Why Mike Tomlin hasn't lived up to his predecessors

In the Chuck Noll era and the Bill Cowher era, one thing has been synonymous with the Pittsburgh Steelers: Building through the Draft. Chuck Knoll built a 4-time Super Bowl Champion team by being a master drafter. Bill Cowher did the same and it eventually led to a Super Bowl XL victory. Tomlin hasn't exactly lived up to that legacy. His Super Bowls were more so because he inherited a great team rather with him building it himself. He has had some good picks, but the majority of the players he has drafted are gone; either with a different team or out of the league altogether. Lets take a look at his Drafts (the players still on the team are in bold and those with an * have made at least one Pro Bowl with the Steelers):

2007 NFL Draft

1st Round - ILB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State

2nd Round - OLB LaMarr Woodley, Michigan*

3rd Round - TE Matt Spaeth, Minnesota (now with the Chicago Bears)

4th Round - P Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor (Free Agent)

4th Round - DT Ryan McBean, Oklahoma State (now with the Baltimore Ravens)

5th Round - G Cameron Stephenson, Rutgers (Free Agent)

5th Round - CB William Gay, Louisville (now with the Arizona Cardinals)

7th Round - WR Dallas Baker, Florida (now with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL)

1 Pro Bowler, 2 Starters, 2/8 still on the team. Grade - C+

2008 NFL Draft

1st Round - RB Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois

2nd Round - WR Limas Sweed, Texas (now with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL)

3rd Round - DE/OLB Bruce Davis, UCLA (now with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL)

4th Round - OT Tony Hills, Texas (now with the Indianapolis Colts)

5th Round - QB Dennis Dixon, Oregon (now with the Baltimore Ravens)

6th Round - LB Mike Humpal, Iowa (Free Agent)

6th Round - S Ryan Mundy, West Virginia

0 Pro Bowlers, 1 Starter, 1 contributor, 2/7 still on the team. Grade - F

2009 NFL Draft

1st Round - DT Evander "Ziggy" Hood, Missouri

2nd Round - G Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin (now with the Buffalo Bills

3rd Round - WR Mike Wallace, Ole Miss*

4th Round - CB Keenan Lewis, Oregon State

5th Round - CB Joe Burnett, Central Florida (now with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL)

6th Round - DT RaShon Harris, UNLV (now with the Houston Texans)

7th Round - C A.Q. Shipley, Penn State (now with the Indianapolis Colts)

7th Round - TE David Johnson, Arkansas State

1 Pro Bowler, 3 starters, 1 contributor, 4/8 still on the team. Grade - B

2010 NFL Draft

1st Round - C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida*

2nd Round - OLB Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech

3rd Round - WR Emmanuel Sanders, SMU

4th Round - OLB Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State (now with the Tennessee Titans)

5th Round - T/G Chris Scott, Tennessee (now with the Buffalo Bills)

5th Round - CB Crezdon Butler, Clemson (now with the Buffalo Bills)

5th Round - ILB Stevenson Sylvester, Utah

6th Round - RB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech

6th Round - WR Antonio Brown, Central Michigan*

7th Round - DT Doug Worthington, Ohio State (now with the Washington Redskins)

2 Pro Bowlers, 3 starters, 3 contributors, 6/10 still on the team. Grade - B+

2011 NFL Draft

1st Round - DT Cameron Heyward, Ohio State

2nd Round - OT Marcus Gilbert, Florida

3rd Round - CB Curtis Brown, Texas

4th Round - CB Cortez Allen, The Citadel

5th Round - OLB Chris Carter, Fresno State

6th Round - G Keith Williams (now with the Buffalo Bills)

7th Round - RB Baron Batch, Texas Tech

0 Pro Bowlers, 1 starter, 4 contributers, 1 Practice Squad member 6/7 still on the team. Grade - T.B.D

2012 NFL Draft

1st Round - G David DeCastro, Stanford

2nd Round - OT Mike Adams, Ohio State

3rd Round - ILB Sean Spence, Miami(FL)

4th Round - DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington

5th Round - RB Chris Rainey, Florida

7th Round - WR Toney Clemons, Colorado (now with the Jacksonville Jaguars)

7th Round - TE David Paulson, Oregon

7th Round - CB Terrence Fredderick, Texas A&M (now with the New York Giants)

7th Round - T/G Kelvin Beachum, SMU

0 Pro Bowlers, 1 Starter, 4 contributors, 1 Inactive, 1 Practice Squad member, 7/9 still on the team. Grade - T.B.D

Final Conclusion

4 Pro Bowlers, 11 Starters, 13 contributors, 1 Inactive, 2 Practice Squad members, 27/49 still left on the team. Final Grade - B-

While Mike Tomlin has seemed to get his Drafting together as of late, he needs to step it up big time if he wants these guys to continue contending years into the future, especially with mainstays like Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Larry Foote, and Casey Hampton getting up there in age. The next 5 years will be the true test of whether Mike Tomlin is worthy of being a Head Coach in the NFL.

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