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2019 NFL Draft Grades: Grading the Steelers first 6th round pick Sutton Smith

The Pittsburgh Steelers utilized the 175th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft to select Northern Illinois LB Sutton Smith

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers have three picks in the sixth round and used the initial one to select Northern Illinois LB Sutton Smith. Sutton Smith may just be a man without a position at the moment. He was a two time MAC Defensive Player of the Year and Ted Hendricks Award winner. A dominating small school legend, Smith struggled mightily during Senior Bowl week when challenged to perform against a step up in talent.

Sutton Smith was a defensive end at Northern Illinois, but will undoubtedly have to transition to a edge performer to have a chance to make an NFL roster. Smith is undersized at 6' and 233lbs with marginal athleticism and strength. Smith feels like a project and a long shot to make the Steelers roster. I feel this selection is more about Smith's intangibles than his currant attributes. Smith faces a steep climb to earn a roster spot, especially with a position change thrown in. I wish the young man good luck because I feel he is going to need it. Hopefully the Steelers saw something nobody else recognized. Sutton Smith must focus on being a special teams warrior.

Sixth round selections are acknowledged long shots, so it is hard to gauge actual value. Many UDFA's actually have a better shot to make a team because they choose the destination.

With that undeniable truth in mind, I give the Sutton Smith selection a grade of D.

To be fair, I know precious little about the young man's game. Hopefully he leaves us all pleasantly surprised.

What grade do you give the Sutton Smith selection? Please vote in the attached poll and explain your reasoning in the comments section below.

Welcome to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sutton Smith! From all of us at Steelers Nation!


What overall grade do you give the Steelers initial sixth round selection of Sutton Smith?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    A = Excellent selection
    (139 votes)
  • 16%
    B = Above average selection
    (206 votes)
  • 39%
    C = Solid pick
    (504 votes)
  • 25%
    D = Below average selection
    (325 votes)
  • 8%
    F = Terrible selection
    (103 votes)
1277 votes total Vote Now