2010 NFL Draft Grades: Full Pittsburgh Steelers Report Card
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and storied history of being one of the best, if not the best, team in the NFL draft.
They have always been known as a team to take the best available player even when everyone thought they had a specific need.
It isn’t fair to judge a draft class before any of the players have even had a chance to prove themselves however at first glance, the Pittsburgh Steelers picks in the 2010 NFL draft bring more questions than answers.
1(18) Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Many people think that OT Brian Bulaga or DB Kyle Wilson would have been better picks at this position for the Steelers however I love the pick of Pouncey. He will step in day one at starting right guard and will slide over to center in a couple years for Justin Hartwig.
I talked more in depth about this pick in another article I wrote here.
2(52) Jason Worilds, OLB, Virginia Tech
Worilds is the prototypical Steelers linebacker with nice explosiveness and pass rushing ability. He will compete with the other Steelers draft picks to become the top back up behind James Harrison and Lamar Woodley.
3(82) Emmanuel Sanders, WR, SMU
An undersized receiver more suited to be in the slot and has great speed and quickness. He has decent hands and if he can hang on to the ball he will fight for the fourth receiver spot on the Steelers.
For more analysis about the picks on day two I also wrote an article here.
4(116) Thaddeus Gibson, OLB, Ohio State
Gibson is a defensive end that will be converted to 3-4 outside linebacker and is another pass rushing talent that the Steelers covet in the draft. With corner and defensive tackle still not being addressed at this point in the draft, selecting another OLB is a little questionable.
However the Steelers love to pick up as many linebackers as they can and this was more of a best available pick since Gibson was projected to go more in the 3rd round. He will compete with 2nd round pick Worilds and will add more youth and depth at linebacker for the Steelers.
5(151) Chris Scott, OG, Tennessee
Scott is a big 320 pound offensive lineman from Tennessee who probably projects to be more of a guard in the NFL due to lack of quickness on the outside. He adds depth to an already crowded guard position in my opinion. Scott will compete with Ramon Foster, Kraig Urbik, and Trai Essex to back up Chris Kemoeatu and presumed starter Maurkice Pouncey.
With not as much depth at offensive tackle than guard I can see the Steelers trying Scott at tackle although like I said he projects to be a guard. They could also think about trying to convert Essex or Foster to tackle also.
5(164) Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson
Crezdon Butler is a tall, long armed defensive back with good speed and good awareness on the field. He needs to become better in run support and struggles in man to man schemes. With Pittsburgh acquiring Bryant McFadden and with second year corners Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis I believe Butler is more of a depth pick.
However Butler will contribute on special teams and will push both Burnett and Lewis for playing time as the nickel corner for the Steelers.
5(166) Stevenson Sylvester, OLB, Utah
With the picks of Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson I really do not understand selecting another OLB for the Steelers. Some would suggest that this means that the Steelers do not anticipate being able to resign Lamar Woodley however that would be a huge mistake in my opinion. Sylvester is just another pass rushing linebacker more known for his hard hitting in college than anything.
With defensive tackle still not being addressed in the draft, selecting a third OLB is a mistake in my opinion. Sylvester will be nothing more than a special teams player and if this pick was made truly because they do not believe Woodley will be back than that makes me not like this pick even more.
6(188) Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
This was one of my favorite picks of the Steelers and is great value at this point in the draft. Dwyer has gotten some criticism about his speed a lack of lateral quickness however I believe he is a good pick for the Steelers. Mewelde Moore is more of a third down back and with the departure of Willie Parker the Steelers have no depth behind Reshard Mendenhall.
Dwyer is that big back that Pittsburgh has lacked over the past few years and I believe he will win the short yardage spot on the roster. I think he has the potential to be a productive back his rookie year for the Steelers.
6(195) Antonio Brown, WR, Central Michigan
Antonio Brown is another smaller wide receiver selected by the Steelers who was picked probably more for his return skills than anything. Stefan Logan has been a decent returner for the Steelers however he does not really play any other position. You would like not to have a return guy who does not really have another position on the team and the Steelers might be looking for a guy with more versatility.
If Brown can show the speed and quickness he had in college and can display good hands I think he has a chance to take the return job from Logan.
7(242) Doug Worthington, DE, Ohio State
Worthington played more defensive tackle at Ohio State however he projects more as a defensive end in the NFL. The Steelers finally address the defensive line even though defensive tackle was and still is a bigger need. Every starter on the defensive line is over thirty years old and we do not have much youth behind them. Ziggy Hood looks to have potential and Ra’Shon Harris got some valuable experience last season; however the Steelers still need more guys to groom for the future.
Even with all the veteran players on the roster I feel that Worthington will be given a chance to become a prime back up. The starters have been prone to getting injured and Worthington will be able to learn from former seventh round pick Brett Keisel.
All in all I would give the Steelers draft a grade of C+.
Honestly the only reason I don’t have it at a straight C is because of Pouncey in the first round and Dwyer in the sixth round. Also I think the Steelers made a great move by trading one of their fifth round picks for former cornerback Bryant McFadden. The secondary will be much improved next season with McFadden stepping in as the starting corner next to Ike Taylor. Now we do not have to rely as heavily on second year guys Burnett and Lewis. With our other picks I believe if anything else our linebacker core got much younger and our special teams got a lot better.
No one will truly know how good this draft class is for a few years, however, with the needs that the Steelers had going into the draft, I feel they could have gotten much better talent at other positions.