The 2013 NFL Draft is now history, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have 9 new players to show for their efforts. The Steelers entered the draft with serious needs at almost every position and depending on who you believed they either drafted for need, or were able to basically stick to their “best available” player philosophy while hitting their needs.
Neither answer will be terribly relevant as long as they players they picked pan out. Some of course will fail (think Limas Sweed), others will suffer misfortune in the form of injury (think Sean Spence,) while others yet will likely go on to exceed expectations (think Aaron Smith).
Here’s a snap shot of the 9 mean that Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin deemed worthy of a shot at becoming Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Draft Class:
(click on the names below for capsule profiles and/or video highlights of
1. Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
2. Le’von Bell, Running Back, Michigan State
3. Markus Wheaton, Wide Receiver, Oregon State
4. Shamarko Thomas, Safety, Syracuse
4. Landry Thomas, quarterback, Okalahoma
5. Terry Hawthorne, Cornerback, Illinois
6. Vince Williams, Inside Linebacker, Florida State University
6. Justin Brown, Wide Receiver, Okalahoma
7. Nicholas Williams, Defensive End, Samford
How the Class of 2013 Fits In
Regular readers knows that Steel Curtain Rising neither grades drafts nor evaluates individual draft picks. Such exercises are understandable, but day after draft evaluation is about as valuable as an opening day batting average.
Look back no further to the Steelers 2008 Draft, which the “experts” uniformly thought was a good draft the day after. Five years later the Steelers 2008 Draft looks quite different.
Potentially the Steelers have give themselves the ability to improve play making on the defense, bolstered their running back corps, and injected speed into their wide receiving corps. Markus Wheaton figures to give the Steelers needed depth at safety and could become a possible successor to Troy Polamalu and/or Ryan Clark.
Beyond that, the rest of the class realistically will hope to exit St. Vincents having shown they can contribute enough on special teams to merit a roster spot.
Certainly Vince Williams could cost Stevenson Sylvester, Adrian Robinson and/or Chris Carter a roster spot. Justin Brown could force Jerricho Cotchery and/or Plaxico Burress to seek out what Chuck Noll referred to as “Life’s Work.” Nicholas Williams could cost Al Woods a roster spot.
Or maybe not….
A Shot at a Dream of a Life Time
…But all of that sorting out can wait until the sun shines down on Latrobe.
For now each of these nine men have been given a shot at a dream that all of us shared the first time we touched a Nerf football, called out the cadence of a meaningless snap count, and argued over whether there should be a 3 or 5 Mississippi rush.
At this moment congratulations are in order for the Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Draft Class. Congratulations gentleman, good luck, and welcome to Steelers Nation.