Pittsburgh Steelers: There Is Value at the 24th Pick
Many people believe that when the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock with the 24th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, that they will not be able to find an elite player to select.
Though they are not going to be able to select one of the premier players in the draft (they almost never get to) they still find a way to pick the person that best fits their needs.
Unlike most draft articles, this one is not going to point to the person that the Steelers MAY select, but to look back at the best players that have been selected with the 24th overall pick in the draft since the 2000 season.
2010: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
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Though Dez Bryant has yet to realize his full potential, there is no doubt that he has playmaking skills.
The biggest issues with Bryant are his work ethic and attitude. Playing on the Dallas Cowboys, with Jerry Jones, does not help him either.
Not to take away from his ability. Even though he will not be compared to Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or even Mike Wallace, Bryant is starting quality, and could become great with age.
2004: Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
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Prior to, and during the 2004 NFL Draft, the Steelers were believed to be interested in two players: Phillip Rivers and Steven Jackson.
Though the Steelers probably would have traded down to select Jackson, had Ben Roethlisberger not fallen into their laps at pick 11.
This worked out best for the Steelers, even though Jackson is still a quality player. If he ended up on a team that was better than the Rams, he could possibly have had AP type numbers.
2008: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
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Though he does not have the attitude that the Pittsburgh Steelers would consider making a part of their family, there is still no question that Chris Johnson has the tools and talent to be one of the best running backs in the NFL today.
After a hold out before the 2011 season, it took a while before Johnson showed his raw talent. When at his best, he is comparable to Adrian Peterson, and that is nothing to look down on.
2002: Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens
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One of the positions that a lot of people believe the Steelers need to address is their safety position.
With both starters in their 30's, and two of the most physical players in the game, the odds of BOTH Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu staying healthy for more than a couple years is a lot to ask.
If the Steelers do decide to select a safety, Ed Reed proves that position quality can be found at pick 24.
2005: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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Though there is no chance that the Steelers will select a QB with their first round pick this year, this is the final proof that could be needed that quality can be found at pick 24.
Rodgers is considered by most people the best player in the NFL today, and with the numbers he put up, including the 14-1 regular season record, and MVP that is on its way, Rodgers shows beyond any reasonable doubt that quality can be found when the Steelers select at pick 24.