When they entered in the league in 2010, Jonathan Dwyer and Antonio Brown were both sixth-round draft picks who had an uphill battle if they were going to contribute at the NFL level. Now as they enter their fourth season, Dwyer and Brown are slated to be the Steelers’ top options at running back and wide receiver, respectively.
These are the types of draft picks that can take a good draft with a strong first three rounds to a great draft by finding late-round gems who develop into quality players.
Brown made an impact early in his career as he earned a significant amount of playing time in just his second season. He would eventually win the starting job over Hines Ward as he compiled 69 receptions for 1,108 yards and two touchdowns.
This was impressive as Brown had a slow start to his career with 16 receptions as a rookie, but had a huge 58-yard reception to help set up the game winning score in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens and caught the game-sealing 14-yard reception in the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets.
Dwyer wasn’t as impressive as a rookie and did not receive significant playing time until last season, but has developed into a potential full-time starting running back.
Starved for talent, the Steelers need to find some late-round gems in the 2013 draft and there are a number of options who not only could develop into quality players, but some who could contribute this season as rookies.
Here is a look at seven prospects that may be available between the fifth and seventh round who could contribute as rookies.