The Steelers rarely get big media coverage for their draft picks because they don't do the "controversial" picks like some teams, just always very solid. Here are my thoughts on the draft at least:
1.32 Evander Hood - DT
4-3 DT in college but will be a 3-4 DE for the Steelers. Biggest need for us on defense by far was some youth and depth along the D-Line and especially at DE and so while most had us pegged for an offensive lineman here, we went with a much better value pick and didn't reach for an OL here when we didn't need to. I absolutely loved this pick and I think it's a great move to start securing our future starters on defense when our guys get too old. Entire starting DL is above 30 years old so good time to get younger.
3.15 Kraig Urbik - OG/OT
Exactly what we needed here...he's a versatile offensive lineman who specializes as a great run blocker. He started all 4 years at Wisconsin and played both RT and RG...started as a freshman as a RT and moved to Guard starting his sophomore season. Hard working type guy so he fits in fantastically with what we want on our team from every standpoint.
3.20 Mike Wallace - WR
2nd Fastest receiver in the draft after Heyward-Bey. He'll push Limas as our slot receiver and even more importantly he's a great return man as he holds pretty much every Ole Miss kickoff return yardage record. Also led the SEC in yards per reception this past season at 20.1 yards per reception. Not the most "experienced" receiver but he's a great returner and could fill the shoes of Nate Washington this next season with a little training and experience. Good pick for ST and potentially as a role player in the receiving game as well.
3.32 Keenan Lewis - CB
Decent CB who will do well in our zone scheme. He's a good tackler and has some pretty good size in comparison to most CBs at 6'1". He's a smart player so he'll fit what we want from our secondary players and could contribute as a Dime CB or potentially even our Nickel CB.
Our next picks are where I just don't know all that much about them so I won't be able to offer much of an opinion on those guys...grabbed another CB who could contribute along with another DL player and even a "short yardage" back in Frank Summers who will likely replace the role that Gary Russell had last season.
Overall I'd probably give us at least a B...we didn't have any earth shattering picks but we got good value at every pick and I think there's a good chance of most of them making our team in some capacity next season.
I'd say Lewis is almost a lock to make it and play a decent amount this year...I don't know as much about the other guy though so I can't say for sure. We also signed Keiwan Ratliff at CB who was with the Colts last season so he'll be another guy who fits our defensive scheme...he's not starter quality but he'll give some good competition as the Nickel or Dime CB position as well. I think our secondary is shaping up nicely this season.
I found my self watching and waitning on day 2 for the Steelers to draft A.Q. Shipley. For a guy who won all kinds of awards on the College level, he was getting no love on draft weekend. I was happy as hell when he fell and fell and the Steelers finally took him with their 2nd to last pick. He's got a shot to compete and Hartwig's contact is done after this year. I cant see them resigning him... I think Shipley has the potential to start down the road. I know arm length is an issue but the guy competes and at center , he is in a "phone booth" situation where I think he can excel.
At the combine, He put up the 4th most in the Bench press out of all O-lineman (33) wherre guys like Unger (22) and Wood (30) put up less... He was 5th overall (again against all O-lineman) in the 3-cone shuttle with the only center ahead of him being Unger. He was 2nd overall in the 20 yards shuffle and ran a very good 5.26 in the 40. He did great in College winning the Rimington award for the top rated center in college and had great numbers in all of the measurables. So why does he fall so far? That part I didnt get. I was actually hoping they would have grabbed him in the 4th or 5th round as a posiiton of need When he free fell to the end of the draft, I was really perplexed. Finally held my arms up in rejoice once they finally called his name and it was the Steelers... He may be the steal of the draft if he can play up to the potential I think he can...
Mike Tomlin knows a thing or two about motivating players.
So it probably shouldn't come as any surprise that the Steelers coach regularly tells rookie center A.Q. Shipley, "Man, those arms are looking short."
The length of Shipley's arms is a big reason why 225 players were selected before the Moon Area High School graduate in April. And Tomlin's daily reminders of that supposed shortcoming are his way of telling Shipley to stiff-arm the doubters.
"He tells me he's going to tell me that every day until I make this team," Shipley said after an offseason practice at the Steelers' South Side facility, "because he doesn't care how long my arms are, which is awesome."
While his arm span is a little under 30 inches — considered short for an NFL offensive linemen — a spot on the Steelers' 53-man roster is not out of his reach.
Justin Hartwig appears entrenched as the starter at center. But the eighth-year veteran is entering the final year of his contract, and the Steelers may need a successor sooner rather than later.
It is too early to tell whether Shipley is the Steelers' center of the future, but he has been among the first-year players who have pleasantly surprised offensive coordinator Bruce Arians during offseason practices.
"I'm pleased with all of the rookies on offense," Arians said, "Every single one is showing progress and possibilities. This is a hard team to make. (But) I wouldn't count out any of them making our team."
It's not wise to count Shipley out.
Despite hearing questions about his size since he started playing football, the Coraopolis native blossomed into a premier center at Penn State.
A three-year starter in college, Shipley won the 2008 Rimington Trophy, which is given to the top center in the country, and anchored the best offensive line in the Big Ten.
The 6-1, 305-pounder excelled at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, ranking among the top offensive linemen in the 225-pound bench press, several speed drills and vertical leap. He also scored a 40 out of 50 on the Wonderlic aptitude test.
Yet, his slide on the second day of the draft made it clear that teams were more concerned about other measurables — namely, Shipley's height and the length of his arms.
By way of comparison, centers Alex Mack and Eric Wood — both drafted in the first round this year — have arms measured at 33 inches.
Shipley, selected in the seventh round, may have emerged from the draft with a bruised ego. But his feelings were soothed by the fact that he was drafted by his hometown team.
"I've worked my whole life to play in the NFL, and to get picked up by the team I fell in love with is almost surreal at times," Shipley said. "But now it's a business. I have to make the team and show them I can play here."
One thing that will help Shipley in his quest to do that is the edge with which he plays. It is a product of all of those questions he has heard about what he supposedly doesn't have or can't do.
"I think I'll have that chip on my shoulder the rest of my life," Shipley said. "I've been out to prove (critics) wrong, one for myself, two for my family and three just to prove everyone wrong."
Is it me, or are the Steelers (the defending SB champions!!!) getting little to no attention?? Besides Harrison skipping the white house, there's been little to no media coverage for a team that just won the SB. Even during the draft, it was like..."oh yea, the Steeler's drafted some players...but what were the cowboys thinking??"
The only things I see about the Steelers is SI using them to peddling subscriptions.