2015 Draft in Review: Pittsburgh Steelers
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
That’s right every team is going to have each pick broken down as well as a look at their undrafted free agents. Up now? The Steelers are charged with moving on from Dick LeBeau and replenishing a defense that has fallen off his high standards.
Round 1: Bud Dupree, ED, Kentucky
Someone was going to draft Dupree high and it just had to be the Steelers. Dupree has the measurables of a star but the tape of a guy who should have been nowhere near Round 1. He didn’t generate much pressure and what he did came against guys who won’t end up anywhere near the NFL. Joey Porter has his work cut out to turn him into the next great Steelers linebacker. 33 edge defenders had more quarterback disruptions than him last year.
Depth Chart Fit: The way the Steelers have operated previously suggests he’ll be part of a time share in Year 1, with more playing time coming if he impresses.
Round 2: Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss
Made a name for himself with his playmaking ways this year and showed as a game competitor. A little lightweight against the run and isn’t your press corner type guy, but is very quick with excellent change of direction ability and a knack for making things happen with the ball around him. Ratio of 10 picks to three pass breakups show how dangerous it is throwing around him.
Depth Chart Fit: With the team weak at corner he has to be a favorite right now to lock up one spot straight away.
Round 3: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Looks the part. Is big, strong and extremely fast which shows up with how he handles being pressed at the line. Brings some power after the catch but needs to do better job locating and tracking the ball. Really disappointing return catching just 45.9% of balls thrown his way. Should be a more productive player than he is.
Depth Chart Fit: No pressure on his shoulders initially, but he’ll like earn a smattering of playing time as Big Ben gets to test his arm downfield.
Round 4: Doran Grant, CB, Ohio State
Never hurts to double dip at a position. Grant had a Top-25 production grade for his coverage in the FBS, bringing five picks to his five pass breakups. Did get beat for a TD by Amari Cooper but if you watch the Wisconsin game you’d have been wowed by his efforts. Looked like some player while snagging a couple of picks and two more pass breakups.
Depth Chart Fit: Another who has a shot at real playing time, though some of that might depend on if one of the likely starters can switch to nickel in sub package.
Round 5: Jesse James, TE, Penn State
Did not impress as a receiver with a negative production grade (six dropped passes did not help his cause) and wasn’t strong enough with his blocking that we could look past that. At 6-foot-7 he has the kind of size that gives you something to work with, but he might spend a lot of time on the bench this year.
Depth Chart Fit: Heath Miller is the guy who does it all and Matt Spaeth is the blocker. So James will likely learn as much as he can from them.
Round 6. Leterrius Walton, ID, Central Michigan
Extremely productive interior lineman at Central Michigan where he turned his 615 snaps into the 23rd overall rating in the class. What’s more he was 11th overall with his pass rushing and showed a real knack for getting after the quarterback with 30 quarterback disruptions. Level of competition is a concern.
Depth Chart Fit: Zero reason why he can’t make an immediate contribution as a sub-package rusher, but an every-down role is a long way off with some big bodies in front of him.
Round 6: Anthony Chickilo, ID, Miami
A competent pass rusher who never really excelled during his final year at Miami. It was then something of a surprise that he was so impressive rushing from a wider alignment in the Shrine Game. A big question will be around where the Steelers have drafted him to make an impact.
Depth Chart Fit: Wherever he lines up it’s likely he’s buried on the depth chart and will really need a strong camp to latch onto the final 53.
Round 7: Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville
He’s got a lot of the instincts you like in a center fielder and you don’t get as many picks as he had on pure luck. At his best playing the quarterback and at his worst trying to tackle defenders. He looks like and plays like he wants no part of it. Made only 40 tackles and missed 16 in a rather pathetic effort. Still playmakers are hard to find.
Depth Chart Fit: Backing up Mike Mitchell, he might find some success in a sub package role. His big problem is he’s at his best deep, but do you want him being the last line of defense against a rampaging back?
Kevin Whimpey, OT, Utah State: Had a nice season at Utah State, allowing just 11 quarterback disruptions on the year and earning a positive with his run blocking at left tackle.
Miles Dieffenbach, C, Penn State: Played chiefly at guard for Penn State towards the end of the year, logging 222 snaps from Week 11 onwards.
Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn: Played in a very center friendly scheme at Auburn, but did what was asked of him to finish with 6th highest production grade. When more was rarely asked lack of length and strength showed up.
B.J. Finney, C, Kansas State: Similar to Dismukes but a bit more powerful and likely to generate some movement. 13th-highest run blocking grade of draft eligible centers.
Dior Mathis, CB, Oregon: Struggled to get on the field, logging just 217 snaps and earning a negative grade in the part. Lacks size at 5-foot-9.
Nigel Crawford-Kinney, DI, St. Augustine: Played zero snaps against FBS opposition at St Augustine.
Dominique Davis, DI, Liberty: 114 snaps against FBS opposition for Liberty and was active in the run against North Carolina (four defensive stops).
Brandon Prate, ED, Illinois: Played zero snaps against FBS opposition at Illinois State.
Colin Rahrig, OG, Illinois: Nothing overly flashy from player who switched from center to guard midway through the season. That versatility could help as he held up well at right guard in Shrine Game.
Tyler Murphy, QB, Boston College: Not much of a passer but had the third highest quarterback grade running the ball of all draft eligible QBs. Position switch ahoy.
Ross Scheuerman, RB, Lafayette: Played zero snaps against FBS opposition at Lafayette.
Cameron Clear, TE, Texas A&M: Just 167 snaps for Texas A&M for a guy who is massive. Despite his size didn’t impress with his run blocking.
Eli Rogers, WR, Louisville: Had a chance to make a highlight reel for himself with DeVante Parker out but with seven drops and marginal work after the catch did not.
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