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Mel Kiper Jr. re-grades 2016 NFL Draft classes, and the Steelers don’t improve much

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 NFL Draft class was one which fans could be talking about for a while, but Mel Kiper Jr. doesn’t give them too much credit when he re-grades the group.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 NFL Draft was a good one for the black and gold. There might be some who disagree, but when you draft three defenders who finish the season as starters, not due to injury, you have done a tremendous job with the class.

However, right after the draft, media outlets start posting their immediate grades. For a second, let’s overlook how idiotic this practice is, but the business declares we, even this website you are currently reading, put immediate grades to players who have never played a down of professional football before in their lives.

Nonetheless, analysts like Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay and Pete Prisco all gawk over certain groups, and talk about just how poor other classes were. After these rookies have a year under their belt, these same experts give themselves the ability to go back and “re-grade” the classes. Still isn’t fair in my opinion, but at least they have some professional experience under their belt to give a realistic grade.

ESPN’s NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. recently re-graded the 2016 draft class, and the Steelers’ 2016 group got an improved grade, but not by much.

Take a look at what Kiper had to say about the re-graded Steelers draft class.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Post-draft grade: B

This draft was pretty solid at the time -- hey, a "B" is a good grade from me! -- and I think it looks even better now because I think they bagged three defensive starters that we can be sure of, and it's for a pretty good football team. Artie Burns was certain to struggle early -- you can repeat that phrase for pretty much any rookie cornerback -- but he showed what a competitor he is as he got better during the season, finishing with nine starts and even three interceptions. Sean Davis also had nine starts and should have that starting role locked down going into 2017. He also shined during the playoffs.

The steal? I wrote then, "Defensive line help was a need, and Javon Hargrave has a chance to be really good." Well, I didn't think he'd be this good, this early. Hargraves started 19 games and will have a starting role heading into 2017. That's really it for this class so far, but three starters is pretty good even if none becomes a star, especially because they contributed to a contender.

New grade: B+

1/25 Artie Burns CB Miami

2/58 Sean Davis S Maryland

3/89 Javon Hargrave DT South Carolina State

4/123 Jerald Hawkins OT Louisiana State

6/220 Travis Feeney OLB Washington

7/229 Demarcus Ayers WR Houston

7/246 Tyler Matakevich ILB Temple

The fact Kiper stated this draft class doesn’t have any future stars in it, other than mentioning Javon Hargrave, might be a bit short-sighted in the grand scheme of things. Artie Burns’ development, combined by Sean Davis’ knack for the football shouldn’t be understated.

Is Burns the next Darrelle Revis? No, but he could be the next Ike Taylor, and that is certainly good enough for the Steelers. Is Davis the next Ed Reed? Probably not, but he could be the next Ryan Clark, and that would suit the team just fine.

So, since Kiper and the crew are re-grading the 2016 NFL Draft class, how would you re-grade them? Leave your vote in the poll below, and as always, feel free to explain yourself in the comment section.


How would you re-grade the Steelers 2016 Draft class?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    (1028 votes)
  • 36%
    (619 votes)
  • 2%
    (40 votes)
  • 0%
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    (22 votes)
1718 votes total Vote Now