Grading the Steelers 2011 draft today

Karl Walter

CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler gives the Steelers a C+ grade in 2014 for players drafted in 2011.

This draft is the quintessential example of why electing to not rush to a grade - or at least pointing out grading is based on needs addressed or likely potential of certain players - a draft quickly after it is made.

Maybe even not after one or two years.

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler looked back at the Steelers' draft of 2011. He gave it a C+ grade, and a ranking of 19 of 32 for the league.

The Steelers 2011 draft was as follows:

1 (31) DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
2 (63) OT Marcus Gilbert, Florida
3 (95) CB Curtis Brown, Texas
4 (128) CB Cortez Allen, The Citadel 
5 (162) LB Chris Carter, Fresno State
6 (196) G Keith Williams, Nebraska
7 (232) RB Baron Batch, Texas Tech

The grades themselves (as teachers will certainly like to hear) are obviously subjective. On one hand, you do have Curtis Brown, a player who failed to compete for playing time due to injury and inability. Chris Carter is little more than a back-up, but it's unclear what exactly is expected out of a fifth round pick.

The real grade-changer here is "Wreck It" Heyward. He broke out in 2013, largely boosting the value of this draft for the Steelers. Gilbert, though, minus injury, has started the vast majority of his career, and while he cannot be described as exceptional in comparison to many of his peers, he's certainly not a bad pick, either.

Allen could be the Heyward of the Steelers in 2014. If that's the case, getting two outstanding starters and a solid starter in one draft can't be seen as "average-plus."

We'll have to see if that happens, but either way, there are still three Steelers' starters from this draft on the roster.

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