Grading the Steelers 2008 Draft

I originally published this on my draft website,

During this quite period, I am going to take some time to grade the 2008 NFL Draft. We will look at the Pittsburgh Steelers draft today. When you look at this draft there is really only one pick that has had a siginificant impact on this team and that is first round pick Rashard Mendenhall. Outside of that only two players have had any role at all and they are Ryan Mundy and Dennis Dixon. Overall, this was not one of Colbert's best drafts and some could argue that it was his worst. 

Starters: 1 (Mendenhall)

Contributors: 3 (Mundy, Dixon, Hills)

Never Contributed: 2 (Davis, Humpal)

Undetermined: 1 (Sweed)

Round 1 Pick 23: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois: Pick Grade: A

This was by far the best pick of this draft. Mendenhall has been exactly what the Steelers needed as one of the best RB’s in the league. He has been a workhorse and is coming off his best season ever. His rookie season was ended as soon as it began but since then he has only gotten better. His carrying has improved and his vision has as well.

Round 2 Pick 23: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas: Pick Grade: D

What a waste of potential so far. Sweed had shown in his first three years an incredible ability to get open but he routinely dropped wide open passes. This past season he was injured the entire year due to a bum Achilles. He has one more season to try and prove himself. 

Round 3 Pick 25: Bruce Davis, OLB, UCLA: Pick Grade: F

 Davis was probably the worst pick of this draft. He never made an impact and is already off the team. Not much more I can say about this pick. 

Round 4 Pick 31: Tony Hills, OT, Texas:  Pick Grade: C-

Hills has been a decent backup but has not gotten much playing time. There are rumors that he could become the starting RT if Colon is not back. This is his last year to try and prove himself (if the Steelers even resign him).

Round 5 Pick 21: Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon:  Pick Grade: B

Dixon was brought in to try and become the backup QB. He has shown some potential to be that but has not fully proven it. He will likely be brought back this year and be given one more shot.

Round 6 Pick 22: Mike Humpal, OLB, Iowa: Pick Grade: C-

Humpal did not last a long time. He only was on the roster for one season I believe and did not make an impact. However, you don’t really expect much from rounds six and seven so the grade won’t be too harsh. 

Round 6 Pick 28Ryan Mundy, S, West Virginia: Pick Grade: A-

Mundy has been a pleasant surprise. This past season he did a great job filling in when Troy Polamalu got hurt. He could eventually replace Ryan Clark at FS. 

Overall Draft Grade: C-

The Steelers failed to take advantage of any of their picks from rounds two through four. They found a decent backup QB in round 5 and a good safety in round 6. The first round pick is all that saves this from an F grade. Mendenhall has been a beast and is only getting better. 

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