Open Rants by Steeler17

Just how bad was the Steeler's 2016 draft?
Published at 5/30/2016
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From what I have read, it seems pretty clear the the majority are pretty sour after the 2016 draft. To be fair, the Steelers broke away from their usual BPA, and instead tried to fill needs. While this makes sense on paper, this also caused the Steelers to make some massive reaches. Starting in round one with Artie Burns, we went all in in order to get a CB, a position desired by the Rooney's, even though Burns seemed like a mid to early second round pick. Reports came out that the Chiefs were targeting him, which furthered the reasoning behind the pick. The only other options were Jack, the talented but injured LB and a few DT's. My major problem with this pick lies with the fact that the Bronco's offered to trade with us. I would have risked loosing Artie in order to gain a third round pick. All in all though, Burns may not be ideal, but there wasn't a whole lot of options. If he can develop though, the Steelers will have a star on there hands. Although I hate grading, I would give this pick an optimistic C, with a good chance it improves in the future.

Moving on to day two, I was again puzzled when we got S Sean Davis. A great enforcer when he tackles, he seemed lost when he played CB last year. That's fine though, as he fills the biggest need on this team, as Golden is not an upper end starter (he has a ceiling, and he has just about reached it, I do like him though). That being said, he is more in the mold of a Mike Mitchell (thumper), as opposed to a Ed Reed (ballhawk). Even more so, we passed on Vonn Bell from OSU (a school that we love) who better fills the "ballhawk" role. We needed a safety that excelled in coverage, and while Davis should be able to develop those skills, we passed on a player who was much more pristine in that regard. I'll give Davis a C-, and he has a long road to go. If he can't cover, he may be a bust. Round three we did a great job when selecting Javon Hargrave to be our future NT. He was projected in the second, he has great strength, and he plays like a monster, all leading to the thought that he is a steal for us. The only complaint I heard was that we passed on Billings. While Billings was looked at as a day one pick, he fell to the forth. Sure, if he fell to round two, that's because there were better players available, but 32 teams passed on him 3 times at least. That means the league was weary on him, so Hargrave represented the safer option, thus giving him a A grade.

Day three, the Steelers did a fine job. We found depth and developmental talent. while also grabbing players that "fell". Hawkins (B- grade) should provide key depth at RT and both guard spots. He more or less replaces Hubbard and Adams, opening another roster spot for another player. He also has upside, and could eventually develop at tackle, although a shift to guard seems more plausible. Feeney (B+) is all about athletic ability and developmental upside. He will start out as an OLB, but will probably shift as a "tweener" between OLB and ILB. If developed properly, he could even become a starter at either position (although Vince Williams seems like the future at ILB). Ayers (B-) can possibly carve out a niche as a returner, meaning Brown will be relieved of his duties there. That alone would be enough to warrant this pick, but add in his route running and hands, he also may have a future as a slot receiver. He lacks athletic ability, but he could be a fine role player. Matakevich (A) lacks athletic ability, but is as productive as any other player in the draft. Seen as a day two pick, he also represents a nice value pick. If he can overcome his lack of athleticism, he could easily become a starter. If not, he can provide depth and special teams help.

All in all, the draft will not help day one, but as the talent and the athleticism to become a very good draft. A strong back end of the draft helped overcome the two reaches at the beginning. Feeney and Hargrave seem too have bright futures. The key word to this draft is development, as it is key to make it a successful draft. Each player seems to have future starting potential, and if developed properly, this draft will be looked back on fondly in later years.

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