Pittsburgh Steelers: B
Draft picks: DL Cameron Heyward (first round), OT Marcus Gilbert (second round), CB Curtis Brown (third round), CB Cortez Allen (fourth round), OLB Chris Carter (fifth round), OL Keith Williams (sixth round), RB Baron Batch (seventh round).
Analysis: The Steelers did a nice job of drafting for value, which is usually the case with this team. The first three draftees have a chance to start as rookies.
They continue to pick well from the bottom of the board. Cam Hewyard, Marcus Gilbert and Curtis Brown all look NFL-ready.
Best pick: Does Cameron Heyward fit the Steelers or what? He is a perfect 3-4 end in their defense.
Questionable move: Why did they take Florida's Marcus Gilbert when there were better options at tackle? They reached on that one.
Third-day gem: Fifth-round outside linebacker Chris Carter is perfect for their system, a speed player who can rush the passer.
Analysis: Heyward will be a good player, but I worry they over-drafted Gilbert to help fill a major need. But it's hard to argue with Kevin Colbert's success in recent years.
ESPN Mel Kiper
Summary: This was a typically unflashy draft, but what I consider an effective one for Pittsburgh. (And [color="#0000FF"]it's hard to be flashy when you always pick late[/color].) The Steelers needed to get younger at defensive end and they added Heyward within a good value range. They needed a tackle and they added Gilbert. They really needed corner help and got a really good value in Brown at No. 95, then pegged Allen in Round 4. Carter is a guy Dick LeBeau can develop. Solid weekend for Pittsburgh.
Needs: A- Value: B
Team Needs: CB and offensive line.
How Did They Do: Addressed offensive line concerns with Marcus Gilbert and Keith Williams. Found a strong corner in Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen.
Cam Heyward was a solid value pick. Steelers did not have that many needs, so addressed team depth.
The Steelers usually stay in their draft slot, and somehow find contributors players that fit their style. Cameron Heyward could be a unheralded five-technique starter for years. He’ll continue the team’s tradition of late first-round finds. Marcus Gilbert and cornerback Curtis Brown were solid picks where they were taken and fill needs. The Steelers didn’t reach for secondary picks. Pittsburgh’s drafts tend to look better after a few years, which is the whole idea.
Average of 7 players: B+
Brown, Carter; A. Heyward, Gilbert, Allen, Williams; B. Batch; C.