PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 04: Fourth round draft pick Alameda Ta'amu #95 of the Pittsburgh Steelers works out during their rookie minicamp at the Pittsburgh Steelers South Side training facility on May 4, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Bill Hanstock of SB Nation Seattle pointed out an interesting draft piece by CBS Sports' Rob Rang, noting former Washington Husky standout and Steelers fourth-round draft pick Alameda Ta'amu.
First, we must give credit where credit is due. This is perhaps the best write-up to encapsulate the drafting of Stanford OG David DeCastro:
If one was to go back and listen closely enough to the audio from Draft Day 2012, there might just be an audible groan on record that drifted from the other 31 NFL cities when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the clock with Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro still on the board.
Rang goes deeper than that into what looks like an outstanding Steelers draft class. He summarizes the feelings of many Steelers fans by basically saying the name Kevin Colbert has wrongly fallen out of collective memory of general manager success due to others with some success in the position.
While the Baltimore Ravens' Ozzie Newsome has earned more attention over the past decade and the Packers' Ted Thompson and Giants' Jerry Reese have generated a lot since -- all deservedly so, by the way -- no talent evaluator has enjoyed any greater success over the past decade than Colbert. By once again playing the draft as it came to him with a Best-Player-Available strategy, Colbert and Co. once again were among the big winners in the 2012 draft ... and it didn't end with the Stanford All-American at No. 24 overall.
The paradigm in Pittsburgh has changed somewhat over the past two years. With a veteran and talent-laden team for much of the past decade, the Steelers rookies haven't been expected to contribute much immediately. Age and injuries have shifted that a little bit - WR Mike Wallace getting the ball often his rookie year, OT Marcus Gilbert starting 14 games in 2011 and DE Cameron Heyward playing extensive snaps toward the end of last season for example.
This class already has one starter penciled in - DeCastro - and second-round pick Mike Adams will compete for the starting left tackle position. RB Chris Rainey will battle with a few other younger running backs for snaps and could wind up the team's kick and punt returner.
Ta'amu, according to Rang, could be a starter in his own right by the end of the year.
With the soon-to-be 35-year-old (Casey) Hampton coming off a torn ACL, Ta'amu could be in line for significant playing time immediately.
The Steelers don't rebuild, they reload. And it looks like the clip is getting full once again.