Although from a fan prospective the Steelers first couple of rounds were rather boring picking a D-Tackle and an Offensive Lineman, they were both very good quality picks. The best athletes that we picked up are cornerbacks Cortez Allen & Curtis Brown, who can both also play safety. Brown is the better athlete of the two. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash which makes him the fastest corner on the roster and is great in the return game as well. He also lead all corners in the draft with a 39 inch vertical jump at the combine. We picked up Chris Carter, a D-Lineman from Fresno St. who is an exceptional athlete! Carter runs a 4.6 40-yard dash and has very quick feet and good hands off the line as well as good zone coverage ability. I feel that he was a steal to pick him up late in the draft. Carter along with Cam Heyward are GREAT additions to the defense and will put immense pressure on the opposing quarterbacks!
Draft Grade: B+
Predicted Record: 11-5
1st round: Cam Heyward DT 6’5″ 294 Ohio St.
2nd round: Marcus Gilbert OL 6’6″ 330 Florida
3rd round: Curtis Brown DB 6’0″ 185 Texas
4th round: Cortez Allen DB 6’1″ 197 Citadel
5th round: Chris Carter DL 6’1″ 248 Fresno St.
6th round: Keith Williams OL 6’4″ 318 Nebraska
7th round: Baron Batch RB 5’9″ 200 Texas Tech
The Panthers pleasantly surprised me by not passing on Cam Newton with the 1st overall pick. Our front office is notorious for avoiding any risqué acquisitions (still SMH at the decision to pass on Vick). Newton’s explosiveness and natural play-making ability is just the type of player I think Carolina can build around and hopefully turn the organization around. I would have liked to see them get some solid O-Line help with one of the 3rd round picks. Instead we took back-to-back D-tackles. We got an athletic DT in Terrell McClain (USF) and a good run stopper in Sione Fua (Stanford). I didn’t know how to feel about Kaeloha Pilares (Hawaii) but after looking at his film and numbers I feel pretty good about him being a consistent target for Cam now that Steve Smith looks to be headed out the door. I hated our 4th round selection of Brandon Hogan (WVU). Not only does he have multiple off the field issues but he’s also coming back from a serious knee injury. We had an opportunity here to get some quality offensive help. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go before we compete in the NFC South again.
Draft Grade: C
Predicted Record: 6-10
1st round: Cam Newton QB 6’5″ 248 Auburn
3rd round: Terrell McClain DT 6’1″ 297 S Florida
3rd round: Sione Fua DT 6’1″ 308 Stanford
4th round: Brandon Hogan DB 5’10″ 192 W Virginia
5th round: Kealoha Pilares WR 5’9″ 199 Hawaii
6th round: Lawrence Wilson OLB 6’0″ 229 UConn
6th round: Zachary Williams C 6’3″ 307 Washington St.
7th round: Lee Ziemba OT 6’5” 317 Auburn
Draft Grade: B
Predicted Record: 11-5
1st round: Danny Watkins OG 6’3″ 310 Baylor
2nd round: Jaiquawn Jarrett S 5’11″ 198 Temple
3rd round: Curtis Marsh CB 6’0″ 197 Utah St.
4th round: Casey Matthews OLB 6’0″ 231 Oregon
4th round: Alex Henery K 6’1″ 178 Nebraska
5th round: Dion Lewis RB 5’6″ 193 Pittsburgh
5th round: Julian Vandervelde OG 6’1″ 301 Iowa
6th round: Jason Kelce C 6’2″ 280 Cincinnati
6th round: Brian Rolle OLB 5’9″ 229 Ohio St.
7th round: Greg Lloyd ILB 6’1″ 246 UConn
7th round: Stanley Havili FB 6’0″ 227 USC