The Steelers retained offensive lineman Ramon Foster, which is a good start to the offseason. They also made a great signing in bringing in underrated tight end Ladarius Green. Green will be a dangerous weapon and should ease the absence of Marais Bryant due to suspension. He can line up wide or in line to block. He is due for a breakout season, and his size and speed will be great in this offense. They also resisted the urge to overspend on big names in free agency which will help them down the line. But I do wish they would have spent some money to infuse some talent into their defense.
FREE AGENCY GRADE: B
RD 1: CB Artie Burns, Miami
RD 2: CB Sean Davis, Maryland
RD 3: DT Javon Hargrave, South Carolina State
RD 4: OT Jerald Hawkins, LSU
RD 6: OLB Travis Feeney, Washington
RD 7: WR Demarcus Ayers, Houston
RD 7: LB Tyler Matakevich, Temple
The Steelers took some risks in this draft that can either be great for the team or set them back a few years. Artie Burns is a solid corner that is a risk in the second round. He would most likely have been available in the second round. But he has the upside to be a great corner in the NFL.
The corner they got in the second round is on the same level as Burns. He has length and us not afraid to come up and hit the ball carrier. They followed this with a risk on a small school defensive tackle. He has the tools but will need to be coached up before he can be a starter.
Jerald Hawkins was a solid pick that will yield them a starter that us durable and strong. He needs some work with his feet, but he can start immediately.
Feeney has the size to be great but like most of this draft, he will have to be coached up. He has good speed off the edge and can use this to beat tackles.
The ended the draft with a small speedster and a solid linebacker that will most likely play inside. Both should be solid special teams players while they develop.
DRAFT GRADE: C
The Steelers did not make any really big signings. The signing of Green was a stroke of genius that will immediately pay off for them. In the draft the took a lot of unnecessary risks that could have been used on more solid players. Burns is a great corner but could have been had in the second round. They could have instead gotten a pass rusher in Shilique Calhoun to partner with Bud Dupree. They also could have gotten a better player in the third. But I do like the pick of Hawkins. He will be great for this line and should be able to take the place of Kelvin Beacham