Is Clifton Brown of the Sporting News attempting to start a riot in Pittsburgh? How can you give the Steelers draft an "F"? It's not just Clifton Brown, all around the web and in print the national media is giving the Steelers average to below average grades and I for one am confused, but not surprised.
In February the national media praised all things Pittsburgh and wrote articles about why the record sixth Super Bowl championship is a result of the way Pittsburgh finds underrated players in the NFL draft and the competence of our main architect Kevin Colbert. So it's certainly strange to wake up and find the Steelers front office being slammed for a draft of players who aren't as highly rated in "their draft boards."
I guess as fans, draft junkies, and wanna-be GM's we love to torture ourselves directly after the draft by reading every grade and taking it to heart. The best advice I have is to have fun with the grades and take them with a very large grain of salt. I will be posting my NFL wide draft grades and will try to keep it humorous, light, and try not to criticize too much (expect for the Raiders of course).
Anyways here is a listing of those sites that have developed grades for our draft: I'll continue to update as more become available:
It's hard to have an impressive draft after you win the Super Bowl and pick 32nd. Defensive tackle Evander "Ziggy" Hood could be a nice pickup on a line that needed to get younger. Wideout Mike Wallace is an intriguing deep threat.
Urbik may be the most important selection because he addresses Pittsburgh's most pressing need. Wallace can provide the deep speed that departed with Nate Washington. But there was too much reaching in the second day.
The Steelers made a number of great value picks that filled needs in Day 2, including Mike Wallace (receiver for Hines Ward's eventual departure), Keenan Lewis (corner depth needed), Joe Burnett (more corner depth and return specialist) and Frank Summers (power back). A.Q. Shipley was a steal in Round 7. He could push Justin Hartwig out of the starting center gig.
Grade- 2.78 out of 4.0
First-round selection Evander Hood was a good pick because he should fit in well as a defensive tackle in the Steelers' system. I love third-round wide receiver Mike Wallace's speed. Cornerback Joe Burnett and running back Frank Summers were good selections in the fifth round. Defensive tackle Ra'Shon Harris could be a steal out of the sixth round.
Urbik could play right away, but will likely need some time to learn his craft because he lacks the pure athleticism to make up for mistakes. The bottom line is that this is a typical Steelers draft. Not particularly sexy, but very effective.
Steelers let the draft unfold and took the best player on their board, DT Evander "Ziggy" Hood. A need? Not really. Hood can get upfield and pressure from the inside and who has enough big people? Filled a need at CB with Keenan Lewis though some teams liked him more at S. Third-round OL Kraig Urbik will be a bit of a project. Tall but not overly bulky, he lacks the body type at OG and the skills for OT.
Best pick: Evander Hood was a nice pick in the first round because age is becoming an issue on their defensive line. Questionable move: Waiting until the third round to address the offensive line and doing so only once. Second-day gem: Fourth-round pick Mike Wallace is a speedy receiver who could help fill the void left by Nate Washington.