The Pittsburgh Steelers finished the 2013 NFL Draft the way they started their 2009 and 2011 drafts: by picking a defensive lineman.
The Steelers used their 7th round and final pick to take Samford defensive tackle Nicholas Williams. Williams is tall, coming in at 6’4” and weighing in at 310 pounds. It is unclear exactly how he fits into the Steelers system, although the site NFL Draft Scout projects him as a defensive end in the pros.
7th round picks face an uphill battle to make it into the NFL, but Williams is fortunate in that the only depth the Steelers have behind Brett Keisel, Steve McLendon, Ziggy Hood, and Cameron Heyward is Al Woods and Alameda Ta'amu.
Like the site NFL Draft Scout, CBS’s pre draft site projected Williams as a 5th round pick. Clearly he fell, in spite of his 8 sacks recorded last year.
It has been the Steelers custom of late to draft defensive lineman late with hopes of developing them, but that has not worked out so well (and as Ziggy Hood’s stunted development shows, drafting them early has not worked out so well either.)
However, Brett Keisel joined the team as a 7th round pick in 2002 and blossomed into a strong starter. Have faith Nicholas Williams, it can be done.