A rundown of the Steelers' draft picks. It has been a few days since the Draft and I have had to do some reserch on some of the Steelers' lower draft picks.
1st Round Pick 24
OG David DeCastro, Stanford A+
This player was a great pick up. The Steelers commented after the Draft that he was one of the players they would trade up for and didn't have to. With a great balance of speed and power as a guard he will fit perfectly with the Steelers that love to pull their guards. DeCastro rarely gets beat and protected Andrew Luck at Stanford in their pro-style offense. I expect him to be another Pro Bowler on the Steelers' line and should be ready to start out of the gate. Although, he may not be the most excting first pick but he will add to the exciting plays Ben Roethlisberger makes and keep Ben upright throughout the season. Also one of the smartest players in the Draft which will give him the ability to start right away.
2nd Round Pick 56
OT Mike Adams, Ohio State B-
Mike Adams is an odd pick for the Steelers. He has a lot of talent but has a past of lying and drugs which isn't usually a trait the Steelers tolerate. As far as the risk of the pick he has good feat and good strength and should make an impact sometime this season. I like what Adams brings to the table player-wise but I am weary of the drug issues. Other Steelers notable with drugs who have been let go right away are Santonio Holmes, Barry Foster, Byron (Bam) Morris, and a few others. So with so low tolerance for drugs I am worried that Adams will do them and be off the team in a year or two. He gets a B- because of coming clean and making stipulations upon being drafted by the Steelers. Huge Potenial but I don't like the baggage.
3rd Round Pick 86
LB Sean Spence, Miami C+
A little small but he can pick up some bulk along the preseason through the Steelers' training staff. He has great speed and sideline-to-sideline agility. He should start out on
special teams since the LB depth is significant. He will be a special teams standout right away which has been a thorn in the Steelers' side especially on the cover team. He brings a good work ethic also but I feel an inside linebacker would have been better at this point in the Draft. But I expect him to do well in Pittsburgh.
4th Round Pick 109
DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washing ton C+
Another big boy in the middle is just what the Steelers needed. He gets a C+ for the need for him especially with Casey Hampton coming off of injury and surgery. Ta'amu is a big strong guy can beat offensive lineman and is big enough to where he can eat up two offensive linemen similar to Hampton. I anticipate him on being worked into the defense slowly just as Ziggy Hood did his rookie season. He has the potential to be a solid starter but not much more.
5th Round Pick 159
RB Chris Rainey, Florida C-
Although talened I don't see the point in this pick. He has good speed and elusiveness and may get some playing time on the special teams. But will most likely compete for kick and punt return. Some people may argue that with Mendenhall injured it is a good pick; I disagree. Rainey will be joining a crowded backfield including Baron Batch who had a great camp last year until he tore his ACL. With him, include Redman, who should be the starter plus Dwyer, Moore and John Clay. I don't expect any real playing time for Rainey anytime soon. Again this grade is made on a need not just pure skill of a player. I will add he has great speed so he may be the next fast Willie Parker.
7th Round Pick 231
WR Toney Clemons, Colorado: C
I love this guy tall athletic WR who returned some kicks and punts for CU. I have written an artcle in the past about him and have watched him live. He is a little underrated since he has had some mediocre quarterbacks a best in Hansen and Hawkins. I feel this is a real steal in this Draft in the seventh round. He should breakout in camp and compete for some playing time.
7th Round Pick 240
TE David Paulson, Oregon: D
Good hands and a good route runner. He should make special teams out of the gate, and may get in some time at TE if there are some injuries. Right now there will be Heath Miller, Johnson and newly-acquired Pope at tight end for the Steelers including Paulson. I am not sure where he will be down the road but the Steelers always draft well so we will see.
7th Round Pick 246
CB Terrence Frederick, Texas A&M: D-
Special Teams player maybe a backup with a lot of injuries - enough said. Frederick needs to make a major impact right away in camp to be relevant.
7th Round Pick 248
OT Kelvin Beachum, SMU F
One of those really low picks that wonders around almost his whole career. Has good speed but not strong enough to get the push needed to be a full time player.
Overall Grade B
The major Steelers' needs were filled most importantly with the offensive line that may have two new rookie starters this year.