*************2016 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.25 Artie Burns, CB, Miami

I'm not sure what to say about this one. This was arguably the biggest 1st round reach for the Steelers in many years, but they nailed their biggest need, they broke a 'draft drought' and Burns is only a slight reach here.

B-

2.58 Sean Davis, S, Maryland

This is early for Davis, but he fits a need, and does have some very good talent.

C+

3.89 Javon Hargrave, DT, SC State

Hargrave was the top small school defensive player in the draft, and he does add some good youth to the team.

B+

OVERALL GRADE:C+

The Steelers have built championship quality teams by sitting back and letting the best players fall to them. That wasn't the case this year. They reached at corner in the 1st round, and then did the same at safety in the 2nd. The team did however improve by hitting on some needs.



*************2015 NFL DRAFT GRADES************


1.22 Bud Dupree, DE/LB, Kentucky

Bud Dupree was completely overrated which is why he seems like a 'steal' here. He is arguably the best player on the board and he does fit a need, but this makes three straight years with them taking a pass rusher. It is very important, but this defense has too many holes to stick completely to the BPA method. If they grab some backfield help in day 2 then it makes this pick that much better.

B-

2.56 Senquez Golson, CB, Mississippi

If Golson was 5 inches taller he would have been a top-10 pick. But then again that's the same pile of crap they say about Russell Wilson. Golson is actually a very good corner with some huge skills, but his size will be a factor against some receivers.

B

3.83 Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

I like the pick for value here, but I assumed that Wheaton and Bryant would have a handle on the WR2 &3 spots. Either way not a bad pick for the potential from Coates.

B

4.121 Doran Grant,CB Ohio State

5.160 Jesse James, TE, Penn St

6.199 Leterrius Walton, DE/DT, CM

6.212 Anthony Chickillo, DE/LB, Miami

7.239 Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville

OVERALL GRADE: A-

Overall a very good draft. I don't love the Bud Dupree pick, but you don't hate on teams that take pass rushers. Add in two good values on day two and some late round steals and you make up a good draft class.




*************2014 NFL DRAFT GRADES************
 

1.15 Ryan Shazier, LB, OSU

I get it, but I don't get it. Shazier can possibly be a pass rusher given his speed, or he could slide into the middle, but the there were better players out there that fit bigger needs.

C+

2.46 Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame

The value is there, but it is another eh pick. This would be a great pick for the Seahawks, but I just don't see how this gets the team in a place to win soon.

B-

3.97 Dri Archer, RB, Kent State

Another eh. I like Archer, and the value is fine here, but the Steelers shouldn't be taking luxury guys that would be 10 touches a game. 

4.118 Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

Awesome pick. Bryant might end up being better than Sammy Watkins when it is said and done.

5.157 Shaq Richardson, CB, Arizona

5.173 Wesley Johnson, C, Vanderbilt

6.192 Jordan Zumwalt, LB, UCLA

6.215 Dan McCullers, DT, Tennesee

7.230 Rob Branchflower, TE, UMass



OVERALL GRADE: C

Most of the time the Steelers get a great grade from me because they take someone that fell way too far into their laps, and usually that guy fills a fair need. This year wasn't so much. They got defensive depth that doesn't fit a lot of spots, and a luxury playmaker.

It almost feels like the Steelers have it in their mind that they were picking 30th this year, because they took value guys that can contribute, rather than fill the need at corner and receiver.


*************2013 NFL DRAFT GRADES************


1.16 Jarvis Jones, DE/LB, Georgia

Without fail the Steelers do it again. They don't have to move and they have a stud fall right in their laps. Jones is the best pass rusher in the draft according to his game tape, and he is a great value here.

A

2.48 Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State

I'm a little Biased because Bell is my favorite runner in the draft, but I like the pick. He is a hard nosed runner that instantly adds an element that has been missing for awhile. Start drafting him for your fantasy team now.

B

3.79 Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State

I don't love Wheaton, but he fills a need and is in good value.

B+
 
4.111 Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

4.115 Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma


5.150 Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois

6.186 Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma

6.206 Vince Williams, LB, FSU

7.233 Nicholas Williams, DT, Samford


OVERALL GRADE: A

When a team that is already pretty good gets quite a bit better then it is hard to complain. They got potentially four starters, and they have improved on both sides of the ball.

 

 *************2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

1.24 David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

DeCastro arguably is the best guard prospect to come out in the last ten years, and somehow he fell in the draft to a team that will be perfect for him. The Steelers fill a big need, make their offense better in every way, and got the best player on the board. Best pick of the draft so far without a doubt.

A+++

2.56 Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Before his positive test Mike Adams was a top-25 pick. So for the Steelers to sit back and get him and all of his potential at 56 was fantastic. He is a risk off the field, and he is actually a guy that is raw on the field, but the Steelers stole him here.

A

3.86 Sean Spence, LB, Miami

I was hoping that the Steelers would snatch up another steal, but they instead slightly reached on a guy that doesn't really fit their scheme that well. 

C
 
4.109 Alameda Ta'Amu, NT, Washington

If Ta'Amu had been taken in the 2nd or the 3rd round then few would have complained, so to get him in the 4th round is robbery. Luckily the Steelers did a lot of that in this draft.

A

5.159 Chris Rainey, SPEC, Florida

To call Rainey a running back doesn't do justice. He can run in space, can receive the ball, and do some returns. But why I love Rainey is because he blocked six punts/kicks in college which is an elite asset for a team. 


A

7.231 Toney Clemons, WR, Colorado

7.240 David Paulson, TE, Oregon

7.246 Terrence Frederick, CB, TAMU

7.248 Kelvin Beachum, OG, SMU


OVERALL GRADE:  A+


This is how teams are supposed to draft. The Steelers three biggest needs in the draft were at tackle, guard and nose tackle. They sat back and had the best guard in maybe the last ten years to come out fall right to them, They then sat back again and had a first round quality tackle fall to them in the 2nd. And then in the 4th round they did it once again and ended up with a nosetackle that they could have gotten in the 2nd or 3rd without question. Add in extra quality depth of need and you have one of the best drafts on paper that I've ever seen.
 


*************2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

  
Picks

1.31 Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State

I have never been in love with Heyward, but he (like a commenter mentioned after the 1st round) was possibly the last top 3-4 end in the draft.

B+

2.63 Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida

Another guy I didn't love, but his value and need are both great here. Gilbert could also play guard too.

B+

3.95 Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

I actually would have given Curtis Brown a B+ grade if he had been taken with the 63rd overall pick, so to steal him at the end of round three was great.

A+

4.128 Cortez Allen, CB, The Citadel

This may have been a slight reach, but the team either grabbing a nickel or a backup plan for Curtis Brown is a good idea.

B+

5.162 Chris Carter, DE/LB, Fresno State

Wow. Carter is a guy many thought would go in the 2nd round based on potential, so for the team to steal him with here is bad for the other 31 teams.

A++

 
5.196 Keith Williams, OG, Nebraska

I think some fans would have rather had the team go after a pure guard a little earlier, but great to address it here.

B+

7.232 Baron Batch, RB, Texas Tech

Rushing depth here is plenty good.

B

Draft Grade: A

What a great draft. The team touched essentially on their three biggest needs with their first four picks, got a major steal with Chris Carter and finished up with some extra depth. 

NEW GRADE: A+

The Steelers needed a ton of corner depth, a defensive end, and some OL depth. They knocked it out of the park with their first four picks, and I really think we could hear the "how did Chris Carter fall to the 5th round" speech from the media in a few years. Sure there are a few more tools the team could add, but the team that lost the Super Bowl is so much better after this draft.