With the 2015 NFL Draft weeks away, we continue our look at the draft classes under the Mike Tomlin era. We recently covered the infamous class of 2008, and today we analyze the draft class of 2009 which saw the Pittsburgh Steelers have nine draft picks and some truly interesting decisions along the way.
2009 Steelers Draft Class:
1st Round: Ziggy Hood, DE
3rd Round: Kraig Urbik, T
3rd Round: Mike Wallace, WR
3rd Round: Keenan Lewis, CB
5th Round: Joe Burnett, CB
5th Round: Frank Summers, RB
6th Round: Ra'shon Harris, DT
7th Round: A.Q. Shipley, C
7th Round: David Johnson, TE
The Steelers were slowly realizing in the 2009 draft that Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel couldn't play forever, and they started to address the needs along the defensive line with the 32nd pick in the draft by taking Evander Hood from Missouri. Coming off Super Bowl 43 victory, Hood had high expectations placed on him as a first round draft pick, but Hood never fully developed into what everyone expected of him. Hood departed Pittsburgh for Jacksonville after the 2013 season, and his numbers have been less than spectacular as he fills a backup role for the Jaguars.
The Steelers didn't have a second round pick in the '09 draft, but had three 3rd round picks and took advantage of those by selecting Kraig Urbik with their first 3rd round selection, Mike Wallace with their 2nd and Keenan Lewis with their final third round pick. Urbik didn't make the Steelers' roster and has played for the Buffalo Bills since at the guard position. Wallace and Lewis were key contributors for the Steelers during their tenure with the team. Wallace proved to be one of the best deep threats in the NFL while Lewis developed into a solid cornerback across Ike Taylor. Wallace was recently traded to the Minnesota Vikings after a stint with the Miami Dolphins and Lewis continues to play for the New Orleans Saints after leaving Pittsburgh following the 2013 season. The fact all 3 of these third rounders are no longer on the Steelers' roster is somewhat troublesome.
Just like the team having zero 2nd round picks in the 2009 draft, they also did not have a 4th round pick, but were able to gather two 5th round selections. The Steelers took CB Joe Burnett with their first 5th round pick and Frank Summers, a RB/FB, with their second 5th round selection. Summers stuck with the Steelers in his first season, but then ended up with fellow classmate Urbik in Buffalo with the Bills. Burnett also stuck with the team as a rookie, but was later cut and hasn't played another down of football in the league since.
The Steelers took DT Ra'shon Harris in the 6th round of the 2009 draft, but Harris was unable to stick with the organization and hasn't played in the NFL since. The Steelers had two 7th round selections they spent on center A.Q. Shipley and TE/FB David Johnson. Shipley didn't make the Steelers' roster but was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and even a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles. Johnson played four seasons with the Steelers and eventually landed with the San Diego Chargers in 2014. Johnson's seasons were mostly marred by injury.
BTSC Draft Overview:
The 2009 draft class had some significant names in it. Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis and Ziggy Hood, but no matter the names, the fact there are no players from the draft class on their current roster can't leave my mind and diminish the overall draft grade. The Steelers had 9 draft picks and whiffed on more than a few, nonetheless, this draft class had some contributors for the team before they left via free agency.