Time has given ample perspective both for analyzing the Steelers 2007 Draft and reviewing what little was said here about it.
What Was Said in 2008 about 2007…
The first thing that jumps out (aside from the typos) from my initial analysis of the 2007 draft was that only four players merited mention in April of 2008, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Matt Spaeth, and Daniel Sepulveda.
Here’s a sampling:
Sepulveda has shown he has to (sic) tools, now he needs to be consistent
Third round pick Matt Speath hasn’t done much more than catch touch downs (sic).
LaMarr Woodley recorded four sacks in limited playing time and added two more during the payoffs – so we know why the Steelers let Clark Haggans go.No mention of William Gay at this point, nor the other members Steelers 2007 Draft who were still on the roster at that point.
2007, Then and Now
Those other members on the roster never got much mention for a reason. Later that spring, Mike Tomlin reported that wide out Dallas Baker had looked good in OTA’s but cautioned against reaching conclusions on “Football in shorts.”
Defensive lineman Ryan McBean also held a roster spot at that point, but he, like Baker, was cut in training camp. McBean sat out training camp, but latched on with and started in Denver in 2009, played in 2010-2011 as a backup there, and finished with Baltimore in 2012.
- The Steelers may have been starved for defensive lineman, but McBean clearly wasn’t the answer.
- Judging purely by that quantitative measure, 2007 was a success for the Steelers.
- So using Daniel Jeremiah’s formula (which was also Art Rooney Jr.'s) the numbers say the Steelers 2007 draft was a success.
Steelers 2007 Draft, Beyond the Numbers
Lawrence Timmons – Did not end up unseating either Larry Foote or James Farrior in 2008, although he did get a lot of playing time and looked to be a star in the making.
He started in 2009 and was shaky, but followed with a very underrated role on a strong 2010 Steelers defense. Yet, in 2011 Timmons played poorly only to bounce back in 2012 where he was the defenses best and most consistent player. Timmons wasn’t as strong in 2013, but he also had to compensate for the huge drop off in Vince Williams.
- Overall, Timmons has lived up to his first round status, if unevenly at times.
- From a pure draft evaluation stand point, Woodley was an excellent pick.
- Still, Spaeth hasn’t delivered the type of value you’d like to see from a third round pick.
- Clearly the Steelers both missed on Sepulveda and never should have drafted him (or any punter) this high.
Like McFadden he went out to Pittsburgh West and like McFadden Gay was back in a year. Unlike McFadden, and he improved upon returning, earning him the moniker Big Play Willie Gay.
- Gay’s taken a lot of flak from the fans in his time, but he’s delivered phenomenal value for a fifth round pick.
When the complete body of Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin’s collective draft work is finally know, the Steelers 2007 draft isn’t likely to be remembered as a great draft, but it certainly has earned the distinction as a good one.