Rd 1: Cordarrelle Patterson - WR
Rd 2: Sio Moore - ILB/OLB
Rd 3: Christine Michael - RB
Rd 4: Shamarko Thomas - SS
Rd 5: Lerentee McCray - OLB
Rd 6(a): Ryan Griffin - QB
Rd 6(b): Micah Hyde - CB
Rd 7: Vince Williams - ILB
If Bell was the Steelers guy and they felt they could not get him in the third, then grabbing him in the second is fine. I saw some buzz late where people where suggesting that Bell might actually be the best back in the draft. If so, it's going to be a great pick, regardless of whether he was selected 10 slots or so earlier than people would have liked.
As for the idea of "value" I'd much rather have Bell where the Steelers took him than Ball in any round. Maybe Bell would have been a better "value" in the third, but maybe the Steelers would not have him, and would instead have taken another back in the third, passing on Wheaton.
In the PC, it was said that Coach Kirby looks at the "low-light" film on a guy to see what he does in adverse circumstances and came away impressed by Bell. They also liked the way that he always seemed able to get positive yards when D's were keyed on him.
Nothing I've seen or read indicates to me that he was anything other than the Steelers top RB the whole time. In that case, they got him while the getting was good. I can understand thinking that he might have been a reach when he was taken because of draft projections. However, now that we have the whole thing behind us, it looks like a very good move to me.
I don't think he compares to Dwyer or Redman, because he's both of them in one back, plus he can catch the ball. If he he's good in pass protection then the Steelers found a back that basically has all the tools necessary to be a high quality NFL back (minus the top end speed). The Steelers evidently liked him enough for him to be their highest rated back and they took him while the taking was good. Redman and Dwyer weren't going to get the job done in the running game. They had their chance last year and failed; one or two games of 130 yards isn't enough. Dwyer came out of games after 3 or 4 consecutive carries and Redman didn't do much save for a couple games. Hopefully, Bell can reinvigorate the running game, add the pass catching dimension and get into the end zone when the Steelers get inside 10 yard line.
I would have rather drafted Arthur Brown, but the running game needs help. The Steelers may have found a 3 down back and that would be fine with me.
"Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll
People can find anything to complain about. At the end of the day, we don't know how good he'll be. That said, I'm very excited to see this class develop and I think Bell could be the most contributing member of the class in year one.