View Full Version : what was said about the Steelers Draft picks BEFORE they were drafted

05-13-2014, 12:41 PM
After all the smoke has cleared: I like to see what the impression of the player the Steelers drafted BEFORE they became Steelers. ALL of these comment are from CBSSPORTS web-site:

Ryan Shazier (projected 1) Steelers drafted round 1

STRENGTHS: Rangy athlete with terrific closing acceleration and burst. Explosive first step as a blitzer to force the QB from his spot. Very good bend off the edge with momentum to fight through blocks and disrupt the pocket. Flexible ankles and flattens easily.
Uses his length well at the point of attack with good take-on strength to deliver a pop, filling hard vs. the run. Eyes are always elevated with good ball vision and anticipation. Breaks down well on the move and gets low, showing clear improvement with his tackling technique.
Smart and puts himself in correct position to make plays. Sniffs out the ball and almost always finishes when he's in the area. Never quits working to the ball and relentless in pursuit.
Team leader and uplifting teammate with strong personal and football character. Versatile skill-set to drop in coverage, blitz and cover both sidelines. Very productive career with back-to-back seasons with 115-plus tackles, including a conference-best 143 stops in 2013.

WEAKNESSES: Lean frame and lacks elite bulk. Doesn't have the body type to get too much bigger. Needs to continue to get stronger to better shed at the point of attack. Too easily engulfed when attacking the line of scrimmage.
Sometimes content throwing his shoulder and not wrapping up. Overaggressive at times in coverage and needs patient and alert. Will lose track of his assignment in man.
Needs to stay disciplined and tidy up his timing to avoid late hits and unnecessary flags. Needs to keep his composure and keep his emotions in check. History of minor injuries that have caused him to miss playing time.
Compares To: Lavonte David, Buccaneers - While he's not quite as refined or tough as David, Shazier has a similar body type and movement skills to cover a large area and be a ultra-productive tackler at the next level.
--Dane Brugler (2/11/14)

Player Overview
A high school defensive end, Shazier was recruited at linebacker and had scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida and LSU, but decided to go north and committed to Ohio State.

He steadily earned more playing time as a true freshman, eventually starting the final three games. Shazier tallied back-to-back seasons with 115-plus tackles as a sophomore and junior, combining for 44.5 tackles for loss over his career and earning multiple All-Big Ten honors.

He played inside and outside in Columbus and has the versatile skill-set to fill various roles. He was loved by the Buckeyes coaching staff because of his team-first approach.

Shazier has instant acceleration and explosive closing burst, using outstanding edge speed and timing to disrupt the pocket. He lacks natural power to disengage blocks and needs to develop his discipline, but Shazier is a scheme diverse player who projects as a three-down weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 or as an edge rusher in a 3-4 base.

Stephon Tuitt (projected 1-2) Steelers dafted round 2

STRENGTHS: Tantalizing upside. Highly athletic frame despite massive size. Impressive combination of length, power and surprising quickness. Scheme versatility for the 3-4 and 4-3, possessing the size of most interior linemen while maintaining the quickness to provide a rush off the edge.

WEAKNESSES: Arrived to 2013 fall came out of shape following hernia surgery and struggled to dominate as he had as a sophomore. Lack of consistency was a concern as a junior. Durability concerns; also forced to sit out scouting combine due to a hairline fracture in his foot.
--Rob Rang

Player Overview
After Monroe Area High School had posted a combined 0-20 record over the previous two seasons, Tuitt helped lead his team to an 11-2 record and a third-round appearance in the Georgia Class AAA state playoffs as a senior.
Tuitt also saw time at tight end, but made his biggest impact on the defensive line, going on to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio before arriving in South Bend.

He saw action in nine games as a freshman, including three starts, and recorded 26 of his 30 tackles over the final season games of the season. That development would continue into the spring, setting the stage for a breakout 2012.
Tuitt started all 13 games as a sophomore, posting 47 tackles, including 13 for loss, a team-high 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup and a blocked kick.

Most expected Tuitt to dominate again in 2013, but he showed up to fall practice with additional weight and struggled to make the same impact early in the season. His play improved throughout the course of the year, however, and Tuitt decided to make the jump to the NFL, foregoing his senior season.

Tuitt was long expected to leave Notre Dame following his junior season, and returned to Georgia to discuss the decision with his mother before making it public.

He is an intriguing bull of a prospect with plenty of natural ability that is enhanced by the attitude of an under-equipped overachiever. That may be the result of strict upbringing by mother, Tamar Bartlett, a deputy sheriff who demanded discipline.

A hairline fracture in his foot prevented him from working out at the combine, although he did show his ample strength by hoisting 225 pounds 31 times on the bench. He is a quick, tough, massive man who will give his best, which should be worth at least a high second round pick and a shot at being one of the most reliable interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

Dri Archer (not listed) Steelers drafted round 3
Nothing mentioned

Martavis Bryant (project 2-3) Steelers drafted 4

STRENGTHS: Tall, linear athlete with long arms. Above average vertical speed with long strides to accelerate and eat up yards quickly - galloping long-speed to easily gain a step (17 receptions of 20-plus yards in 2013). Flexible and balanced with easy body control to adjust and use his length.

Nice job catching the ball in stride and away from his body. Wide catching radius and will make acrobatic and off-target catches look easy. Good timing and aggressiveness in 50/50 chances with very good leaping ability. Quick footwork to release off the line of scrimmage and make sharp cuts in his routes - good short-area burst to gain a step in/out of his breaks.

Competitive kid. Coming off career-bests as a junior in 2013, finishing second on the team in receiving behind Sammy Watkins.

WEAKNESSES: Tall and long, but not physically imposing from a bulk standpoint - very lean and needs to continue to put meat on his bones. Very inconsistent concentration with too many double-catches and drops at the college level.

Wasn't asked to run a full route tree in Clemson's offense and unrefined in this area. Room to learn patience, hesitation and better body language in his patterns to hold defenders and better sell routes. Needs to get stronger to match up better in tight coverage and show better power after the catch. Only one year of starting experience.

COMPARES TO: Stephen Hill, New York Jets - Similar to Hill when he entered the NFL, Bryant is a tall, legit vertical threat with potential to be drafted higher than expected, but needs to become more well-rounded as a pass-catcher and become more consistent at the catch point to reach his full potential.
--Dane Brugler (1/5/14)

Player Overview
A tall receiver with the ability to stretch the field, Bryant was named the No. 3 prep school prospect in the country by 247Sports.com after playing for Hargrave Military Academy in 2010. He played in the Shrine Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American game and was a top 100 recruit by every service.

Bryant caught nine passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 2011, adding two kickoff returns for 45 yards while seeing action in 14 games - two starts.

He really emerged as a downfield threat as a sophomore, averaging 30.5 yards on 10 receptions - four of which went for touchdowns. Bryant also had 10 kickoff returns while seeing action on 245 snaps in 10 games. His average per catch led the nation among receivers with double-digit catches.

Bryant, 6-4, 200 pounds, caught 42 passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, averaging 19.7 yards per reception. Two of his three catches in the Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State went for touchdowns.
It proved to be his final game in a Clemson uniform, as Bryant told the Post and Courier in a text message two days later: "I have decided to enter the draft, it's best for me and my family."

Shaquille Richardson (not listed) Steelers drafted round 5
Nothing mentioned

Wesley Johnson (projected 5) Steelers drafted round 5

STRENGTHS: Light and lean. Coordinated athlete with a smooth lateral shuffle and easy footwork and movement skills. Nice job getting to the second level and blocks well on the move. Good upper and lower body control to mirror and use his body. Understands angles and uses his entire frame to shield. Nice job on combo blocks and throws his body around to get the job done.

Heady awareness. Intelligent and quick learner with strong character on and off the field. Versatile playing experience with time at both tackle spots and guard and center. School record for career starts with 51 (45 left tackle, 6 right tackle). Athletic bloodlines - father played baseball at Louisiana Tech, grandfather played football at Hofstra and in the NFL.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite length with narrow shoulders and a limited wingspan. Doesn't have ideal muscle mass or bulk and will struggle to get much bigger at the next level. Lacks the point of attack strength to control rushers unless squared up and flashes limited power as a run blocker - won't overwhelm defenders.

Struggles to anchor and will play too much on his heels. Hand technique gets wild and needs to keep them inside and tight. Needs to stay balanced and not overextend himself in space. Bad habit of lowering his helmet at the point of attack and losing sight of the defender. Needs to show more aggression to finish blocks once engaged. Only starting experience in college was on the edges.
--Dane Brugler

Player Overview
A three-star high school recruit, Johnson earned the starting left tackle job after redshirting in 2009 and started every game of his college career, setting a Vanderbilt career record for starts (51).

A two-time co-captain, he saw most of his action at left tackle and right tackle, but also kicked inside to guard and center when needed, earning First Team All-SEC honors as a senior and allowing only two sacks the past two years.

Johnson has a limited frame for the next level with average length and overall body strength, but stays light on his feet - better pass protector than run blocker. He struggles with off-balance blocks and needs to keep defenders squared up in order to win. Johnson enters the league with versatile experience and provides depth across the line of scrimmage, but is best suited at tackle or inside at center in the NFL.

Jordan Zumwalt (projected 4) Steelers drafted round 6

STRENGTHS: Tall with adequate arm length and growth potential. Room to continue to get stronger. Plays fast downhill with good first step quickness and instincts to help compensate for suspect change of direction skills and range.
High energy competitor and plays with an intense demeanor. Motor is always revving. Violent striker and hits through his target, looking to punish. Very physical and strong. Fights for body positioning with active hands and attacks the line of scrimmage with a head of steam.

Trusts what he sees and uses sharp angles and decisive movements. Versatile experience, dropping into coverage and blitzing. Thirty career starts, playing mostly an inside linebacker role in UCLA's 3-4 scheme.

WEAKNESSES: Lanky build and lacks ideal bulk for the position and needs to spend more time in the weight room. Average athleticism with body tightness, takes him a few moments to change directions. Needs to stay balanced in his drops and doesn't look comfortable in space. Needs to stay low on tackle attempts to be a more consistent finisher.

Overaggressive and will struggle to recover. Needs to improve his fundamentals to better shed at the point of attack and play controlled to square up his target. Needs to play smart and some of his hits will draw flags in the NFL. Durability questions from past injuries and also concern for his ability to hold up due to his fierce playing style.
--Dane Brugler (2/12/14)

Player Overview
A four-star linebacker recruit, Zumwalt originally committed to Stanford before switching his allegiance to UCLA late in the process. He saw immediate action as a true freshman in 2010 and was a rotational starter his first three seasons, playing both inside and outside.

Zumwalt enjoyed his best season as a senior in 2013 with 93 tackles, 5.5 for loss and a pair of interceptions, earning All-Pac 12 honorable mention honors. He plays fast, active and aggressive, but also stiff and is more of a straight-line athlete who struggles to easily redirect.

Zumwalt has an intense on-field demeanor and to describe him as "violent" would be an understatement. He also comes with durability concerns due to his physical play style.
He projects as a versatile reserve player who is able to wear several hats in various schemes, but will need to cut his teeth on special teams to keep a roster spot.

Daniel McCullers (projected 3-4) Steelers drafted round 6

STRENGTHS: Mammoth human being with thick bones and above average build from head to toe...long arms and engulfing wingspan to eat up blockers...double-team magnet and not an easy player to move from his spot - load to handle...stuffs run lanes with his stout trunk and sheer size, tossing linemen in his way...very good natural power to attack single blockers and win one-on-one match-ups...decent chase speed for his size, making some plays downfield...flashes technique and showed improvements in this area...tough and durable, starting 19 games the past two seasons in the SEC - played both 0- and 3-technique spots.

WEAKNESSES: Tight hips and struggles to smoothly move laterally, inhibiting his overall range - short-area player...struggles mightily with leverage and often knocked backwards when he allows blockers to get low...extreme weight fluctuation, playing between 350 and 400 pounds since high school...will slow down at contact and doesn't dominate like his size would suggest...needs to show better snap anticipation and very limited as a pass rusher...struggles to break down in space and needs to be a better finisher when he's in the area...will clearly take some plays off and disappears from games - looks worn out and not going full-go on each snap, raising questions about his conditioning...not a strong practice player and needs to be more committed to his development - questionable football passion and overall competitive nature...minor durability concerns, dealing with a left hamstring strain.
--Dane Brugler

Player Overview
Daniel "Dan" McCullers struggled to qualify academically out of high school and enrolled at Georgia Military Academy for two seasons.
A three-star JUCO recruit, he received offers from Alabama and Mississippi State, but decided to transfer to Tennessee, mostly because of the 3-4 defense. McCullers earned the starting NG as a junior in 2012 and started 19 games the past two seasons as a fixture on the Volunteers' three-man front. He plays like a tree trunk rooted in the middle of the LOS, clogging the middle and cementing himself as a tough guy to move.

McCullers shows improved awareness, but just doesn't get to the ball in time, lacking any type of range or flexibility to be a consistent factor away from the middle of the LOS. He is an inconsistent performer and lacks the killer instinct and effort ideal for the next level - bark is worse than his bite. McCullers' size is both a positive and a negative, but his ability to be a space-eater will appeal to some teams - some untapped potential there to be an early third day pick.

Rob Blanchflowers (projected 5) Steelers drafted round 7

STRENGTHS: Experienced and productive four-year starter. Excellent size for the position. Good, physical in-line run blocker. Tough competitor who is willing to sacrifice his body, which could make him a strong special teams player at the next level. Team captain.

WEAKNESSES: Durability concerns following sports hernia surgery. Average overall athlete. Isn't going to run away from many NFL linebackers and safeties and will need to find ways to create space. Not an open-field threat as a runner.

Player Overview
Blanchflower leaves UMass as the program's all-time leader for receiving yards (1,164) at tight end as a four-year starter.
Blanchflower earned a Scouting Combine invitation, but was not able to take part in the agility tests or position drills while recovering from sports hernia surgery that sidelined him for the final six games of his senior season.