Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 NFL Draft: The Players, The Picks, The Fit

hehe Sep 28, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) pumps up the crowd during the fourth quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Buckeyes beat the Badgers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

6’1″, 240 LBs.

The Player

Shazier is an athletic linebacker who flies all over the field. He is agressive, fluid and relentless. He can blitz like a maniac, play in coverage and chase down run plays from the back side. He had issues defeating blocks in college, but he seems to have added some muscle to his frame which could help.

The Pick

A bit of a reach seeing as I don’t think Shazier is a better player than CJ Mosley, but it is clear the Steelers want to add more speed to their defense and that is what Shazier does.

The Fit

Shazier is a guy that can be used all over the field for Dick LeBeau. He can play inside, cover tight ends in the slot and use his speed and anticipation to blitz and create havoc all over the field. It will be key for the Steelers to keep him clean, but I love Shazier’s upside and think Pittsburgh could get a lot out of him.

 

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

6’5″, 304 lbs.

The Player

Tuitt is an incredibly powerful player who flashes an ability to overpower offensive linemen from various places on the line. However, his technique, on field awareness and motor all need a ton of work. If a coach can really have him figure out who he is as a player, he has high upside.

The Pick

I think this is a big reach. Tuitt has some tools, but there is too much work to be done to be taken at the top of the second.

The Fit

If Tuitt can clean up his technical issues, there is no reason why he shouldn’t see a signifigant amount of snaps at 5 tech this year.

 

Dri Archer, RB, Kent State

5’8″, 173 lbs.

The Player

Archer has the best functional speed in this entire class. Watching him, every defender around him seems to slow down. He is very elusive and has experience catching passes. However, his build will limit him to a gadget player in the NFL. Maybe he can bulk up a bit without losing speed? Regardless, this is a guy you have to force touches to in order to make him effective.

The Pick

In the early rounds, you want guys who can create their own production, Archer cannot do that. This is a reach.

The Fit

Running back, slot receiver, kick returner, the Steelers need to force feed Archer the ball in order for him to be effective.

Oct 27, 2012; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Logan Ryan (11) gets called for face mask as he brings down Kent State Golden Flashes running back Dri Archer (1) during the first half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

6’4″, 211 lbs.

The Player

Huge frame and speed for days will make any coaching staff’s mouth water, but that is really all Bryant offers at this point. He flashes agility and ability to go up for the ball, but his hands, concentration at the catch point and overall physicallity are just poor. Pair that with his inconsistent route running and you have a serious project.

The Pick

Bryant was picked near he is on my board, but I think that there were better players available when the pick was made. Good value, but the Steelers may regret passing on a guy like Robert Herron. Same speed, but smaller, but he has much better hands.

The Fit

The Steelers need weapons right now on offense. Antonio Brown is a stud but the Steelers need someone to threaten on the outside. Unless he is bad during camp, I expect Bryant to start on the outside by day one and start getting targeted.

 

Shaq Richardson, CB, Arizona

6′, 194 lbs.

The Player

Richardson is a freak athlete who has flashed very impressive ability in coverage. He needs to be more disciplined on the field and he doesn’t play as physically as someone his size should.

The Pick

Decent value. Seems a bit early to spend on a big project, but I can see the appeal.

The Fit

I doubt Richardson sees much starting time in year one, but he could impact on special teams while he develops.

 

Wesley Johnson, OL, Vanderbilt

Nov 9, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin celebrates with offensive linesman Wesley Johnson (67) after they scored a touchdown against the Florida Gators during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Florida Gators 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

6’5″, 297 lbs.

The Player

Johnson is one of my favorite players in this draft. He has quick feet and is a phenomenal technician. He uses his hands very well, has great balance and will play to the whistle. People are concerned with his length and size, but I really don’t see that issue.

The Pick

Loved this pick. Johnson is a top 100 player for me and they got him at a discount.

The Fit

Johnson has been tried out all over the offensive line and I think he can make an impact anywhere. Center, guard or tackle, if Johnson can get a bit stronger, he can be a very good offensive lineman.

 

Jordan Zumwalt, LB, UCLA

6’4″, 235 lbs.

The Player

Zumwalt is not a great athlete, but his playing speed is phenomenal. He flies all over the field, can shed and make an impact in the run game. When he hits, the player will stay hit. I am a huge fan.

The Pick

Very good value for one of my higher rated linebackers.

The Fit

The Steelers roster is filled with linebackers and with Shazier being selected, it is doubtful Zumwalt sees the field much outside of special teams. Down the line though, I see a replacement for Lawrence Timmons.

 

Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee

6’7″, 352 lbs.

The Player

McCullers is a huge player who has flashed good movement skills and strength to pair with his size. However, at his size, he has severe leverage issues, motor issues and can get locked in with offensive linemen way too much. There are some serious tools, but a lot of work is to be done.

The Pick

This seems about the right spot for McCullers to go.

The Fit

There is a lot of work to be done, but McCullers should see the field pretty early in his career considering his tools. Probably will get rotated in on the line and brought on for goal line defense.
Sep 21, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Daniel McCullers (98) rushes against the Florida Gators during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass
6’4″, 256 lbs.

The Player

Blanchflower is a very good blocker in the run game. As a receiver, while he isn’t a top notch athlete, he has soft hands and is incredibly physical go after the ball. A very tough player.

The Pick

Good pick for a dependable player such as Blanchflower.

The Fit

Blanchflower will make the team. He is the kind of player that will line up anywhere to be effective. He will see a lot of times on special teams and will possibly get a shot at H-Back.