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Preseason Week 2: Pittsburgh Steelers rookie grades

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The 2014 rookie draft class has been thrust into the spotlight more than usual for Pittsburgh Steelers' draft classes. How the draft class has been graded after the second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Shazier - The debut of Shazier for the Steelers did not disppoint. The rookie didn't just make an impact, he was a difference maker. Shazier played about a quarter and a half, registered 11 tackles and added an interception. The rookie was all over the field, even on special teams. Besides losing his footing on an underneath route, Shazier's debut was picture perfect.
Grade: A+

Stephon Tuitt - Tuitt continues to find his niche within the Steelers' defense. Tuitt looks to see a lot of time through the rotation along the defensive line, but will be alongside Cam Heyward in the Steelers' nickel package. Tuitt has shown gradual improvement from week one in the preseason to the latest victory over the Bills in week two.
Grade: B

Dri Archer - Archer won't see many attempts in the kickoff return game due to kickers looking to kick away from the speedster, but Todd Haley is being extremely creative in his ways of getting Archer the ball within the offensive system. Twice in two games the Steelers have shown a '5 wide' look and gotten Archer the ball in space. Those two plays have resulted in 46 and 40 yard catch and runs for Archer. The Steelers still need to prove they can run Archer between the tackles to not tip their hand when Archer steps on the field.
Grade: B+

Martavis Bryant - Bryant finished the game against the Bills with two catches for 18 yards. Very pedestrian numbers for the rookie, but the more important fact is the performance wasn't as putrid as it was against the New York Giants in week one of the preseason. Bryant made a nice catch along the sideline, but still looks to be over thinking many aspects of his game, and it shows. Nonetheless, Bryant made a step in the right direction Saturday night, even if it didn't correlate to the stat sheet.
Grade: B-

Shaquille Richardson - 'Shaq' did not play in the preseason game as he is nursing an injury. His participation in the third preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles will be paramount in his roster position among a very mediocre secondary.

Wesley Johnson - The versatile lineman was given plenty of time at center with the third string offense, and Johnson's future with the Steelers might not be at the center position. Johnson seemingly looks slow off the ball and overall undewhelming at the center position. His versatility will go a long way towards him possibly having a roster spot with his name on it, but improvement headed into the third week of the preseason is crucial for Johnson. 
Grade: C-

Jordan Zumwalt - The UCLA product has seen snaps at inside and outside linebacker, but his immediate future is up in the air and most likely going to be on special teams. Against the Bills Zumwalt did not play, and put his chances of making the team very difficult. Playing Thursday against Philadelphia and playing well is critical for Zumwalt's chances at a roster spot.

Daniel McCullers - McCullers was given snaps with the second team against the Bills, and certainly made an impact. McCullers did whiff on a tackle in the backfield, but got decent push and was in the backfield on more than one occasion with his time on the field. At one time thought to be a long shot for a roster spot and destined for the practice squad, McCullers is making a name for himself and his performance is backing that up. 
Grade: B

Rob Blanchflower - After battling back from an ankle injury early in camp, Blanchflower has finally made his way back to the field, but it might be too little to late with the Steelers tight end situation very cloudy. Blanchflower was invisible when on the field, and is a long shot to make the 53 man roster, his injury putting him behind the 8-ball in terms of impressing in training camp.
Grade: D