5 things we learned about the Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft

Brett Deering

The Steelers had a draft that appears to be focused on character and leadership as much as physical ability. While there are still questions that remain, many were answered in just the last four days.

We've had even more time to digest the Steelers' nine selections, as well as their undrafted free agent signings.

Much was written last year about a transition period for the Steelers, and one general concept this draft revealed was the transition really started in 2013. And they're off to an excellent start.

The Steelers are no longer avoiding the development of a young quarterback

Despite the claims of some, fourth-round pick Landry Jones is not there to usurp Ben Roethlisberger. But the combination of developing a talented back-up quarterback and providing a little healthy competition - two things the team absolutely was not doing with Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch backing up Big Ben - could help this team in a variety of ways. The obvious fact that Roethlisberger has missed four games in the last two years and has played poorly in multiple others while knowingly injured is enough to suggest a multiple-game substitute is simply preparing for a likely scenario.

The Steelers are going to rebuild their leadership core

Perhaps losing the core group from the Super Bowl teams was a bit too much for the Steelers to handle. Maybe that's still a cross to bear. But reading over reports from several of the Steelers' draft picks in this class, two things stand out. Leadership and character. Jarvis Jones was told he could never play again. You can see on each snap he plays as if that's still in his head, and he isn't going to short-change the opportunity he has. Shamarko Thomas had trouble in his younger days, then lost both of his parents in a nine-month span while he was in school. He nearly quit so he could take care of his five younger siblings. That's a guy playing for more than just his ego. Markus Wheaton and Landry are both highly productive college players who quietly lead by example and have impeccable character.

It's obvious the Steelers wanted to rebuild the leadership base as well as their sagging depth chart in this draft.

Answers regarding the depth on the offensive line are still upcoming

It's been fairly considered by many that Kelvin Beachum could move inside, bolstering depth along the interior. With no offensive linemen taken in the draft - the first time that's happened since 2003 - the Steelers could be doing one of three things. One, begin to train Beachum in four positions, two, expecting to find a roster member from the six offensive linemen they signed as UDFAs, or three, still have a move left to make this offseason. It could be all three. Either way, even without a first or second round pick being used on an offensive linemen for the first time since 2009, those positions will still be a main topic of conversation come training camp.

They are not satisfied with their running backs

The combination of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer was appealing enough to sign both of them to $1.3 million tenders in restricted free agency. It was not appealing enough to keep them from signing LaRod Stephens-Howling and drafting Le'Veon Bell. Something's got to give, as this team has a huge roster of running backs. Let the battle begin, because someone has to go.

Young Money has turned into Cash Back

The selection of another pair of receivers in the third (Wheaton) and sixth (Justin Brown) rounds is coincidentally identical to what the Steelers did in 2010 (Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown). But the team-oriented approach of both of them, by many accounts, makes them seem more like the Steelers' rate of investment on them, as opposed to the Young Money crew of former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, Brown and Sanders, seems higher. The bar for topping that group - Wallace in particular - from a production standpoint seems high, but they seem more like the "right" kinds of receivers for the team, the community and Todd Haley's offense.


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker