View Full Version : Mel Kiper ranks Ravens, Browns drafts ahead of Steelers

01-30-2015, 02:34 PM
ESPN ranks rookies of Ravens, Browns ahead of Steelers

By Neal Coolong on Jan 30 2015


The AFC North all graded out positively after the 2014 draft. In terms of rookie success, Baltimore and Cleveland beat out Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, at least in the opinion of ESPN's Mel Kiper.

Teams getting immediate impact from rookies tend to be unsuccessful teams in terms of wins and losses.

That isn't true of the Baltimore Ravens, the team ESPN's Mel Kiper ranked fourth on his list of the 10 teams that got winning production from their rookies. Viewing it as rookies who contributed the most to their team's wins, Baltimore got a lot from linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive end Timmy Jernigan.

The Browns, ranked ninth on the list, improved by three games from 2013 to 2014, and while they got nothing (they lost a bit, in fact) from their first round picks, cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel, offensive guard Joel Bitonio and the running backs tandem of Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell contributed positively all season. What they lost in Gilbert they made up for in undrafted free agent CB K'Waun Williams - a Pitt product - and linebacker Chris Kirksey and Pierre Desir did well in a limited role.

The Steelers didn't even make the list. No surprise there. First round pick Ryan Shazier has an offseason ahead of him where he'll hear constantly how the Steelers should have taken Mosley, not him, with the 15th overall pick. Stephon Tuitt played well but didn't land a starting role until late in the season. Dri Archer was deactivated after failing to secure either a role on the offense or on kick returns.

While Martavis Bryant should be considered one of the best picks of the class, the Steelers got next to nothing from the five picks that followed him. Shaquille Richardson didn't make the team and was released from the practice squad during the year. Wesley Johnson was released and picked up by the New York Jets. Jordam Zumwalt spent the 2014 season on injured reserve and Dan McCullers saw 65 snaps, earning a start and playing both nose tackle and defensive end. Seventh round tight end Rob Blanchflower did not make the team.


01-30-2015, 03:20 PM
First round pick Ryan Shazier has an offseason ahead of him where he'll hear constantly how the Steelers should have taken Mosley, not him, with the 15th overall pick. Stephon Tuitt played well but didn't land a starting role until late in the season. Dri Archer was deactivated after failing to secure either a role on the offense or on kick returns.
He better use it as fuel... not sure that i'll matter, tho

01-30-2015, 03:45 PM
Tuitt should have seen the field much sooner, ready or not. Cam Tomas was a Sean Mahan level bust. In the discussion for worst FA signings ever.

High hopes for Shazier. 2 freak accidents where dudes rolled up on his legs. Not injury prone, just bad luck. Still freakishly athletic. Let's see what DC Butler can do with him!

01-30-2015, 04:57 PM
Shazier is going to be a freak that everyone will talk about in 2 years. Tuitt will also start to show a lot of worth next season. Bryant may be our best athletically gifted WR on the team. If he will start fighting for the ball (which I saw him do towards the end of the season, which means he can be coached up) instead of waiting on it he will remind peeps of Randy Moss.

Iron City Inc.
01-30-2015, 08:05 PM
I like Kiper I know a lot of guys here do not. However he is from Baltimore and a Ravens fan so you have to remember that!

01-31-2015, 10:03 AM
Based on just grading out the rookie season, I don't think that Kiper is wrong.

I still love the potential of Shazier, and I like how he was improving prior to his injury, but his season was not successful. If I am issuing him a grade, it is INC.

We all wanted to see more of Tuitt (particularly because of the awful play of Thomas), but he didn't play more. I saw enough to make me believe that he will only get better, but now we have to see it. However, you can't give his rookie season anything more than a C- at best.

After that, the only rook worth talking about was Bryant. As a fourth rounder, I'd give his first season an A-, and hope that he keeps it up.

Zumwalt INC, McCullers gets a bit of a pass being a sixth rounder, I'll give him an INC instead of a D (after all, he made the roster).

01-31-2015, 12:52 PM
McCullers not only made the team, he at least started a game as a rookie in a LeBeau defense...that alone is better than a "D" for a sixth round pick, IMO...

I am also curious as to why Bryant has a minus after his "A"...for a 4th round pick to score 8 TDs?

01-31-2015, 07:31 PM
In the past I've heard that it's not fair to judge a draft class until after three seasons. IMO, many of our guys still have a lot of potential upside.

02-04-2015, 05:09 PM
Browns CB Gilbert 'more a nuisance than asset'

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Browns first-round CB Justin Gilbert was seen "more as a nuisance than an asset" by the end of this past season.

"He was routinely late, was a chronic knucklehead and rubbed teammates and coaches the wrong way," writes La Canfora, who has an excellent writeup on the new lows of the Browns at the link below. Gilbert, the No. 8 pick in last year's draft, was reportedly often late to games. He played just 373 snaps as a rookie and tumbled behind UDFA K'Waun Williams and fourth-rounder Pierre Desir. Much like teammate Johnny Manziel, Gilbert has the early makings of a bust.

Source: CBS Sports Feb 4


02-11-2015, 05:46 PM
Mel Kiper mock draft: Landon Collins lands with Steelers at 22

By Dan Sager on Feb 11, 2015


In his second mock draft, the ESPN expert draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has the Steelers selecting the NCAA's top safety with the No. 22 pick.

A few weeks ago, ESPN's Todd McShay penciled in Washington CB Marcus Peters as the No. 22 overall selection to the Pittsburgh Steelers in his Mock Draft 2.0.

Wednesday, Mel Kiper Jr. followed suit, mocking the Steelers an impact player in the secondary in the second edition of his mock draft, as he feels Alabama S Landon Collins would be the best pick.

At the University of Alabama, Collins became the country's top safety as the do-everything player for Nick Saban's top ranked Crimson Tide defense. Kiper praises Collins' size, ability in run support and durability, but has questions regarding the young safety's instincts and his tracking of balls in the air. Kiper does, however, consider Collins one of the draft's top players, and says he only dropped the All-American in his mock draft because he either isn't a fit for teams picking earlier, or teams are seeking more of an immediate impact player, a role typically not dictated to safeties. Collins, if he does fall to No. 22, would be a tremendous value pick and serve a position of need for the Steelers, as the looming departure of Troy Polamalu and uncertainty of Sharmarko Thomas as a legitimate starter make the free safety position a question mark.

Kiper cites the Collins could serve as an excellent replacement for Polamalu as he possess a rare combination willingness in coverage, experience and ability to provide run support. Collins' versatility could potentially turn him into a day one starter on a Steelers defense with holes across the board, so while cornerback or outside linebacker could be considered more glaring positions of need, solidifying the secondary with the one of the draft's top players could make for a wise move on the part of the Steelers front office.