Without a doubt we know that coach Mike Tomlin wants more from his football team after an 8-8 record they displayed in 2012. Early in the NFL year, coach Tomlin is quick to remind the media that everyone in the National Football League is undefeated right now. However, while coach Tomlin is preaching his same message, that does not justify the pressure placed on this 2013 rookie class.
The Steelers are an organization that strongly believes in building through the NFL Draft. Maybe more than any other organization. The Steelers have 23 players on the roster they have drafted since 2006. Two of those drafts have zero players remaining on the roster (2006 & 2008). Also, do not forget the amount of leadership the Steelers have lost over the past two offseasons. (Ward, Harrison, Hampton, Farrior, Aaron Smith, Hoke).
Obviously anyone can make the argument that the whole team needs to step up but this 2013 class will need to mature fast and be one of the more dominant ones in years.
With the loss of James Harrison, the Steelers went and drafted Jarvis Jones who led the nation in sacks, forced fumbles, and tackles for a loss at Georgia. With the inconsistent rushing attack in 2012 and the loss of 2008 first round pick Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers drafted Le’Veon Bell from Michigan State in round two. With a need at wide receiver after losing Mike Wallace, the Steelers drafted Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton.
Right off the bat, the Steelers drafted three positions of need that they really could use some production out of in year one. From there, the Steelers added some very good depth in hopes that they will be future stars. Guys like Shamarko Thomas, Terry Hawthorne, and Vince Williams.
As you can see Steeler Nation, the Steelers need this rookie class to mature rather quickly and become good players on this football team. In 2012, the Steelers found themselves in a hole whether it was from turnovers and bad decisions or troubles in the locker room due to the loss of some big leaders. Although they may be going through the same process as rookies before, coaches are hoping this class is a homerun.