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A complete whiff with two or three picks in an NFL draft is not unexpected. However, to miss on an entire draft has severe consequences when constructing a franchise.
If you have any questions to why the Steelers have struggled in recent years, you can point your finger to the 2008 draft. After only five years, there were no players left from this draft on the roster.
The selections of the recently retired Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed appeared to be steals that would help the Steelers build one of the elite offenses in the league. Instead they are still looking for a tall receiver and had to draft Le’Veon Bell in the second round last season.
Mendenhall started 48 games and had mixed results.
During his five seasons in Pittsburgh, Mendenhall ran for 3,549 yards and 29 touchdowns. Despite his big-play ability, he only averaged 4.1 yards per carry during this time and may be best remembered for his fumble in Super Bowl 45.
Sweed was never able to establish himself and will go down as one of Pittsburgh’s most disappointing second-round picks ever. He had trouble holding onto the ball and even appeared to fake an injury after dropping a wide-open pass during the 2009 AFC Championship Game.
In that same game, he had the highlight of his career with a monster block on a Baltimore Ravens defender to help free up space for Heath Miller.
Third-round pick Bruce Davis never made an impact while Tony Hills and Dennis Dixon were limited to roles at the bottom of the depth chart. Mike Humpal didn’t even make the team.
The only other contributor was seventh-round pick Ryan Mundy. He provided valuable depth at safety and had five starts.
Pittsburgh should have two or three players at the least from this draft contributing on the 2014 team. To have zero at this point is a testament to the poor use of draft choices in 2008.