Usually the NFL draft starts to die down after the first three rounds. No more television hype, no more incessant talk about who will perform the best. Fans that flock to Radio City Music Hall donning their favorite team garb have since long stumbled into the streets.
If that was you, I feel really bad for you. You missed one for the ages.
In the 4th round the Steelers took Martavis Bryant, WR out of Clemson. At a staggering 6’4 he can tower over the genuinely undersized corners and safeties in the league. A great red zone option early on. At least it will drop the attention the other threats. He does have some dropped ball issues that he showed throughout the combine and pro day. I believe those factors influenced his fall to the 4th round. He has immaturity issues, but Pittsburgh has a way of humbling a guy and making him understand what it is he truly represents. When you strap on the helmet you’re in the zone. You’re in Steelers Country. This selection is one of our favorites and has raised the Steeler’s odds for next year’s Super Bowl by a good margin.
Bottom line – I don’t have any reservations about this guy at all.
At 157th overall, 6’0 and 194 LBS, Shaquille Richardson is going to be the DB that gets bounced all over the secondary. It seems clear that the Steelers are comfortable with Ike Taylor’s aging and lackluster performances. Plus Troy already zigzags all over the place so I think the best place for Richardson is, well, wherever they put him. He’s going to need some major grooming though. He tends to lose the ball when a run emerges and has trouble coming in to help. By the time he gets there the play has already developed. His pass coverage is fine according to the multitude of highlight worthy plays he made in college.
Wesley Johnson, the Steelers 5th round pick, is just one beast of a guy. At 6’7 this O lineman can be a great substitute for us early on. He is very good in the zone blocking scheme, coincidentally the type of scheme Mike Munchak loves. He’s got a reputation of being very vocal in the locker room and on the field. Wesley has that leadership mentality that I believe could help our line unify like the line of SB 40. He’s quick and agile for his size and can honestly be plugged into any role on the line. I see him playing next to DeCastro and really causing some mayhem.
Onto the 6th round where we had two picks. First came Jordan Zumwalt, LB. This guy doesn’t really stand out for me at all. He’s got average size and strength, average mobility. He’s really just average. I honestly think he’s just a body that can be used for practice and MAYBE the special teams unit. But he has heart. He’s got the passion in him that simply can’t be coached. Now I’m starting to hear the Rocky theme play in my head and the thoughts of rooting for the underdog have begun. Either way it stands, Zumwalt can really look to improve in Pittsburgh.
And quite possibly the largest draft pick we’ve had comes in the form of Daniel McCullers. An absolute mountain standing in at 6’7 and 350 LBS. I’d love to see people push him around. Think of Michael Ohr in The Blind Side. Yeah, that kind of guy. The sheer sight of him with pads on should tell you that he was born to play nose tackle. If there is one person I’d like to have pick up the slack that Casey Hampton left its McCullers. Huge, beefy, and strong McCullers has everything you want in a football player. Let’s just hope his stamina and endurance are up to par.
So for those of you out there in football land that decided to leave early or abandon the draft due to other circumstances you missed out on a solid lineup. Every one of our picks has awesome talent and can be coached into a superstar. I really look forward to watching how this preseason plays out.