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 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Review


Team Needs: CB, S, OLB


Selections:


Rd 1. 25 Artie Burns CB Miami

Rd 2. 58 Sean Davis CB Maryland

Rd 3. 89 Javon Hargrave DT South Carolina State

Rd 4. 123 Jerald Hawkins OT LSU

Rd 6. 220 Travis Feeney OLB Washington

Rd 6. 229 DeMarcus Ayers WR Houston

Rd 7. 246 Tyler Matakevich OLB Temple



Recap:

The Steelers had one of the more puzzling first rounds of this draft, although for a team with few needs a late round selections that isn’t out of the ordinary. The team did a good job of filling it’s needs, for the most part, but it was who they chose that raised eyebrows. Artie Burns was predicted to go as early as the late first or as late as the third round so the value could be there. The fit doesn’t appear to be as Burns is a classic bump and run corner on a team that plays a lot of press zone. Burns is a developmental prospect but one who doesn’t naturally appear to fit the team’s scheme. Perhaps they see something others did not. Sean Davis was a great pick in the late second round based on need more so than value, although he wasn’t bad value at all. I would expect him to start for the Steelers as a rookie. Javon Hargrave gives the team a potential starter at nose tackle. Jerald Hawkins has the athletic ability but he has to clean up his technique and get a little more consistent in his approach. He’s the kind of player the Steelers historically develop. Travis Feeney has a chance to develop if he can get past his history of shoulder problems enough to stay on the field. DeMarcus Ayers is an intriguing pick by the team who, next to, Davis should be the biggest contributor as a rookie out of this draft class. He fits what the team does well. Matakevich will likely find a home on the practice squad given the team’s depth at OLB, where he can be developed into a player for the future.

Analysis:

  1. The Steelers got their guy at the biggest position of need in round 1 but it’s tough to see how Burns fits into their system. He has a high upside but this pick does not come without some serious risk.

  2. In the middle rounds the Steelers got some good value to strengthen both lines. Both Hargraves and Hawkins flash the ability to play in the NFL but both need to work hard and more consistently in order to make a career out of football.

  3. At the end of the draft the team double dipped at outside linebacker, which we considered a need. It was surprising as there is likely only a roster spot for one guy at the position but given the injury history of Feeney it was a good move. Ayers could wind up being a steal for Pittsburgh.

Grade: B-


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