Throughout each day of the 2016 NFL Draft we brought you initial grades of each selection the Pittsburgh Steelers made throughout the seven rounds. Each grade factored how close the player selected was to being the consensus ranked best player available, the Steelers' need of the position of the player drafted, the player's NCAA reputation and the player's athletic statistics from the NFL scouting combine and available pro day metrics.
Here we have all seven BTSC initial grades for the Steelers:
1st Round: Cornerback Artie Burns, Miami: B.
2nd Round: Safety Sean Davis, Maryland: B+.
3rd Round: Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State: A-.
4th Round: Offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins, LSU: C+.
6th Round: Linebacker Travis Feeney, Washington: A.
7th Round: Punt Returner/Wide Receiver Demarcus Ayers, Houston: C.
7th Round: Linebacker Tyler Matakevich, Temple: B.
The Pittsburgh Steelers changed their focus from investing into their defensive front with their early picks to their secondary. Neither Burns nor Davis were consistently ranked at the top-end for their positions, but both are recognized as good athletes in coverage with high ceilings should they develop well. Hargrave was given a first round grade on BTSC pre-draft and him being available in the third allowed for Kevin Colbert to address the need for defensive tackle. The later round picks addressed minor needs for the team with two linebackers that had good senior seasons for their teams being the highlights.
Many were disappointed with the selections of the Steelers because none of the early picks were household names. However what cannot be denied is the success which Kevin Colbert has had over the years for the team. His players have become legendary like that of Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu in the two most recent Super Bowl victories for the Steelers and become consistent role players that have helped carry the franchise for almost two decades. Fans should rest easy that he Steelers know what they're doing.
All in all, no draft can be accurately graded until the results pan out over several years; however these initial grades are to serve the purpose of an evaluation of the picks made based on the available information which could be used to influence decisions.
We will be bringing full film evaluation of the different players selected in the coming weeks along with our normal supply of film study of current Steelers on the roster.