Psycho's official Grade for the Steelers draft is...B+

Now that the drama is over, it all seems anti-climatic doesn't it? The anxiousness and suspense of who the Steelers are going to take with pick #192 or #215 is something only die-hard draft fans can truly appreciate. For the many of you out there who actually know who Mr. Irrelevant Lonnie Ballentine is, or have watched the tape on Rob Blanchflower, it almost seems like the party is over (well, that is until they announce the UDFA signees later tonight or tomorrow). I'm sure we all have a "grade" in mind for the Steelers draft, so here's mine now that we have the complete picture to look at:

1.15 ILB Ryan Shazier (A-) I'll be the first to admit that I expected the pick to be Dennard after the Bears took Fuller. I even thought they might trade down with the Jets and get him. I expected a CB in the 1st one way or another, but if they were going to go with a LB, I thought Shazier was the best fit. He gives them a kind of speed they've never had at LB (Timmons is "only" a 4.6 guy vs. Shazier's sub 4.4). Initially, he will probably see time in the sub packages as more of a blitz/cover guy. Butler said he'll be a Mack which means they may eventually move Timmons over to Buck. They needed playmakers on D and Shazier can certainly be one for the new wave of Steeler defenders.

2.46 DE Stephon Tuitt (A) Many thought he could even be the pick @ 15 and not many expected him to be there @ 46. I had a feeling if he got by a few of the 34 teams he might slip, but when Hageman went to the Falcons @ 37 I started to worry. Tuitt is a prototype 34DE in the Steelers system at 6'5" 310 who can move inside as one of the 2 DLs In the sub-packages. We must temper expectations a bit because he will need work at both the point-of-attack and pass rushing skills before he can become a starter. However, given the depth chart situation and Tuitt's past experience in a 34, I would expect him to contribute even sooner than both Hood and Heyward.

3.97 RB/KR Dri Archer (B) This pick received a lot of flack from Steeler nation (as well as BTSC) because many thought he should've gone later on, and were concerned about his size (5'8" 173). However, when you run a 4.25 they have to catch you first before they can tackle you. Archer can be a multi-purpose weapon for them as a scatback and a KR. He will also probably see touches as a WR on bubble screens, and maybe some time in the slot. Don't expect him to be a big part of the O, just a piece of the puzzle. The interesting thing here is they probably could've had a similar player in D'Antony Thomas (who went to KC at 4.124) with their 4.118 pick, and took at CB like Jaylen Watkins, Bashaud Breeland, or Ross Cockrell at 3.97. Those three were all gone ahead of 4.118.

4.118 WR Martavis Bryant (B) This pick drew unfortunate immediate comparisons to Limas Sweed. Interestingly, Sweed was a more accomplished prospect than Bryant (which is scary). That being said, Braynt's tantalizing combo of size/speed makes him an attractive prospect that doesn't need to start or be heavily counted on as a rookie. He can grow and mature and hopefully get some mentoring from vets Moore and DHB. He has the upside of a #2 or even #1 WR in time, but will likely be the #5 as a rookie.

5.157 CB Shaquille Richardson (B) "Finally!" was the thought of most of us following the draft live. in they finally took a CB! Most of us thought they'd grab a CB sooner. Richardson is a guy who Carnell Lake knows well from his UCLA days and knows what he's capable of. He has the size/speed comparable to that of the top CBs in this draft. He just needs to keep his head on straight and do what Lake asks him to do. With good mentoring from Ike, I think Richarson has a shot at being a decent CB...they better hope so, because they don't have much else in terms of talent to develop at this point.

5.173 OL Wesley Johnson (A-) At this point in the draft he provides good value. Mainly a LT, Johnson is versatile and can play G and C as well. Some even projected him to move inside in the NFL. I wouldn't be so quick to say he can't be a LT for the Steelers because I think he can be...especially in their new zone scheme. He's like a taller, more athletic Beachum and I think he'll get plenty of reps at LT and LG and maybe even some at C. On tape, Johnson looked good against Clowney, which says a lot about his upside. I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up being the Steelers starting LT or LG down the road. My favorite day 3 pick.

6.192 LB Jordan Zumwalt (B) Many responded to this pick by saying that he will become a "fan favorite" because of his aggressive on-field style of play. I think that's true, however, fans must temper their expectations of him. For the moment, I'd say he's mainly a ST player. Butler said he sees him mainly as an ILB, which makes the pick slightly odd since they already took Shazier and needed more OLB depth. I think Zumwalt will get a look at OLB too since versatility will be a key for him making the team. He reminds me of former Steeler LB Pat Bailey who was a ST ace and backup LB. I think Zumwalt might get a shot at some sub package ILB in addition to learning OLB, but I think he might struggle a bit in the base D at ILB. If he "lights 'em up" on the ST coverage units, though, he will indeed become an instant hit.

6.215 NT Daniel McCullers (B) Pretty sure at 6'7" 352 he's the biggest player the Steelers ever drafted. Size is mainly what he has going for him because he doesn't move well. At that size though, just being a hard to move object can be useful in stuffing the middle. The advantage he has over typical NTs is his height. In the Steelers scheme, that height can be used get his hands up to disrupt the middle and bat down passes. On the flip side, his height can (and has been) a disadvantage when he gets up too high out of his stance and allows blockers to get under him. This is a big part why he wasn't as dominant at the collegiate level as a guy his size should be...he often plays too high (and I don't mean pot). I think he might struggle early on, but if Mitchell can get him to use his size to his advantage, he could be a massive pain in the a$$ for opposing C's and G's.

7.30 TE Rob Blanchflower (B+) As late round TEs go, he's not a bad fit for what they Steelers look for. He is versatile in that he lined up in-line, as a FB, an H-back, and in the slot. He won't beat anyone with his speed (think post injury Heath), but he can catch and block. He could end up pushing Paulson off the roster and be used in a similar way that David Johnson was.

All-in-all this looks like a solid draft that hit all of the positions of "need". My biggest concern is still CB where they may be in trouble in 2015 (if not this year). They also didn't really get a true OLB for depth, but there's still some UDFAs who can fit. 6 of the 9 picks were in for a pre-draft visit, which is typical of their process these days. Look for a few others to be signed as UDFAs if they haven't been already.
Log In Sign Up

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,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

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.




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.