A Look At The Future

Steeler Nation the weeks of speculation are over. We now know the who, when, what and where of the Steelers 2013 NFL draft. Since the days of the great coach Chuck Noll, the Steelers have built their teams primarily through the draft. Preferring to mold and shape their own players and teach them the “Steeler Way.”

There’s a chance that many of the players drafted in the 2013 draft can be stars and key players of the Steelers future success.No pick should be taken for granted or disregarded.

There once was a pick in the 98 Steeler draft, taken in the 3rd round 93rd player taken. This player played multiple positions in college… a little quarterback , some tailback, before finally settling in at wide out . During the combine it was discovered that this player had no ACL ligament in his left knee.Some may have thought he was a risky pick.

This player would go on to become the Steelers all time leading wide receiver and hold virtually every Steeler receiving record. Not to mention multiple Pro Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl MVP and become one of the Steelers all time greats. That player is future Hall of Fame wide receiver Hines Ward. So you see you just never know who will be the building blocks of the future. Here’s a brief look and some thoughts on the Steelers 2011 draft picks.

Round 1 (17) – Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia: Jones led the nation last season in three major defensive categories, sacks (14.5) tackles for loss (24.5) and forced fumbles with 7. Jones could push Jason Worlids for a starting position in training camp and also should see plenty of special teams action.

Round 2 (48) – Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State : Bell rushed for 3,346 career yards and 33 touchdowns and caught 78 passes for 531 yards and a score. He rushed for 1,793 yards for the 2012 season, the second-highest single-season total in Michigan State history  being named to the All-Big Ten first team. Bell is a big powerful  back with very quick feet and explosiveness for a runner his size. He has good hands and is very capable of being a three down feature running back. The Steelers will give him every  opportunity to win the starting RB position as a rookie.

Round 3 (79) – Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State :  Wheaton set school records at Oregon State. catching 227 passes and also rushed for 631 yards. Wheaton played all four wide receiver spots. He is a a well rounded player with speed. He will probably be brought along much like Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders was their rookie seasons.

Round 4 (111) -Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse: Fast (4.41speed),physical safety with big play abilities. The only knock on him is his height 5-9 but has a 40.5 vertical jump. Thomas is defiantly worth the risk in the fourth round. Defensive leader with great motor,88 tackles and 2 interceptions in 2012. Thomas should be waiting in the wings when Troy Polamalu or Ryan Clark call it quits . Thomas will be an immediate upgrade to the depth at safety and a special team ace as a rookie.

Round 4 (115) – Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma: Landry Jones is a Quarterback with Prototype size 6-3 224 and a strong arm. Jones completed 63.6% of his passes thrown during his career.  Jones also threw 123 TDs, 52 INT for a career QB rating  of 141.5.  Jones has football smarts and is a known winner (39-11 record, 3-1 in bowl games). The Steelers were looking to get younger behind Ben Roethlisberger and they accomplished that with the drafting of Jones.

Round 5  (150) – Terry Hawthrone, CB, Illinois: Hawthrone is fast (4.4 speed) very athletic and has good size (6.0 195) to be an NFL caliber Cornerback . Hawthrone is physical and not afraid to press wideouts. Under the guidance of Steelers secondary coach  Carnel Lake , Hawthrone could be pushing Curtis Brown out of a roster spot while playing some nickel and special teams as a rookie.

Round 6 (186) – Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma: Transferred from Penn St. in 2012 to Oklahoma  where he had his best season 73 receptions for 879 yards (13.6 yards-per-catch average) and five touchdowns. He has good size (6-3 209) but lacks speed and good route running. Tough kid that made the best of a tough situation. Steelers will work with him and see what they have.

Round 6  (206) – Vince Williams, LB, Florida State: Williams plays tough against the run ,tackles well and plays with a mean streak. He needs time to develop more of his skills on passing downs also has a history of injuries . Project his rookie year.

Round 7 (223) – Nick Williams, DT, Samford: Williams has good size  (6-5 308) and speed(4.8 ) ratio. Very athletic Williams excelled in basketball most of his high school career playing only one year of football. Williams has limited football experience and is still learning. He is a project much like Steve Mclendon was. Defensive Line coach John Mitchell will teach him the ropes and hope he pans out. Nick Williams has a ton of upside and is a good future project.

Steeler Nation hope you enjoyed the post ! Let us know what you thought about the draft in the poll below and please comment about your favorite or not so favorite picks of the Steelers 2013 draft class. Spread the word about our site and follow us on twitter @STEELERSNSTUFF & @NFLNSTUFF. Check back soon for more Steelers N Stuff!


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