When day three of the NFL Draft started, the Pittsburgh Steelers were originally going to have just one pick in the fourth round. The Steelers’ front office decided to throw in a curve-ball into the picture. The Steelers traded up to the 111th overall pick in the fourth round to select Syracuse safety, Shamarko Thomas. The Steelers gave up their 2014, 3rd round pick to the Cleveland Browns to get the Syracuse safety. Four picks later, the Pittsburgh Steelers blind-sided everyone again by picking Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones. The Steelers were projected to possibly taking a quarterback, but never this early.
NFL.com Analysis of Shamarko Thomas
“Thomas lost both his parents before his sophomore year in college, and is now the head of a family including six children. The hard-hitting and speedy safety considered leaving for the NFL early, but returned to get closer to achieving his degree and increase his value to NFL scouts. Though his lack of height is not ideal for a pro defensive back, his coverage skills and ability to support against the run make him a potential starting strong safety who is likely to be selected in the middle rounds.”
I really like this fit for Thomas. I believe once he learns the defense, Thomas will be a big impact on the Steelers for years to come. Ryan Mundy was a 7th round selection that never really filled in and ended up losing his job as a starter to Will Allen while Troy Polamalu was injured. In a secondary with three guys over 30 years-old (Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, and Polamalu), Thomas gives you much needed depth in the back.
NFL.com Analysis of Landry Jones:
“The NFL-sized pocket passer can be decisive and flashes the accuracy to pick apart defenses at the next level. However, his tendency to get rattled under pressure is a major issue. Also, when things start to go downhill, he lacks a short memory; his confidence is shaken. He is also inconsistent in his reads and decision making.”
Landry Jones walked away from Oklahoma breaking every record Sam Bradford set. He returned for his senior year, but his team gave him no help. His 2011 and 2010 seasons were much better.