While NFL Free Agency continues, the big news has died down with most available players finding new homes. What remains on the horizon is the 2020 NFL Draft, and for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, there is a high level of excitement for the upcoming selection process.
Yes, excitement even for a team who doesn’t possess a first round pick, thanks to the trade with the Miami Dolphins for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Why would/should fans still be excited for a draft which doesn’t start until the 49th pick in the second round?
Simple. Because the Steelers have been tremendous with their second round picks since Mike Tomlin took the helm in 2007. Just take a look at their 2nd round picks since that time:
2019 — No pick
2018 — James Washington
2017 — JuJu Smith-Schuster
2016 — Sean Davis *
2015 — Senquez Golson *
2014 — Stephon Tuitt
2013 — Le’Veon Bell
2012 — Mike Adams *
2011 — Marcus Gilbert
2010 — Jason Worilds
2009 — No pick
2008 — Limas Sweed *
2007 — LaMarr Woodley
*Didn’t earn a second contract with the Steelers
When you have 11 players, and only 4 of those didn’t see a second contract with the organization, that tells you something. But even if you are looking at the picks, I doubt many would consider Sean Davis a “bust”, but merely found himself the odd man out in the deep secondary as he left via free agency.
Outside of longevity with the organization, just look at the playmakers who have been selected in the second round. Players who have been difference makers at their position and have helped the team win games.
Players like Le’Veon Bell, Stephon Tuitt, LaMarr Woodley and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Steelers, and Kevin Colbert, have been tremendous finding talent in the second round. Sure, there were picks like Limas Sweed, Senquez Golson and Mike Adams, but if you were to show me the list of General Managers and head coaches who have a flawless draft record the list would be blank. Everyone has swings and misses, even the Steelers.
What might be even more exciting about the upcoming draft is how the Steelers’ free agent moves of Stefen Wisniewski, Eric Ebron, Derek Watt and a trade for Chris Wormley have opened up the options for the draft. No longer does the team have to draft a guard in the second round after the retirement of Ramon Foster and the departure of B.J. Finney. Instead, if there is a play making running back on the board, they can take him. Same could be said about a linebacker or wide receiver.
The board is wide open for the Steelers, and their success in the second round should have fans anxiously awaiting the draft at the end of April.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they continue to prepare for the rest of the 2020 offseason.