If nothing else, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock heaped lavish praise on the Steelers draft class. Not just one or two players, mind you, the entire class. And with good reason, despite the cat-calls of many whom I'm sure will be trying to establish some kind of connection with Mayock and the Steelers. While it's easy and usually convenient for anti-Steelers groups everywhere to act as if Mayock receives some kind of financial incentive to praising the Steelers, the more likely scenario is he does, in fact, like the Steelers draft.
It's hard to argue with it. In his words:
"I liked every player the Steelers drafted," Mayock said. "They got two players that were first-round picks with David DeCastro and (second-rounder) Mike Adams for their biggest position of need, offensive line. I love Sean Spence. (Alameda) Ta'amu is a big need at nose tackle. And Chris Rainey ... I mean, LaMicahel James, Isaiah Pead ... Chris Rainey is in that conversation."
It's way too early, in my mind, to grade a draft less than 24 hours after it ends based on anything concrete, but from a projection sense, the Steelers got two players many viewed as first round talents at two top positions of need (OG David DeCastro and OT MIke Adams), along with a good prospect at nose tackle (Alameda Ta'amu), another position of need.
They picked up RB Chris Rainey in the 5th round, a player with the skill set and background to become a strong contributor in his first year. SB Nation Denver writer Jon Woods told us 7th round WR Toney Clemons could be a surprise player after strong play in the second half of 2011 in Colorado. They added Oregon TE David Paulson, Texas A&M CB Terrence Frederick and SMU OG Kelvin Beachum with the remaining three picks they had in the seventh round.
Steelers 2012 Draft Class
Round 1 - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Round 2 - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Round 3 - Sean Spence, LB, Miami
Round 4 - Alameda Ta'amu, Washington
Round 5 - Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
Round 7a - Toney Clemons, WR, Colorado
Round 7b - David Paulson, TE, Oregon
Round 7c - Terrence Frederick, Texas A&M
Round 7d - Kelvin Beachum, OG, SMU