Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grading the Steelers Last Ten First Round Picks

2011: Cam Heyward, DE, Ohio State

After not earning much time in 2011, there isn't really anything bad that can be said about last year's first round pick besides "Why didn't we use our first round pick last year?" I expect him to be used a lot more this year with Aaron Smith gone. He can team up with Ziggy and hopefully make the D-line one of the best in the league.

Grade: Incomplete

Steelers 2010 1st Round Pick Maurkice Pouncey
(Photo from
2010: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

What a pick. Probably the best rookie center in history. The team is visibly so much better with him in the lineup. As long as Maurkice can stay healthy, I envsion him being a leader on the Steelers offensive line for years to come.

Grade: A

2009:  Ziggy Hood, DL, Missouri

With 59 tackles and 5.5 sacks through three seasons, Ziggy is starting to come into his own. Now that older guys are stepping out of the way, I think we can start making a true judgment on how good Hood is during this upcoming season.

Grade: B-

2008: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois

I haven't been a big Rashard Mendenhall fan during his time in Pittsburgh. Ball security continues to be a problem in big situations. He gives a good burst of speed and has sick agility when toting the rock, but he hasn't been what I had hoped he would be coming out of Illinois. His recent ACL injury may not guarantee he's back next season

Grade: B

2007: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State

If I were grading this draft in 2008, I would have said that the Steelers should just say that LaMarr Woodley was their first pick in 2007. Now, I feel like Timmons is a complete package. Can lay a big hit in the run game and has developed into a very good pass defender.

Grade: B+

2006: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State

Anytime I ever speak about this draft, I get upset. When the Steelers traded up, I was sure they were going to go with DeAngelo Hall and get themselves a feature back. Instead they went with Holmes, and now he's more gone than the girl Hall and Oates sang about. At least he was here to catch the Super Bowl winner.

Grade: B-

2005: Heath Miller, TE, Virginia

I think if utilized, Heath Miller can be one of the best (most productive) tight ends in the league. He can catch AND block, which makes him one of the more dynamic ones, and I'm definitely excited to see him under Todd Haley's offense.

Steelers 2003 1st Round Pick Troy Polamalu
(Photo from
Grade: B

2004: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami (Ohio)

Ben has been anything but a static character. I'm not a fan of his personality but he wins football games. All I have to say is: 2 Super Bowl Rings.

Grade: A

2003: Troy Polamalu, S, USC

Troy is probably one of the best football players in the league. His gamebreaking ability as a defensive back has come up big in more than one instance for the Steelers. I wish it were still 2003 so we can see his long, flowing hair for ten more years.

Grade: A

2002: Kendall Simmons, OL, Auburn

Wasn't ever an elite offensive linemen for the Steelers, but spent seven seasons with the squad before being cut after suffering a season-ending achilles injury in 2008.

Grade: B-

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