Draft Grades

1) Jarvis Jones- (A) - I think you have to give the Steelers brass an A here. We are incredibly thin at OLB as there is really no one behind Worilds who can give us quality snaps. Woodley always finds a way to miss a few games so Jones should get some time this year to show us what he's got. I really think he can be a fixture in this defense for years to come. He has the ability to get 10-12 sacks a year and he is excellent against the run. He has got great instincts and a feel for the game. He needs to develop a few more techniques to get to the QB; however, that shouldn't be a problem for him.

2) Le'Veon Bell- (C-) - I am not a huge fan of this pick here. Arthur Brown was still on the board and he could have been an excellent addition for us. I actually like how Bell plays but he is a third round pick. I understand the Broncos might have been looking to grab him in the 2nd but you cannot just start reaching for players who don't justify that pick. Bell should be a solid back for us. Maybe our feature back in a year or two but I never see him being a 1,000 yard rusher. The thing that scares me about him is the amount of touches he has had and the lack of good competition he has faced. This would have been a B+ pick in the third but not in the second.

3) Markus Wheaton - (B+) I like this pick a lot. He has great speed and good hands but his route running is what sets him apart from many receivers in this draft. He should be at least the slot receiver for us opening day and he may be able to beat Sanders out for the #2 at some point (I like Sanders in the slot better). The only reason this pick isn't an A is the fact that we now have 3 receivers under 6 foot. Big Ben really wants a receiver with some height.

4) Shamarko Thomas- (A+) - Love this kid and his story. He went from running around in a gang to being the leader of Syracuse's Defense. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and he absolutely loves to bring the wood. He falls into a perfect role with the Steelers where he can learn from 2 of the hardest hitting safeties in the league. He has to get a little better in coverage and his height may limit him a little but I think he will be a starter on our defense once we lose either Clark or Polamalu and will see time as a Special Teamer and will get some time as a safety when one of the big 2 go down.

4b) Landry Jones- (D-) - We could have used this pick to find a player that will actually contribute on some level. I would have loved to take a chance on Lattimore or even have looked for some Oline depth but now we are stuck with a guy that will sit on the sidelines for a few years and do nothing. He is just not that good and won't contribute to the team. Gradkowski is and will be our backup. My biggest hope is that Jones will show some promise in preseason games and that someone else will be willing to trade us a pick for him.

5) Terry Hawthorne - (B) - This is the definition of a Steeler pick. He is a very physical CB who needs some work in Man Coverage. I don't think he has anything to contribute to the team right now. He has 5 better CB's ahead of him on the depth chart- Taylor, Allen, Gay, Brown, and Victorian. He may see some time as a special teamer but I think he is a practice squad guy this year. However, he is the type of CB Lebeau loves and may get to be a solid player after learning from Ike Taylor who he resembles in an incredibly raw fashion.

6) Justin Brown (C-) - He has the height that Ben has been looking for but I don't think he has a shot at being a factor for the Steelers. He just seems to disappear for plays and even games at a time. I don't think he has the tools to beat out any of the receivers on this team. As for his play as a returner, I am not sure he will be able to make a difference there either. I think UDFA Reggie Dunn has a better chance of making the team as a returner.

6b) Vince Williams (B-) - A big ILB who can stuff the run. He will never be a factor on pass plays but could give our ILBs some rest on other downs. As a late 6th round pick, that's not bad. He is injury prone and doesn't have the ceiling of some other picks but he can be a useful backup for the Steelers

7) Nicholas Williams - (B+) - Never heard of him or the school he comes from. Apparently he is an athletic DE prospect. He will probably serve some time on the practice squad and the Steelers will hope they strike thunder and have a solid 3-4 DE. Can't ask for anything more than a guy with potential in the 7th round, although this guy has never seen Offensive Lineman like those he will face in the NFL.

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