The NFL draft represents a challenge. It doesn’t matter if it's the Pittsburgh Steelers or any other franchise, nothing is certain when it comes to picks. Every year dozens of great college players get to the NFL and for one reason or another fall flat on their faces.
None of this excuses a franchise. These are billion-dollar operations with huge staffs that do nothing but prepare for the draft. The notion that so many great players fall late in the draft, and top prospects fail is puzzling. How can all these teams miss on these players? But, I digress.
Hit or miss, it is always interesting to look back at a past draft to see how your favorite franchise did. However, to do this for the Steelers, there have to be some ground rules. First, this is all about draft picks. No undrafted free agents are a part of this equation. Why? Because at that point, it is less about the process and more about players picking teams rather than the other way around.
The other rule is, if a team can’t keep the player, it doesn’t get credit for the pick. Sorry, but making a great pick and letting that player leave at the end of the rookie contract is not a good thing. So, if a team picks a great player, but doesn’t get to hang on to them, its grade will suffer.
Let’s look back at the past five Steelers’ drafts and hand out some grades.
Spoiler alert: Some of these drafts were bad news.