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Thread: Do Gaps Make It Easier To Draft?

  1. #1

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    Do Gaps Make It Easier To Draft?

    When Tomlin took over, he had a pretty good roster. Lots of guys with big time talent. So is it possible that it was more difficult to draft given that rookies didn't have a spot to come in and play. And after our SuperBowl, we were so loaded that it was just hard to fit in and develop rookies into the mix of vets on the team?

    If you look back now to 2012, that's seeming to be one of Colbert/Tomlin's most productive overall draft classes with quality players selected throughout the draft.

    Again, it feels like we got another 2012 draft in 2013 where all of these guys can fit right in and make the team. So it looks like we're turning this bad streak of drafting around. Is it easier because of the gaps on the roster. Is it just the fact that we'll have to keep more rookies now than we did in 08/09 for example which looked like really bad draft classes?

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    NFL draft 2013: Few teams can match productivity of Pittsburgh Steelers' first 3 picks

    By Dustin Hockensmith
    on April 26, 2013

    Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft pick, Jarvis Jones, center, a linebacker out of Georgia, is presented with a team jersey by team president Arthur J. Rooney II, right, as they stand with head coach Mike Tomlin, left, during a news conference at the NFL football team's headquarters on Friday, April 26, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have to be ecstatic about the way their 2013 NFL draft board unfolded.

    Pass-rushing linebacker Jarvis Jones fell to them at pick No. 17.

    Highly productive and NFL-ready running back Le'Veon Bell filled a big need in the second round.

    Shifty Oregon State wideout Markus Wheaton was the pick in the third.

    The common thread between all three? Productivity. All three put up huge numbers at their respective schools and are prime candidates to contribute immediately at the next level.

    Jones led all of major college football last season with 14.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss. His draft stock took a hit over concerns about a lingering neck injury and a 4.92 40-yard dash at Georgia's pro day.

    Bell is a big back who led the Big Ten and ranked third nationally in rushing last season. At 6-1, 230 pounds, Bell isn't the prototype for an NFL running back, but his physicality and vision fit the Steelers' wish list for a back.

    Wheaton is an exciting selection in the third round, a player who might not have the highest ceiling at his position but is a known commodity who can help right away. After racking up 91 catches for 1,244 yards at Oregon State last season, Wheaton has potential to line up in the slot and see the field right away.

    Few teams have gotten as many known commodities as the Steelers in this draft, let alone productive players who fill needs and came at value positions in the draft.

    General manager Kevin Colbert talked this week about low expectations for his draftees, that they wouldn't be counted on to play right away. It sure looks like he's defying those expectations by landing three NFL-ready talents at positions of need.

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