2014 NFL Draft: Grading Pittsburgh Steelers’ Stephon Tuitt pick


The Rooney’s shined up their rosaries Friday night, thankful to get first round talent again on day two of the NFL Draft.

Oct 26, 2013; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt (7) warms up before the start of the game against the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Notre Dame great Terry Hanratty quickly hit the stage to pick Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt as the Steelers continued to recharge their Steel Curtain.

The Steelers looked past top receiver Cody Latimer to add another probable defensive starter and playmaker.

After all, the Steelers have certainly proven ‘if you can’t get to the quarterback and if you can’t stop the run, no offense can save you’.

Tuitt compares well to his new teammate, Cameron Heyward– albeit 20 pounds heavier. He has a monstrous build at 6’6″, 305 pounds and he is only 20 years old. His arms are as long as they are strong. He had top numbers at the combine: 31 reps on the bench press (No. 1 DE) and top five in wingspan (34-3/4).

His intelligence should help him quickly join Heyward, Steve McClendon/Cam Thomas to complete the Steelers defensive transition to younger and faster. Tuitt has the extra bonus of pure power.

Tuitt shows unbelievable effort and heart when healthy much like the guy he replaces, Brett Keisel.

He moves well for his bulky size and gets in the face of opposing QBs. He had 20.5 sacks, three batted passes, and four fumbles recovered in 28 games. His explosiveness should help to improve the Steelers 25th ranking in sacks last season.

Tuitt dropped in the draft after a Jones fracture was discovered during his medical exam. His bad luck limited his pre-draft audition but likely/luckily kept him on the board for a perfect fit in Pittsburgh.

THE GRADE: Talent and Need

Athlete with PotentialDepth
Smart/Good Character but ?AthleteProject

Analysis: A+

Perfect fit in transitioning Steelers defense. Strength, character, and explosiveness likely gives the Steelers another opening day defensive starter.

High value at pick No. 46.

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