If ever there was a great year to pick last in every round, this was the year. The 2009 draft class is very thin on blue chip prospects. Sure there will be some great players that contribute for many years and perhaps a future Hall of Famer or two, but as far as the scouts are concerned they are not very identifiable going into the draft.
The Steelers did exactly as they said they would do, wait and let the draft come to them and identify the top 32 players on their board. The most pressing need based on the best player available left on the board was the defensive line position. The current line is all 30 years of age or older and Evander “Ziggy” Hood fit the bill. Hood hasn\’t seen much of the 3-4 defense and will have time to learn the the 5 technique, meaning that he will have his nose on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. Right now he is more of a gap-shooting tackle, but should develop quickly into the system. He should be able to contribute in some fashion on special teams and can be groomed slowly through the 2009 season. Hood has a great understanding of the game and a strong motor and on the surface a good character.
With the second round pick, the Steelers could not turn down the lure to move down for two 3rd round draft picks. This now gives the Steelers three picks in round three and these guys will be cheaper to sign. Nobody stuck out on the draft board to warrant staying in the second round. The Steelers will likely spend two of the three picks on offensive lineman and likely will still trade a couple of late day picks to either move up in the fifth round or perhaps a future late round pick in the 2010 draft. I still do not see the Steelers coming away from this draft with 9 players.
The overall draft grade from day one would be a B- only because they made one pick and those pickings were slim based on the need. I suspect a very productive day 2 where potentially 3 future starters will be chosen.