The 2008 Steelers draft is looking mighty disappointing over half way through the season. Wide receiver Limas Sweed is the only one of seven draft picks to make any contribution, albeit not much. Sweed is just not catching on quick enough and nearly cost the Steelers dearly on a punt Thursday night. Right now he is an expensive Walter Young and needs to tighten up his game quite a bit to contribute any down the stretch. First round running back Rashard Mendenhall was gone before he even got started. Mendenhall broke his left shoulder early in the Ravens game and was placed on injured reserve. Linebacker Bruce Davis and tackle Tony Hills have been deactivated most of the season and quarterback Dennis Dixon is merely collecting checks holding a clip board. Linebacker Mike Humpal joined Mendenhall on injured reserve and really was not going to contribute any way. Safety Ryan Mundy has been relegated to the practice squad and probably has contributed there more than any of the rookies drafted.
If Mendenhall and Sweed do not contribute early next season, this draft could go down as one of the worse ones in a while for the Steelers. Everyone loves sexy running back, quarterback and wide receiver picks on draft days, but in hindsight the Steelers new they needed offensive line and defensive line help in the draft and yet it never was addressed. The Steelers never make a splash in free agency and rely totally on the draft to build for the future. The defense is playing great this season, but is getting older every game and the offensive line has only showed very few bright spots.
The Steelers brass hopefully has learned the lesson that drafting for need is more important than best player available, especially when you insist on building through the draft and not free agency.
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