003: Troy Polamalu, S, USC

Troy is probably one of the best football players in the league. His gamebreaking ability as a defensive back has come up big in more than one instance for the Steelers. I wish it were still 2003 so we can see his long, flowing hair for ten more years.

Grade: A

2002: Kendall Simmons, OL, Auburn

Wasn't ever an elite offensive linemen for the Steelers, but spent seven seasons with the squad before being cut after suffering a season-ending achilles injury in 2008.

Grade: B-


Posted by Seth Austin

http://www.fourthandtwelve.com/

Eddie Spaghetti
04-25-2012, 11:21 PM
pretty optimistic grading scale, IMO.

wish i had this clown back in school.

Mister Pittsburgh
04-25-2012, 11:33 PM
I agree that the grading is generous. A B for Mendenhall?

Shoe
04-25-2012, 11:56 PM
pretty optimistic grading scale, IMO.

wish i had this clown back in school.

Haha... was going to say the same thing, but in looking at it more, it's in the ball park.

2011: Cam Heyward, DE, Ohio State Grade: Incomplete

2010: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida Grade: A
I give Pouncey a B+ at best. He's been good when in there, but he's missed so much time and frankly, who knows how this chronic problem (ankle) will manifest in the rest of his career. I also thought he was much more mature than that twitter nonsense he got into this off-season.

2009: Ziggy Hood, DL, Missouri Grade: B-
If it's a B-, it's barely IMO. He's done very little. I give him a C, C+.

2008: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois Grade: B

2007: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State Grade: B+
B+ seems awfully generous. I'm thinking B at the most.

2006: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State Grade: B-
I actually think Holmes is a bit better, probably a B. He was a standout that one year, and we probably wouldn't have six if he wasn't there. He opened up the offense, and made HUGE plays that year.

2005: Heath Miller, TE, Virginia Grade: B

2004: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami (Ohio) Grade: A

2003: Troy Polamalu, S, USC Grade: A

2002: Kendall Simmons, OL, Auburn Grade: B-
Simmons is a C. He never distinguished himself. Even though he was a 7-year guy, that seven years was nothing to write home about.

Chadman
04-26-2012, 01:37 AM
Fair dinkum- Steelers fans are hard to please.

Heyward- Incomplete obviously.
Pouncey- Instant starter, best OL on team. A
Hood- Takes over from long-time star Aaron Smith this year. That his production to this point is minimal is of zero surprise- did you expect him to remove Keisel or Smith before now? B
Mendenhall- 2 1000+ yard seasons, 2 near 1000+ seasons. Instantly became a contributor to the offense, and then proceeded to replace Willie Parker to become what he was drafted to be- the #1 RB on the roster. Is he Jerome Bettis? No, but he's not Joseph Addai either. Dude can play- but plays behind a poor OL. B+
Timmons- Was slower coming on than expected, but has become a starter & a good one. Less splash plays last year as the DL went into decline. B+
Holmes- Got traded for bad character, won the Steelers a SB on the way. A
Miller- Long term starter & contributor. A
Roethlisberger- Best QB in Black & Gold in 20 years. A+
Polamalu- Best SS in the NFL. A+
Simmons- Long term starter before illness took away his effectiveness. B


Go on- compare them to guys that the Patriots drafted in Round 1 & see how they compare. Seriously, some people need to look past stats & see what the Steelers have done with their top picks for years now- produced starters that have not only won games, but Championships.

phillyesq
04-26-2012, 07:19 AM
2006: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State

Anytime I ever speak about this draft, I get upset. When the Steelers traded up, I was sure they were going to go with DeAngelo Hall and get themselves a feature defensive back. Instead they went with Holmes, and now he's more gone than the girl Hall and Oates sang about. At least he was here to catch the Super Bowl winner.

Grade: B-


DeAngelo Hall was not in the 2006 draft, and looking back at the 2006 draft, I can't even imagine who he was thinking of.

Hall came out same year as Ben.

Some of these grades are awfully generous. Yes, the Steelers have not swung and missed on a first round pick, but they are not all above-average picks as the grades imply.

steelblood
04-26-2012, 07:44 AM
Timmons higher than Heath?

Look if you don't take into account where a player is picked, you are not doing this sort of thing justice. Heath was at the bottom of the round and Timmons was in the top third or so. Heath has been at least as good as Timmons and considering where we got him, Heath has proven a much better value.

BradshawsHairdresser
04-26-2012, 09:07 AM
Heyward- Inc.
Pouncey- A big upgrade in the middle of the O-line, durability concerns me. A-
Hood- So far, looks like a bit of a reach. C-
Mendenhall- With all his dance moves, should be on Dancing With the Stars; too bad he can't hit the hole with some authority. A solid starter, which would only be expected for a first-round pick. C
Timmons- Solid starter, which would only be expected for a first-round pick. C
Holmes- Star talent and pee-wee brain. I refuse to give a good mark to any player who tells a Steelers fan to
"go kill yourself." C-
Miller- Wish he'd been properly utilized. But then, that's not his fault. A
Roethlisberger- Where would this offense have been without him this past decade? To think that Cowher almost
botched this pick...thank God for Rooney. A+
Polamalu- Remarkable player. Only durability issues kept him from an A+. A
Simmons- Played like a star for a year or two, then descended into mediocrity and became a turnstile. C

I may not give as high of grades as the others in this thread, but no busts or even below-average first-round picks in a decade is better than most teams could say.

phillyesq
04-26-2012, 09:39 AM
Heyward- Inc.
Pouncey- A big upgrade in the middle of the O-line, durability concerns me. A-
Hood- So far, looks like a bit of a reach. C-
Mendenhall- With all his dance moves, should be on Dancing With the Stars; too bad he can't hit the hole with some authority. A solid starter, which would only be expected for a first-round pick. C
Timmons- Solid starter, which would only be expected for a first-round pick. C
Holmes- Star talent and pee-wee brain. I refuse to give a good mark to any player who tells a Steelers fan to
"go kill yourself." C-
Miller- Wish he'd been properly utilized. But then, that's not his fault. A
Roethlisberger- Where would this offense have been without him this past decade? To think that Cowher almost
botched this pick...thank God for Rooney. A+
Polamalu- Remarkable player. Only durability issues kept him from an A+. A
Simmons- Played like a star for a year or two, then descended into mediocrity and became a turnstile. C

I may not give as high of grades as the others in this thread, but no busts or even below-average first-round picks in a decade is better than most teams could say.

This is a bit more realistic grading scale, at least in a world where "C" is average, "B" is above average, etc.

Sugar
04-26-2012, 11:02 AM
I'm with Chadman. I think the author is slightly unrealistic in his expectations. I like our #1 picks against any team in the league in that span considering where we generally pick.

Oviedo
04-26-2012, 11:10 AM
Saw on NFL Network last night that over the past 5 years the Steelers have the most Pro Bowlers on their roster. Nine, tied with NE. They must do something right!

Sugar
04-26-2012, 11:31 AM
Saw on NFL Network last night that over the past 5 years the Steelers have the most Pro Bowlers on their roster. Nine, tied with NE. They must do something right!

Considering where both teams tend to draft (late), that's simply good FO.

BradshawsHairdresser
04-26-2012, 11:41 AM
Saw on NFL Network last night that over the past 5 years the Steelers have the most Pro Bowlers on their roster. Nine, tied with NE. They must do something right!

They certainly do. And believe me, I'm grateful!

However, the thread has to do solely with first-round picks. Out of the 9 Pro Bowlers on the Steelers' roster, how many were first-round picks? Polamalu, Roethlisberger, and Pouncey. Keisel, Clark, Woodley,
Wallace, Brown, and Harrison were all picked in later rounds, or undrafted.

That's not to say the Steelers have been bad in the first round. Like I said, no busts over a decade is a record most teams cannot match. And it's fine with me if some Pro Bowlers come in ways other than as first-round picks...you take your good players wherever you can find them, and the Steelers have found enough of them to remain in contention a lot of years.

RuthlessBurgher
04-26-2012, 12:49 PM
They certainly do. And believe me, I'm grateful!

However, the thread has to do solely with first-round picks. Out of the 9 Pro Bowlers on the Steelers' roster, how many were first-round picks? Polamalu, Roethlisberger, and Pouncey. Keisel, Clark, Woodley,
Wallace, Brown, and Harrison were all picked in later rounds, or undrafted.

That's not to say the Steelers have been bad in the first round. Like I said, no busts over a decade is a record most teams cannot match. And it's fine with me if some Pro Bowlers come in ways other than as first-round picks...you take your good players wherever you can find them, and the Steelers have found enough of them to remain in contention a lot of years.

You forgot Casey Hampton, who is a 5-time Pro Bowler. Heath also made the Pro Bowl in 2009 (the year he had 76 catches for 789 yards and 6 TD's). They can replace the two guys on your list who weren't drafted at all: Harrison (UDFA signing by the Steelers) and Clark (UDFA signing by the Giants).

That would make it 5 Pro Bowlers we have drafted in the first round (Ben, Troy, Casey, Pouncey, and Heath), 1 Pro Bowler we have drafted in the second round (Woodley), 1 Pro Bowler we have drafted in the third round (Wallace), 1 Pro Bowler we have drafted in the sixth round (Brown), and 1 Pro Bowler we have drafted in the seventh round (Keisel).

RuthlessBurgher
04-26-2012, 01:10 PM
DeAngelo Hall was not in the 2006 draft, and looking back at the 2006 draft, I can't even imagine who he was thinking of.

Hall came out same year as Ben.

I thought the same thing when I read that. I distinctly remember DeAngelo Hall and Dunta Robinson being taken in the top 10 in 2004, helping to send Ben down to us at #11.

The only other prospect I remember grabbing the attention of Steeler fans in Santonio's draft year was fellow Buckeye Nick Mangold.

BradshawsHairdresser
04-26-2012, 01:30 PM
Oops...guess I didn't read very well...I missed the "over the past 5 years" part; I was thinking Oviedo was talking about those who were either selected for or played in the Pro Bowl this past season (and I forgot that Keisel didn't).

So yes, when you factor Heath in, then four of our last ten first-round picks have been Pro Bowlers (Hampton was selected prior to the last ten). Not a bad ratio...wonder if any other team, over the last decade, has beaten that success ratio?