I have to say that I am very stoked with the overall haul
I had Bell, Wheaton,Landry Jones, Williams, Thomas and Brown in variations of my Mock over the past few months. Most certainly would have had Jarvis as well if I thought there was a chance of it happening. This was probably the strangest draft I can remember. Teams targeting need over BPA.
Last edited by steelerkeylargo; 04-27-2013 at 07:58 PM.
Steelers pleased with themselves after NFL draft
By WILL GRAVES
— Apr. 27
In this Jan. 4, 2013 file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones passes against Texas A&M during the first half of the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers understand it's going to take more than nine college players to address the surging number of needs on a roster in the midst of an unusual amount of transition.
Still, over the course of three days, the Steelers believe they're off to a solid start.
Pittsburgh bolstered depth concerns on both sides of the ball in the final four rounds of the NFL Draft on Saturday to give an aging roster an influx of much-needed young talent.
"We've done it the way we've always done it," coach Mike Tomlin said. "It just so happened that particularly early in draft, the guys in the highest position on our board were in positions where we needed to add."
The Steelers spread their picks all over the field, taking two linebackers — including first-round pick Jarvis Jones — two defensive backs, two wide receivers, a running back, a quarterback and a defensive tackle. Pittsburgh even traded with rival Cleveland to add an extra selection in the fourth round to grab Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas.
By allowing the Steelers to move up and take Thomas, the Browns will receive Pittsburgh's third-round pick in 2014. It's a move general manager Kevin Colbert felt was necessary to land the 5-foot-9 Thomas, who defensive backs coach Carnell Lake compared to 2007 Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders.
"I'm not worried about his size at all," Lake said. "The kid has a 40-inch vertical and that kind of explosiveness gives him great range when it comes to making plays."
Thomas gives the Steelers a potential impact player to back up veterans Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. The 32-year-old Polamalu and 33-year-old Clark are entering the final stages of their career and key reserves Will Allen and Ryan Mundy signed elsewhere during the offseason.
The aggressive jump to get Thomas gave the Steelers the chance to start planning — perhaps — for life after Ben Roethlisberger.
Pittsburgh drafted Oklahoma star Landry Jones in the fourth round, the highest the club has taken a quarterback since using the 11th overall pick on Roethlisberger nine years ago.
"I just think it was time to start grooming a new player, freshen up the room if you will," quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner said.
Jones smashed every significant passing record during his four years at Oklahoma, throwing for 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns while starting 50 of 52 games.
Colbert allowed there's a chance Jones "will never play" for Pittsburgh but didn't want to let an opportunity to bring one of the most accomplished passers in NCAA history into the fold slip away.
"When you have a franchise QB like we do, you don't get a lot of opportunities to add a young quarterback into the mix," Colbert said. "It's a critical position. You better keep adding young folks to that spot."
The 24-year-old Jones said he had no contact with the Steelers until his phone rang Saturday afternoon. He considers himself a future NFL starter but has no issues coming in and learning the league behind a two-time Super Bowl winner.
"On every single team there's going to be a quarterback that has your job," Jones said. "You're going to go in there, you're going to be respectful and do all these things and compete as hard as you can."
The Steelers have relied heavily on longtime backups Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch when Roethlisberger has been unavailable. Both are now unlikely to return after Pittsburgh signed Bruce Gradkowski to serve as Roethlisberger's top sub and drafted Jones with an eye toward one day having a younger guy in place should Roethlisberger get hurt.
Fichtner said it is time for the 31-year-old Roethlisberger to become one of the guys who talks instead of the one who listens.
"There has been a great respect between Byron, Charlie and Ben," Fichtner said. "I think this gives Ben an opportunity to share his experiences. That is an exciting time."
Jones is already familiar with the Roethlisberger family. His wife, Whitney Hand, played basketball at Oklahoma with Roethlisberger's sister, Carlee.
"My wife is pretty pumped about this whole deal," Jones said with a laugh.
Even if it means Jones will have to wait his turn.
"I get to learn from one of the best quarterbacks to play the game," Jones said.
Jones will have at least one familiar face in town after Pittsburgh drafted Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Brown in the sixth round. Brown spent the first three seasons of his collegiate career at Penn State before transferring to the Sooners in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The 6-foot-3 Brown gives the Steelers a big target in the red zone. Brown joins third-round pick Markus Wheaton as new blood on a wide receiving corps that is wide open behind starters Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
The Steelers grabbed Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne in the fifth round. Hawthorne, considered more of a cover corner than a physical presence, gives Pittsburgh a dash of speed as a nickelback.
Pittsburgh wrapped up the draft by taking Florida State linebacker Vince Williams in the sixth round and Samford defensive tackle Nick Williams in the seventh.
Both players are considered projects, then again the Steelers figure most rookies need time to adjust to the NFL regardless of where they are selected.
Thomas sounded like the rest of his brethren while talking about a future that will begin next week when the Steelers host a rookie minicamp.
"I will play anywhere they want me," he said. "I just want to be on the field. I want to help out the Steelers."
I'm glad the Steelers were pleased with themselves, but I think they have been after every draft that I can remember. I hope they're still pleased with this draft 3 years from now.
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
I feel pretty good about this year's draft, but I have to say, I felt good about the class in '08 (Mendenhall, Sweed, Bruce Davis, Tony Hills, Dennis Dixon, Mike Humphal and Ryan Mundy). That one didn't turn out so great, and not one of them is still on the team.
Last edited by BradshawsHairdresser; 04-27-2013 at 10:11 PM.
I feel good. I like the Bell pick. The Steelers have been very clear they carefully choose him based on lots of scouting. Let's trust they did their homework and got the kid they wanted. No one really knows but there are a bunch of players that appear to have areal shot at playing for this team.
Can't argue with a draft, that fills:
Starting caliber S
Backup QB and viable potential starter down the road
This draft is solid as a rock. As usual, no bells and whistles.
Analysis: Steelers checked off needs and stuck to the draft board
April 28, 2013
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
They kept falling in order, almost in predictable fashion. For three days, the Steelers kept addressing their needs as though they were going through a checklist at the grocery store.
And their needs were many.
An outside edge rusher to generate better pressure on the quarterback? Check -- Jarvis Jones.
A feature back to replace Rashard Mendenhall? Check -- Le'Veon Bell.
A wide receiver to help make up for the loss of Mike Wallace? Check -- Markus Wheaton.
A safety to bolster the depth after the free-agent loss of backups Will Allen and Ryan Mundy?
Check -- Shamarko Thomas.
The Steelers have long maintained they stick to their draft board, taking the player with the highest grade and not reaching to fill any position. And general manager Kevin Colbert reaffirmed that stance Saturday when the three-day NFL draft came to a close.
But, after drafting nine players and addressing each of their biggest needs in the first four rounds, the Steelers did a deft job of sticking to the board and filling positions with players who have a chance to help make up for some of their significant losses.
Whether luck or coincidence, it seemed to work.
"We've done it the way we've always done it, to be honest with you," coach Mike Tomlin said. "It just so happens, particularly early in the draft, the guys that were the highest guys on our boards happened to be at the position of need.
"Obviously, when you're in the state we're in, you could take guys at every position. Sometimes it appears you took need, but obviously we could have used guys at a number of positions throughout this draft."
That, though, is what happens after an 8-8 season in which the Steelers missed the playoffs and saw them get passed in their division by the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers don't have the luxury of drafting the best available player and letting him develop for several years.
"Where we picked these guys, we never felt we reached for anybody," Colbert said. "They were where we wanted them to be and available when we were willing to take them. We don't feel we reached for anybody, including Shamarko."
The reference was to Syracuse safety Thomas, whom the Steelers acquired by trading their third-round pick in 2014 to the Cleveland Browns to get an additional pick in the fourth round.
The Steelers considered taking him in the third round, but decided instead to draft Wheaton. When they did, they made the decision to get an earlier pick in the fourth round to get Thomas, and started calling teams to see who might be interested in a trade.
The division-rival Browns, with the 111th overall pick, were willing to accommodate.
"They went from a fourth-round [pick] this year to a third-round next year," Colbert said. "They must have seen value in that."
How did the Steelers manage to stick to the board and still fill their needs?
The second round was a perfect example.
After taking Jones, a pass-rushing outside linebacker, in the first round, the Steelers thought they might have to address their need at wide receiver with their second pick.
But when the Houston Texans selected DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson with the 27th pick in the first round, the Steelers thought there was a big drop-off in talent from Hopkins to their next best wide receiver.
What's more, after no running backs were selected in the first round -- the first time in 50 years that has happened -- the Steelers thought there were several backs in the second round who had higher grades than any of the available wide receivers. And at the top of their list was Bell, whose stock has been rising since the combine.
The Steelers also liked Alabama's Eddie Lacy, but were scared off by the long-term health of a toe injury from the 2012 season.
So, instead of reaching for a wide receiver in the second round, the Steelers selected Bell, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound running back from Michigan State. They waited just one more round to take Wheaton, a highly productive four-year receiver from Oregon State who can play all three receiver positions and also lined up at running back.
Not only did the Steelers need to replace Wallace, their No. 1 receiver who signed with the Miami Dolphins in free agency, they also needed more bodies at the position. That's one of the reasons they drafted Justin Brown, quarterback Landry Jones' Oklahoma teammate, in the sixth round.
"We need competition and the receiver position was one of the ones going in we knew we wanted to add to the competition," offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. "We like the guys that we have here, but you get another young guy in here to compete and push the other guys, that's always a good thing in my opinion."