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2015 NFL Draft Grades: Grading the Pittsburgh Steelers selection of Jesse James

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Jesse James in the 2015 NFL Draft. Time to grade out the selection, what grade would you give this newest member of the Steelers.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

"He has the size, length, and power combination that you look for."

The following quote was given by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay about new Steelers tight end Jesse James, who was drafted in the fifth round on Saturday.

James has physical tools you can't coach. At 6'7'' and 254 pounds, James should be a nice red zone target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Sometimes lining up in the slot, James caught a tight end school record 11 touchdowns at Penn State.

James was credited in his draft bio for being an active receiver, meaning that James will continue to maneuver to make himself open down field. He also takes advantage of his height and wide frame, often using his of his size to make plays against smaller defenders.

James did not, however, stand out in terms of run blocking, and will also need to improve on adjusting to off target throws and making "the tough catch." His draft bio also stated that James will need to improve on his "mechanical" route running and release off the ball. Like fourth round pick Doran Grant, these all seem like coachable issues that the Steelers brass can work with.

One question ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper voiced Saturday was why James decided to forgo his senior season at Penn State. According to Kiper, another year at Penn State and continuing to work on his techniques would have served him well.

Given where he was drafted and the fact that the Steelers were looking to obtain a tight end, this selection makes sense. And given that the Steelers still have Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth on the roster, James will have time to mature and work on his mechanics. James is also built like Miller and Speath, and he can learn first hand how to improve on his run blocking skills by following their leads.

The other question to be asked is what other players were available that could have helped the Steelers at this selection? One player is Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett, who was still available when the Steelers drafted James.

BTSC Grade: B