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Thread: Grade for Zumwalt

  1. #1

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    Grade for Zumwalt

    By Curt Popejoy

    By the time you get to the sixth round of the NFL draft, it becomes increasingly more difficult to understand what a team is doing. As team boards start to disintegrate, a franchise like the Pittsburgh Steelers have a tendency to go off script.

    With pick No. 192 the Steelers opted to draft inside linebacker Jordan Zumwalt from UCLA. If you are asking yourself, “Why?” don’t feel alone. I accept that the talent in this draft is starting to dwindle, but after taking Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round, the Zumwalt pick makes very little sense.

    Even more than that, if drafting Shazier was because the current starting inside linebacker, Vince Williams wasn’t athletic enough, why add a player who is no more athletic? Nothing about this pick makes any sense.

    There are many directions the Steelers could have gone with this pick. So, after such a strong start, it is a shame to see things falling apart here at the end. Pittsburgh could have hit on some real high ceiling players at this point. Instead they went with a kid who might not even make the final roster.

    Grade: D
    A D. Not good. What were they thinking? They just seem to get more drunk as the draft goes.

  2. #2

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    Nothing lower than a B...

    NFL Draft Individual Grades:

    15. Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State: B Grade
    Talente prospects tend to fall to the Steelers - David DeCastro and then Jarvis Jones - but that wasn't the case this year. That's fine because the Steelers are still making a decent selection. Ryan Shazier is a speedy linebacker who will upgrade the middle of the defense. Pittsburgh's defense was very slow last year, so Shazier was taken to compensate for that.

    46. Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame: A Grade
    The best pick in the second round thus far. Stephon Tuitt was once seen as a first-round prospect. He struggled in 2013, but only because he put on a lot of bad weight. He has a lot of natural talent though, so if Pittsburgh can coach him up, it'll finally find the answer at defensive end that it has been looking for this entire time. The Texans were considering Tuitt at No. 33, so the Steelers are getting great value.

    97. Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State: B+ Grade
    Pro Football Talk had Dri Archer in the first round of their mock draft, so they must love this value for the Steelers. In reality, Archer was always seen as a third-round prospect. This is a solid choice, as Pittsburgh didn't have anyone on its roster who resembled what Archer will bring to the table. He can serve as a Darren Sproles-type weapon for Ben Roethlisberger.

    118. Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson: A+ Grade
    There's no reason Martavis Bryant should have lasted this long. He's a freak-of-nature receiver who could evolve into a Pro Bowl-caliber talent if coached right. He's very raw, so he has lots of work in front of him, but the Steelers are getting a steal in the middle of the fourth round while filling a need.

    157. Shaq Richardson, CB, Arizona: B+ Grade

    Shaq Richardson was seen by some as a fourth-rounder, so this is decent value. Richardson is a tall corner, which Pittsburgh likes, and he happens to fill a huge need on the roster. The Steelers had to improve this area earlier.

    173. Wesley Johnson, C/OT/G, Vanderbilt: B+ Grade
    Some figured the Steelers would go offensive line earlier, but that wasn't very realistic because it wasn't such a need. Depth had to be addressed though, and Wesley Johnson can play most of the positions on the front. Solid pick.

    192. Jordan Zumwalt, ILB, UCLA: B+ Grade
    I thought the Steelers would select two inside linebackers in the draft, given their depth issues. Jordan Zumwalt makes sense for that reason. He also provides some decent value, as some viewed him as a Round 4-5 prospect.

    215. Daniel McCullers, NT, Tennessee: A+ Grade
    I don't understand why Daniel McCullers fell this far. He is far too talented to go at the very end of the sixth round. The Steelers are getting a steal all while addressing a position of need. Their fans have to be thrilled with this selection.

    230. Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass: B Grade
    Heath Miller doesn't have much time left, so the Steelers were expected to take a tight end. This is later than I expected, but Rob Blanchflower fits the range.

  3. #3

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    He instantly improves special teams. Value was there for him apparently.
    1. CB – Marcus Peters – Washington – 6/190
    2. OG – Josue Matias – Florida State – 6-6/320
    3. OLB – Geneo Grissom – Oklahoma – 6-4/250
    4. DL – Ellis McCarthy – UCLA – 6-5/330
    5. TE – Jeff Heurman – Ohio State – 6-5/255
    6. FS – Adrian Amos – Penn State – 6/200
    7. DT – Terry Williams – East Carolina – 6-1/340

    DB – Justin Cox – Mississippi St. – 6-2/190
    OLB – Davis Tull – Chattanooga – 6-2/242

  4. #4
    Pro Bowler

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    I had a 4th rd grade on Zumwalt
    1/28-Rashaan Evans=ILB-Alabama
    2/60-Jessie Bates-S-Wake Forrest
    3/92-Dorrance Armstrong-OLB-Kansas
    5/148-Bo Scarbrough-RB-Alabama
    5/165-Jack Cichy-ILB-Wisconsin
    7/220-Jeff Badet-WR-Oklahoma
    7/246-Steven Parker-S-Oklahoma

  5. #5

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    This could turn out to be a fantastic draft class...or, in three years, only a couple of them still on the team. Thinking back over the last five or six drafts, I remember how optimistic we were each year...but the results haven't really been commensurate with the optimism. Hopefully we get 2-3 starters and a couple more solid contributors out of this year's pool.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick beats View Post
    A D. Not good. What were they thinking? They just seem to get more drunk as the draft goes.
    Do you just make this stuff up or do you spend hours looking for anything that validates your negative view of the world?

  7. #7

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    Another set of grades and I don't see anything close to a "D"

    4th round- Martavis Bryant, wide receiverIn the 4th round the Steelers nabbed a receiver who seemingly has no ceiling. Bryant is 6'4 and ran a 4.42 40 at the combine. In short, he's a physical marvel born to play wide receiver in the NFL. He flashed all sorts of talents in college last year, from after the catch elusiveness, to climbing the ladder and high pointing the ball (cough cough, red zone!). However, he has a fair few marks against his name. Immaturity, unpolished route running and concentration/drop issues rank top of the list. Bryant is extremely raw no doubt about it, he will need a good amount of coaching before he contributes significantly at the NFL level.
    Really like this pick, a lot of bang for the Steelers buck in the 4th round. They grab a wide receiver that can not only be plugged in at red zone situations almost immediately, but may in a couple of years' time develop into a quality starter. Lots of athleticism, lots of potential...a theme throughout the 2014 NFL draft for the Steelers
    Draft grade- A
    5th round- Shaquille Richardson, cornerback
    Richardson is a playmaking corner back who has never been afraid to jump routes for the big pick. Check out this play included [URL=""]here[/URL] in this breakdown, it's ridiculously impressive. He is lean and athletic, weighing in at around 195 pounds and running a 4.42 at his pro day. Richardson has lacked discipline in his time at college, that penchant for jumping routes actually got him benched for a portion of time. He is very lean, raising questions about his ability to play the run (long a staple of LeBeau corners), and that coupled with some questionable character issues puts somewhat of an asterix beside Richardson's names. He appears to have improved his all round game last year in college, but it is clear he has a lot of growing, and perhaps weight lifting to do before he is ready to start in the NFL.
    This is really a typical Steelers 5th round cornerback pick, an athletic and undeveloped player who if he has the right attitude can be moulded by the coaching staff like so many before him. Ideally the Steelers could have drafted someone who was at least a little more ready to start but by the 5th round those players don't really exist. Really like how they've went out and got a ball hawk as well, I hope if Richardson makes the team he keeps that gutsy, route jumping attitude. A lot of question marks as well though.
    Draft grade- B-
    5th round- Wesley Johnson, offensive tackle
    Wesley Johnson is an athletic guy, built for a zone blocking scheme the likes of which new Oline coach Mike Munchak employs. He's quick and agile for a guy his size, allowing him to get to the second level or be used as a puller on running plays. He has a reputation as a vocal, passionate leader which is something no team can have enough of. He is however quite deficient in the strength department, and that is something he will have to seriously work on because a good bull rush currently would have him eating dirt. He's had experience all across the offensive line, which adds a great deal to what he can bring to the Steelers. He's also been extremely durable, something I'm sure the Steelers would like to see in one of their o-lineman for once.
    Draft grade- B+
    A really good, solid pick here with what appears to be some good value. Johnson fits a zone running scheme well, and has multiple position flexibility which is something all teams treasure in their o-lineman. He'll need to hit the weight room before he sees any playing time, and bulking up and gaining sufficient strength is no sure thing. Also appears to have the intangibles you'd like to see.
    6th round- Jordan Zumalt, linebacker
    A fiery attitude, passion and overachievement are what stand out for linebacker Jordan Zumalt. He bucks the trend of Steelers picks over the weekend; he is not a particularly impressive athlete, in both his physical makeup and his movement. He doesn't seem to offer much of anything in coverage, and his lack of athleticism hinders him in other areas of the game as well. What Zumalt appears to have, and this can't be disqualified, is a huge amount of heart. Coaches and teammates note that he has an incredible love for the game, and brings a high football IQ and a lot of passion onto the field every time he plays.
    I don't know whether Zumalt will ever develop into a starter for the Steelers, but I believe he was drafted with special teams in mind and his competitiveness and effort will be a welcome addition. Special teams have been in need of a boost, so addressing it in the late rounds is a smart move. At the end of the day, you just can't have enough guys like this in your team, because passion is infectious. If he blossoms into a starting calibre linebacker, then that's just gravy.
    Draft Grade- B
    6th Round- Daniel McCullers, defensive tackle
    An actual man mountain of a man, Daniel McCullers is a behemoth. Standing at 6'7, 350 pounds he was born to play the nose tackle position. Each one of his arms is longer than a giraffe's neck and his wingspan is just slightly smaller than that of Air Force One. His sheer mass alone should go a long way toward sealing up two gaps in the middle of the Steelers base defense. He's also very durable for a guy his size, having never missed a game in college. He has underachieved a little this far, exhibiting bad technique such as poor pad level and hand placement. He'll also likely never offer anything from a pass rushing stand point and his ability to move laterally is questionable.
    I LOVE this pick; it might be my favourite so far. Almost all of McCullers problems can be coached up and eradicated. John Mitchell and the boys can teach him the mechanics, they can teach him proper pad level, they can teach him correct leverage and hand placement and they can teach him how to avoid being sealed off. What they cannot teach anyone else is how to be 6'7 and 350 pounds. Furthermore, McCullers carry's his weight well, which is important for a big guy. I think if you give it a couple of years, and some quality coaching, McCullers could be the cog that makes the Steelers base defense tick, because he'll be eating up three gaps, not two.
    Draft grade- A+
    7th round- Rob Branchflower, tight end
    Blanchflower is a solid Y tight end, a decent and very willing blocker in both the running and the passing game whilst showing some ability as a receiver. He was a two-time captain in school as well, earning a reputation as a leader. However he is an average/below average athlete with poor route running and inconsistent hands. He'll also be 24 years old before the season starts.
    The Steelers like having two tight ends on the field, especially when they are competent in-line blockers. The hope is that Blanchflower develops into a competent blocker whilst providing a short area receiving option. He seems eerily similar to Matt Spaeth in that respect actually. He sounds like another leader who may be well suited to special teams. It sounds like Blanchflower will require a lot of coaching before he ever sees the field. I'm not so sure the Steelers couldn't have got someone better here.
    Draft grade- C

  8. #8
    Pro Bowler

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    Looks like sick cherry-picks his graders. Why am I not surprised? Or, it could be just a coincidence that he doesn't mention that which conflicts with his agenda. Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket!

  9. #9
    Pro Bowler

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    So sick beats....I am curious, what team had a good draft this year?

    Is all the negativity towards anything steelers your "drug" or "high" that you get? Are the Steelers that bad in EVERYTHING they do?

    You can nit pick any teams' draft. I think the the internet causes people to find places to complain moan anonymously without any repercussions. Trolling is an interesting phenomenon

  10. #10
    Pro Bowler

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    Everywhere I read...the Steelers got a B for their draft. Last I checked, a B is really good, no?
    2018 Steelers draft picks
    RD1- Terrell Edmunds, S; Virginia Tech
    RD2- James Washington, WR; Oklahoma State
    RD3a- Mason Rudolph, QB; Oklahoma State
    RD3b- Chukwuma Okorafor, OT; Western Michigan
    RD5a- Marcus Allen, S; Penn State
    RD5b- Jaylen Samuels, RB; NC State
    RD7- Josh Frazier, DT; Alabama


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