2014 Steelers Draft Grades Tracker

The best part about the 2014 NFL Draft being over is that we don’t have long to wait before the grades come out. This is by far the highlight of my year as it is important for me to know what people think about the players the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted being as they don’t even follow the team on a day-by-day basis.

With my sarcasm now out of the way, below is the analysis and grades given to the Steelers draft class by a few major media heads.

Sports IllustratedChris BurkeBThe first two rounds went down in typical Pittsburgh fashion: athletic LB Ryan Shazier in Round 1 and versatile DL Stephon Tuitt in Round 2. As with the rival Ravens, the Steelers focused right away on getting tougher up the middle — a later pick of LB Jordan Zumwalt fell right in line with that approach. Then, an interesting shift landed human torch Dri Archer and 6-4 WR Martavis Bryant. The defensive line and linebacking corps improved, and a couple of much-needed additions were made at receiver. That’s all well and good, except the Steelers barely touched their offensive line (OT Wesley Johnson in Round 5) or secondary (CB Shaq Richardson, also in Round 5).
ESPNMel Kiper Jr.A-Even though the Steelers could have done more at cornerback, it was hard to pass on players they took where they did, and it adds up to one of the best 2014 draft classes. Ryan Shazier may not have looked like an obvious fit, but this is very good linebacker with special athleticism coming into Dick LeBeau’s system. When you get a player who can play right away for LeBeau where he will, I like the pick. Stephon Tuitt, if he’s at his 2012 level, he can be a stud. I really thought he could end up late in Round 1. The Steelers needed to add D-line help, and Tuitt is a great addition. He fits what they do in terms of his physical profile, and has the ability to disrupt. Dri Archer is just pure explosiveness — limit the reps, but expect some highlights. We’re talking 4.26 speed. Martavis Bryant is an exceptional athlete, with 4.4 speed and great length. They’ve nailed the mid-round WR picks before. Shaq Richardson helps at CB, and Wesley Johnson gives them a versatile offensive line option. Daniel McCullers is one to watch, because he’s simply massive, but doesn’t do enough with his size. Did they do enough at cornerback? Maybe not. But they got everything else right.
CBS SportsRob RangB+Given that head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert traveled the country touring Pro Day workouts during the off-season, it was clear that Pittsburgh realized that this was a critical draft for the rejuvenation of an aging franchise. I believe their dedication paid off with one of the year’s better draft classes – at least on paper. Linebacker Ryan Shazier, versatile weapon Dri Archer and wideout Martavis Bryant offer pure explosiveness. Defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt and Daniel McCullers have first round traits, as well. Linebacker Jordan Zumwalt was born to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, bringing a physical nature that will endear him to coaches and fans, alike. There is a lot to like about the Steelers’ selections but with a few of these players struggling to play up to expectations throughout their career, there is some boom or bust factor here that must be acknowledged, as well. Grade: B+
CBS SportsPete PriscoBI loved the pick of linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first for the speed he will bring. Fourth-round receiver Martavis Bryant is bigger receiver, which the Steelers need.
YahooEric EdholmBThe Steelers needed to get far more athletic, and they did that with Shazier, Tuitt, archer and Bryant – all of whom are very good athletes for their respective positions.
A very solid class for the most part that addressed clear and present needs.

  • Matt Manzo

    Right on! First time in my memory that we get some respect from the outsiders!

  • Jason

    Kiper’s quote on ESPN radio this morning when asked to name one team he thought drafted really well, ” I know it’s going to shock some people being that I’m a Baltimore guy but I love what the Pittsburgh Steelers did. From day 1 all the way through I thought they really hit home runs with a lot of their picks.” He was really high on Martavis Bryant in the 4th.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Kiper’s a tool, although he got it right this time. I find the comment by Rang at the end appropriate for the late portion of the draft, in that there is boom or bust potential. Although the draft did not go as I had expected, I believe it was phenomenal!

    In the first portion they pick incredible players right up until about round 4. After that, I am excited that they took boom or bust guys. Why, because the majority of late rounders don’t make it anyway. Great place to gamble. I am thoroughly impressed. I mean it’s not like I expect them to win the Super Bowl this year, so go get the best player available.

  • charles

    Totally great when LeBeau thinks we can get first year production from our defensive picks

  • Nolrog

    We get respect when we win the SB. Who cares about anything else they say.

  • steelster

    Grade B. Wish they would have selected a cb in round three. It seems like they don’t have a plan for a replacement of taylor for 2015.

  • Matt Manzo

    Even when we win the SB we get no respect.

  • sweetleb

    some one said ” on paper” really .

  • JimBouton

    I have enjoyed Kiper over the years. He does his homework and will at least stand by his predictions.

  • Paddy

    I would give them and A-, the picks made sense at every turn.

  • westcoasteeler

    I’ll give you my grade in three years…

  • Steelers@2010

    For now, I will accept the respect everyone is giving the Steelers on paper. I would like to get the same respect when these kids hit the field on Sunday. Picks 1-4, really expecting a lot of these guys.

  • MC

    I think the draft went well for us. Didn’t hit the CB need as hard as expected but maybe a FA aqquisition next off-season or a high draft pick/s next draft will add that missing piece, if it is still considered missing after this season…

  • shawn

    i think they will take care of it ! … this offseason and this draft is the most aggressive i have seen the steelers in a long long time !

    THey really made some moves that looks like they WANT to contend again !!

  • vinnie12

    This scenario sets up perfectly for getting a defensive back when teams start to make their cuts! Maybe even a trade coming near the end of camp! Just the fact that they passed on Dennard means that they already have a plan in place!

  • Danny Delouize

    lol,,i have never seen one of their drafts get anything close to this much praise..