2014 NFL Draft: Grading each and every Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks

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May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Shazier (Ohio State) holds up his jersey after being selected as the number fifteen overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the dust has settled and we have had a day to digest what the Pittsburgh Steelers accomplished throughout the 2014 NFL Draft, it is time to take a look back and evaluate the performance of Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert and his staff.

The Steelers had nine selections in the draft and made them all, not making a trade throughout the draft.

How did the Steelers grade out?

Many experts liked their draft and many did not, as you will find out, I’m a little more critical than most.

With that being said, here’s a look at the draft grades on each and every Steelers 2014 draft pick.

Round 1, Pick 15: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

Colbert threw a curveball right off the bat by selecting Ohio State’s Shazier.

There are various opinions of the pick and I for one do not like it.

I like Shazier and love his speed, but I don’t like the value at No.15. Long-term I like the pick as eventually I see Shazier playing outside as the Steelers have yet to commit to Jason Worilds long term and doubtfully will.

His best asset is his speed coming off the edge and he has a ton of it.

But the plan is to play Shazier inside this year and while I understand the need, I have my doubts, especially with a guy like Alabama’s C.J. Mosley still on the board.

He is a playmaker but also a guy who has trouble in space and isn’t the best tackler in the draft. He is a pass rusher and should be a good one but I have doubts about his ability to excel playing the run, especially given the case that the Steelers’ front three isn’t very good.

Shazier’s size shows up as a negative when he gets blocked out pretty consistently in power situations, especially when offensive linemen are plastering him inside or outside on run plays.

I don’t know what the thought was here, especially as I mentioned before that the Steelers front three isn’t very good. I doubt Shazier makes a huge impact right away, though he will be given the opportunity.

This pick may work out nicely long term, but in the short term for a team coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons, I don’t like it.

Regardless of the position, the Steelers needed a guy to make an impact right off the bat and I doubt Shazier is that guy.

Grade: C

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Martavis Bryant Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier Stephon Tuitt

  • bk

    I agree with just about everything you said… they may have gotten a few good players, but, after 2 back to back 8-8 seasons they did not address certain needs… The best player on the team is the QB… a few more weapons for him would have been nice… even if you decided to not take a top WR at 15, taking a good TE/WR in rd 2 would have been prudent…Amaro and Nicklas there or a couple wr’s.. Robinson, Adams, & Lattimer..
    Could have taken DAquan Jones in the third if you wanted DL help (or any of a number of picks later) and still gotten Dri Archer or DeAnthony THomas in 4…
    IDk, I just look at WR/TE and cringe… Miller is not a big deep threat, Wheaton is untested/unproven… Haywrd-Bey? yeah ok….Moore? less….
    Where is the improvement?

  • Mike

    You wanted weapons for Ben he got them in Martavious Bryant and that little kid out of kent state in the 3rd. I thought that the draft overall was a great success. I wanted a WR in the 3rd but hey they got him in the 4th so no harm no foul plus if this kid turns into a great pr and kr that will help us greatly just in field position. Also in Haleys offense I believe this kid could get 5-6 touches a game and in space could be a great weapon. Shazier to go with Timmons will be a nice combo and Shazier is fast and physical trust me I have seen all his games. The ONLY THING I WAS SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED IN IS NOT GETTING A CB UNTIL THE 5TH AND ONLY 1 AT THAT but I will say maybe we have other free agents on our radar after june 1st or maybe we have guys on the practice squad that are ready to contribute I believe this is a great draft class after everything is all said and done

  • Giuseppe

    I don’t see how he can say there will be ‘no impact early on’…The first 4 guys drafted will all probably see significant playing time. The rest are projects…what more do you want?

  • [email protected]

    Matt,
    Although I think you are being a tad pessimistic, I have to congratulate you on being direct (and to some small extent correct) on your overall assessment.
    Strangely, my biggest disagreement with you comes on McCullers – you said yourself that the guy is a monument in the middle of the line. Isn’t that was a 3-4 NT is? I can live with that, and even if it doesn’t pan out, at least they TRIED to address it. Mc is NOT a NT, and I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary.
    With taking (and eventually starting) McCullers, Mc can move to DE, where he belongs and we will have a complete DL. I would like to see him ‘learn on the job’ by alternating with Thomas at NT (let’s face it, Thomas is NOT a DE and is a backup NT at best).
    Besides McCullers, my favorite picks are Tuitt and Bryant – I think they are going to be AWESOME, but to your point perhaps not right away. Everyone is saying don’t bring the BEARD back for 1 more year, but what the hell he’s going to cost nothing, and he can teach/rotate with Tuitt (as well as Arnfelt, etc). Tuitt is the perfect prototype 5, and Bryant is just going to be fantastic- I think he can contribute right away in the red zone. If he does nothing other than that (and be the X receiver of the future) then it’s a win for us right away.
    Let’s face it, we’re not ready to challenge for the SB this year (although I think we will win our division, or at the least make the playoffs)….
    My biggest disappointment is the piss poor effort at drafting a CB, especially since anyone drafted at CB is a year away from starting (unless their name is Gilbert or Fuller)…..
    So, lighten up, dude! I think we progressed with the 2nd draft in a row, so thats not bad huh?

  • datdudedre’

    The C+ overall grade is not far off from the B- that I gave this draft. I like the talent we accumulated, but I wasn’t crazy about the value of some of the selections. Shazier at 15 is being hotly debated, and rightfully so. I love his speed and athleticism, but I am concerned if he can stuff the run at 6’1″ 237 pounds playing ILB in a 3-4 defense for the first time. Dri Archer in the 3rd was a reach. Especially when you consider that the top backs in the draft didn’t start coming off the board until mid 2nd. At 5’8″ 175 pounds, he will be nothing more than a speed back catching swing passes and screens a few times a game. He could’ve been had later, as no one had him pegged as high as the 3rd round. Though he can undoubtedly help in the return game, spending a number 3 on a utility player is a luxury that only teams with less glaring needs can afford. We are not one of those teams. Better value at that point in the draft would’ve been had in selecting either Bashaud Breeland or Jaylen Watkins, two solid cornerback prospects who each were snapped up just a few selections later. Speaking of which, not addressing the cornerback position until the 5th round was inexcusable. We clearly need help there, and this was a damn good draft to find it. We needed to be more pro-active, with the goal of securing a potential 2015 starter opposite Allen in this draft. We failed to do so. In both of the earlier selections, I thought we became a little Raider-esque in our infatuation with speed. These players could very well provide an impact in some phase of the game, but will it be enough to warrant the value we may have lost in selecting them? I don’t see an immediate starter in this group, though a few of these guys (Shazier, Tuitt and Bryant) will start in the future. More important, is whether or not any of them can demand playing time this season, because we could use the help! Again, I think it was a good draft. But the reach for Archer in the 3rd, and the failure to get better at corner kept it from being a great one.

  • Carl Eagan

    With Colbert and Tomlin drafting I expected a swing and miss and got just that. Except for Tuitt who if he stays healthy and in shape will be a steal in the second but there were many better players available at each draft position and they missed them.