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Steelers '10 draft grade

April 26, 2013 - Ray Eckenrode

It’s a “15 Minutes” tradition, dating back almost 10 years. On the morning after the first night of the NFL Draft, instead of assigning a meaningless grade to the ongoing crapshoot, we look back and properly grade the same exercise from three years earlier:

1st RD, #18, Maurkice Pouncey, center, Florida

Grade: A-

Only his injury issues keep this from being an A+. Mature beyond his years since Day 1, Pouncey is set to become the veteran leader of an overhauled offensive line.

2nd RD, #52, Jason Worilds, outside linebacker, Virginia Tech

Grade: C+

Not a washout, but not the guy the Steelers thought they were getting with such a high selection. The selection of Jarvis Jones last night might signal the impending end of his Pittsburgh career.

3rd RD, #82, Emmanuel Sanders, wide receiver, SMU

Grade: B-

Again, injuries prevent this from being a higher grade. Sanders is not quite as good as the recent offer sheet drama implied, but his knack for big third-down catches is extremely valuable.

4th RD, #116, Thaddeus Gibson, linebacker, Ohio State

Grade: F

The Steelers lost him in 2010 to the 49ers while trying to sneak him onto the practice squad. The fact that he’s played with six NFL teams since tells you they didn’t lose much.

5th RD, #151, Chris Scott, guard, Tennessee

Grade: D-

Played two games in black and gold. Has been with three other NFL teams since departing.

5th RD, #164, Crezdon Butler, cornerback, Clemson

Grade: D

Played one season in Pittsburgh and has had four NFL stints since, including two with Steelers West (aka Arizona Cardinals).

5th RD, #166, Stevenson Sylvester, linebacker, Utah

Grade: C+

He’s the only middle rounder in this draft who stuck and the team just re-signed him, although more out of desperation than desire. His contributions have been minimal and limited to special teams.

6th RD, #188, Jonathan Dwyer, running back, Georgia Tech

Grade: B

Dwyer has slowly but surely increased his role in Pittsburgh’s offense and could have rushed for 1,000 yards in 2012 (he had 623) if not for an injury and the Steelers bizarre substitution patterns. What happens in rounds two and three of this year’s draft likely will determine Dwyer’s future with them, but he’s already outproduced what you expect from a sixth-round pick.

6th RD, #195, Antonio Brown, wide receiver, Central Michigan

Grade: A+

A rare foray outside the big-name BCS schools produced big-time results for the Steelers in the form of a receiver/returner dynamo. Obviously, he took a small step back in 2012 (injuries again), but getting 4,000 all-purpose yards out of the 195th pick is striking gold.

7th RD, #242, Doug Worthington, defensive end, Ohio State

Grade: C

Didn’t stick with the Steelers, but has bounced around the fringes of the league and actually started a couple games for the Redskins in 2012 after Adam Carriker was hurt.

Overall grade: B+

An A+ draft at the top and bottom, but all the middle-round washouts (contributing now to Pittsburgh’s depth issues) knock this draft down a notch.

Previous grades:

2009 (Hood, Urbik, Wallace): C

2008 (Mendinghall, Sweed, Davis): F

2007 (Timmons, Woodley, Gay): B

2006 (Holmes, Anthony Smith, Reid): D

 
 
 

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Blog Photos

Antonio Brown has wracked up nearly 4,000 all-purpose yards since being selected in the sixth round in 2010.