Steelers rookie report card after 18-13 loss to Giants

Justin K. Aller

Looking at the Steelers' rookies, drafted and undrafted of note, following the team's preseason-opening loss to the Giants, some were noticeable in good ways, but not all of them.


Jarvis Jones (1st round) - B

Jones recovered the easiest fumble of his career, and put some pressure on the passer. He made a nice re-direction turn to chase down a ball carrier on a third down. He got beat to the edge on another. A good performance overall.

Markus Wheaton (3rd) - B-

Wheaton made a great catch-that-wasn't on a long sideline throw by quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. Wheaton was initially given the catch, but it was rightly overturned upon review. Would have been a great catch. Also made a nice run on an end-around. He planted his foot, made a hard cut up the field and got a first down. He also dove pointlessly but accidentally into the legs of Stevenson Sylvester well after the punt returner had been tackled (Sylvester left the game afterward and didn't return). He also had a drop.

Shamarko Thomas (4th) - C

Thomas didn't particularly stand out, nor did he get reps with the first team. He didn't appear to make any mistakes, and the defense played well when he was in there.

Landry Jones (4th) - D

Bonehead safety aside on his first snap (the blocking scheme appeared to suggest the run was further out to the right than where Jones aimed his handoff to Baron Batch), Jones looked hesitant and uncomfortable with what he saw. He finished 5-for-9 for 38 yards and looked worse than those numbers suggest.

Vince Williams (6th) - A

Perhaps the least expected outstanding performance. Williams dominated the fourth quarter, notching a sack and picking up a sack, a tackle-for-loss and a quarterback pressure on the night. If he plays like that in the Steelers' remaining three preseason games, he'll be very hard to cut.

Justin Brown (6th) - B

Jones certainly made sure he got opportunities. Brown was targeted by Jones a game-high six times, coming up with four receptions including a really nice grab of an errant throw on the sideline. His size is a definite advantage.

Undrafted (of note)

Alan Baxter - B

Should have recovered the fumble Adrian Robinson got in the end zone, so perhaps it worked out for the best. Explosive off the edge, Harrison-like build was hard to miss.

J.D. Woods - A

Three targets, two catches, both of which were impressive. He looked the part, too, tall and athletic. Entered the longshot race for the fifth WR spot.

Terence Garvin - B+

Another strong night from a Steelers linebacker, Garvin showed he's a competitor.

Brian Arnfelt - C

Reggie Dunn - C+

Made a nice move on the one punt he had a chance to return. Based on the special teams as a whole Saturday, they all will be working particularly hard this week.

Derek Moye - C+

Made the most of a few chances provided by erratic quarterbacks. Looked fairly decent.

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