The Steelers came into the second day of the draft with eight picks to make and I surely did not think they would finish the day with eight players picked. I thought they would package a few to move up earlier in a round. Maybe they tried and just did not have what teams wanted to move up. Regardless, we can now welcome eight additional players to the Steelers fold to join Evander “Ziggy” Hood who was drafted on Saturday.
The Steelers had a busy third round, beginning with offensive linemen Kraig Urbik from Wisconsin. Although listed as a tackle, Urbik is expected to begin working at the right guard position and add depth to the offensive line. He can play all of the interior line positions and is very versatile. Eventually in future years, could be a starting right or left guard, but for now should be a backup.
With the second third round pick, Mike Wallace from Mississippi was selected. Wallace is a burner who can stretch the field and will push second year receiver Limas Sweed for the number three receiver position. Wallace also set records at Mississippi as a kickoff returner, which is a need for the Steelers as well. Wallace should have no problem making the final 53 roster.
The Steelers final third round draft pick was cornerback Keenan Lewis from Oregon State. This was a bit of a surprise pick for me as I thought the Steelers would address the tackle position, but with all the big name tackles off the board, they decided to choose a big corner. Secondary Coach Ray Horton compares him to Ike Taylor. Lewis is a bit of a swing guy that may be looked at as a safety if he struggles at corner.
After sitting out the fourth round, the Steelers used the two fifth round picks on two players they knew a ton about. Cornerback Joe Burnett from Central Florida and Frank “Tank” Sanders from UNLV have been on the Steelers radar for a while and both were pre draft visitors. Burnett is considered as a third-down nickel corner and can return both punts and kickoffs. Sanders is a bruising running back in a fullback body that will look to make the team as a short yardage goal line back and also be used as a fullback. Sanders can run inside the tackles and can be used much like Jerome Bettis was in the offense.
Rounding at the 6th and 7th rounds were defensive end Ra\’shon “Sonny” Harris from Oregon in the 6th, Penn State center A.Q. Shipley in the 7th and tight end David Johnson from Arkansas State also in the 7th. Both Harris and Shipley were pre draft visitors to the Steelers and both are long shots to make the final 53. Johnson will be a camp body and barring injury or a spectacular camp, seems a long shot to crack the final 53.
I grade day 2 a B-, just as I did day one. Three or four of these day two picks could make the roster with Summers and Wallace having the best chance to contribute immediately. The overall draft grade is a B- as the Steelers did exactly what they said they would do. They filled need and did it with good character players. I would of liked to seen a true tackle taken, but think Hood, Urbik, Wallace and Summers could be Steeler contributors for many years. The 2009 draft class is not spectacular and the Steelers got the most out of it overall. If either corner can contribute it would be a bonus.