With the unceremonial cutting of both Casey Hampton and James Harrison comes ever closer to severing all ties with Championship Steelers. Only a handful of players remain as Mike Tomlin moves to create his own version of the Steelers but will it be a better team or worse?
Ist Rd – Spinal Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal canal that may occur in any of the regions of the spine. This narrowing causes a restriction to the spinal canal, resulting in a neurological deficit. Symptoms include pain, numbness, paraesthesia, and loss of motor control. The location of the stenosis determines which area of the body is affected. cervical spinal stenosis is dangerous because it involves compression of the spinal cord.
Jarvis Jones OLB – Georgia – 14.5 sacks, 24.5 TFL and 7 forced fumbles as a Junior, this is still is a horrible pick. Will Jarvis Jones be a Pro Bowl quality player? Yes very probably. Will he have a splashy headline reel, sure. Will he be someone that the opposing OC has to plan for? I think so. Can his career be brought to an end in the blink of an eye? Yes, most definately. Could this injury result in lasting paralisys? Yes it could. Could it be life threatening? Yes. Was this the best player at the position of most need? No it most definately was not. Grade F for Fear the worst may come true.
James Harrison OLB – Pro Bowl – 2007,2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. All Pro 2003 thru 2010. Played on all recent Super Bowl teams. Has he been injury prone the last couple years? Yes.Did it affect his play on feild? No. Does he have anything left in the tank? Two to Three years. Do OC’s need to plan for him? Yes. Is Cincinatti a better team for picking him up? Yes . Are the Steelers worse? Yes.
2nd Rd – LeVeon Bell RB Michagan St. – Rashard Mendenhall wanna be, The Next Jerome Bettis? I don’t think so. Only 4 +100 yd games in his career. 1,553 yds and 27 TD’s in 3 seasons. The thick legged Bell’s patented hurdle move will keep OC’s guessing for 1/10 of a second. Not a particularly strong runner for his body type. Bell is slow to hit the hole and spins enough to make the Tasmanian Devil Dizzy. Good reciever out of the backfield is projected by some to not be a feature back but a Full Back at the next level. They don’t draft Full Backs anymore do they? This pick particularly chaps my ass because Eddie Lacey was still on the board. Grade D
3rd Rd Marckus Wheaton WR Or. St. – This is a solid pick even though I think an OT would have been a bettter pick at this point. Wheaton is a decent long threat tracking the ball over either shoulder a willing traffic reciever and blocker. I would rate him him higher but, Stedman Bailey was still available who’s game matches Hines Ward more closely than any player I’ve seen recently. So, Grade C+ for ass chapage.
4th Rd Shamarko Thomas SS Syracuse – The 5′-8” Shamarko Thomas is a bit of an anomaly. He is solid muscle putting up an eye-popping 28 #225 bench reps. Fast 4.37 40. He is the type of athlete that Dick LeBeau will love. He could be another guy like Troy, that is so strange it makes it impossible to game plan for. He loves to hit and has a concussion record that shows it. Ball hawking and crafty in pass defense and a, relentless pass rusher he is sure to give the oppostion fits. There were some corner backs left, Sanders Commings and Tharold Simon to name a couple that would have filled a position of greater need, but hell we need Safties too and he will be fun to watch. Look for Shamarko to be a home town favorite. Compares to Bob Sanders former Safety for the Colts. Grade A-
4th Rd Landry Jones QB – Oklahoma – Good Size 6′-4” and a big NFL quality arm the Steelers look for a #2 QB they can develop over the next couple years. Don’t ask me why but, I’m not a Landry Jones fan. I would have much preferred QB Tyler Bray if it was a QB pick. Bray went undrafted for some reason so we could have got him with one of our 6th rounders and if we were psychic we would have known that. I really would have much much prefered OT David Quessenberry to lock up the RT spot but, as it is the Steelers have done some very good things bringing in Bruce Gradkowski and drafting Jones. Grade C+
5th RD Terry Hawthorne CB – Illinois – The Steelers do what they normally do here and use a middle pick to draft a CB. The most you can hope out of these guys is they develop into a decent #2 option. The speedy (4.31 40!) could be an exception. 6′-1” 195# Hawthorne is a tough hard hitting defender. He would fit the Steelers Defense. Hawthorne is also soft handed and has ability to twist his body to intercept difficult passes. Has a history of concussions. Grade B for Better Late than Never.
6th Rd Justin Brown WR – Oklahoma – 6’3” 215# Big short to medium target that Ben’s been asking for. 73 Rec. 879 yds and 5 TD’s in his Senior year. Big catching radius and fearless across the middle, Brown could be the answer to our posession receiver deficit. Grade B for good for Big Ben.
6th Rd Vince Williams ILB – Fla. St. – 59 tackles 6.5 for loss in his Senior year. Which is pretty low production for an ILB. Said to put some pop on hits in Senior Bowl practice. OT Reid Fragel was still available which I think would have made a better choice. Grade D
7th Rd Nicholas Williams DE – Samford – A small school former basket ball player. A very athletic practice squad guy that could develop into a good lineman. Grade C+
College Free Agents:
OT Mike Golic Notre Dame son of Mike Golic and C Joe Madsen of WVU (I had Madsen in the 7th Rd) were the only two college players of note for the Steelers. The rest were a bunch of, Huh, Who Dat! And Meh. Grade Whazzz Uupp!
Next up: AFC North Draft breakdown and Grades.