Let's be honest, grading a NFL Draft class it beyond ridiculous, especially when the draft ended just 24 hours ago. However, that won't stop the likes of ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and a million other football outlets throw grades out like candy on Halloween immediately after the 3-day event.
However, what we try to do at BTSC is to grade our draft picks by potential. No one knows what these picks will develop into. Some might be Pro Bowlers who help the Pittsburgh Steelers win their 7th Lombardi trophy, while others might fail to even make the team in 2016, not to mention injuries which can derail a rookie campaign -- we are looking at you Senquez Golson.
Nonetheless, fans look to Mel Kiper Jr. for his insight and analysis on draft picks, and we have his grades for the 2016 Steelers draft class.
Top needs: CB, S, DL, WR
Not everyone agrees with me, but I've been pretty clear that I think the secondary is the biggest need area for the Steelers -- who are a Super Bowl contender if they get things tightened up a bit back there -- and apparently someone in that front office agrees with me. Artie Burns fills an obvious need at cornerback (where Senquez Golson is also returning), but he's not as good as William Jackson III, who Cincinnati grabbed just one spot earlier. I really like Sean Davis and he can be plugged in at safety, though I would have taken Justin Simmons at that spot. Defensive line help was a need, and Javon Hargrave has a chance to be really good. They added useful depth at offensive tackle and a potential future starter in Jerald Hawkins, and Tyler Matakevich is a good player who has a chance to make the team as a seventh-rounder. The value wasn't amazing, but they sure hit needs and got better, at least on paper
The last sentence might be the most important of that entire paragraph. The Steelers didn't hit home runs in this draft class, but they hit plenty of extra-base hits. Anyone who knows baseball will tell you that if you string together some extra-base hits you will score some runs.
Let's be honest, the Steelers didn't need a ton of players to step in and start from Day 1. Teams who require those players usually have much larger issues on their hands. The Steelers are Super Bowl contenders for a reason, and if they can get contributions from just a few of these rookies it could propel the team to new heights in 2016.