Pittsburgh Steelers - AFC North
UCF CB Joe Burnett
UCF CB Joe Burnett
Posted Apr 27, 2009

Pittsburgh Steelers - AFC North, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

Pittsburgh Steelers

 - 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


32 32 1st Round 
Ziggy Hood, DT Missouri  6-3, 300

A great character player and a team-leader, Hood has the make-up of a steady producer who’ll be an excellent No. 2 lineman if he plays next to a superstar. Ultra-productive for the Tigers, he showed he has the raw tools to become a tremendous pro with 34 reps on the bench at the Combine to go along with surprising quickness, speed, and agility. However, with all his skills and athleticism, he’s not going to get into the backfield on a regular basis and he doesn’t always play up to his size and strength. There might be a concern that he’s a Combine/workout warrior who won’t be able to play up to the numbers once he hits the field, but he should be a solid performer and a steady starter for a decade.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round
   CFN Position Rank: 3
15 79 3rd Round (from Denver) 
Kraig Urbik, OG Wisconsin 6-6, 330

A tweener, he's athletic enough to be a big right guard, and beefy enough to spend most of his time at guard. He needs to be more powerful to be a star on the inside, playing more like a finesse blocker than a steamroller, but that could change. He's a pure football player who'll work to get better and do what's needed to get better. A few tweaks in his style at guard, instead of standing up too quickly like a tackle, could bring the results needed.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 3
20 84 3rd Round (from Chicago through Denver)
Mike Wallace, WR Ole Miss 6-1 200
Extremely fast, he should be tried out as a returner and a deep threat. While he's very, very raw as a receiver, he's one of the draft's ultimate home run hitters and a potentially lethal project to develop if given time. He needs to learn to become a better route runner and he needs to become far more polished on short to midrange plays, and he's not going to block anyone. However, you can't coach speed.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 30
32 96 3rd Round
Keenan Lewis, CB Oregon State 6-1, 208
A productive starter for four years, Lewis has good size and decent coverage skills. While he didn't come up with a ton of tackles or big plays, he was durable, played through injuries, and was reliable. He ran a decent 4.51 at the Combine, but he didn't do the quickness or agility drills. However, he's strong, evidenced by his 19 reps on the bench, and has the smarts to possibly be used down the road as a safety if he can learn how to hit. His biggest problem is that he doesn't do any one thing all that well and is a tweener in a bad way. He's not fast enough to stay with the quicker receivers, and he's not tough enough to handle the bigger ones.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 17
32 168 5th Round
Joe Burnett, CB UCF  5-10, 190
While he'll see time in the secondary and will get a chance to win a corner job, his money will be made as a returner. A star from day one for the Knights, everyone knew he was a next-level punt returner early on yet still couldn't keep him from producing. Extremely strong, he benched 225 pounds 22 times at the Combine, and he was more than solid in the quickness and leaping drills. He's not good against bigger receivers and will likely work mostly in pure passing situations, but he'll make a team with his range and his special teams duties.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 23
33 169 5th Round
Frank Summers, RB UNLV 5-9, 240
Power, power, power. "The Tank" can catch the ball a little bit and has a little bit of quickness, but he's about pounding the ball between the tackles. He could be used as a fullback and possibly an H-Back, but he'll be at his best in a power running role. While he's limited, he could become a good short-yardage back.

CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 35
32 205 6th Round
Ra'Shon Harris, DT Oregon  6-5, 300

A workout warrior, he wasn't bad at the Combine on the bench, coming up with 28 reps, and he ran a sub-5.0 40. However, it didn't always translate to the field and he wasn't always tough enough against the run. Even with all he did for the Ducks, he's still a bit of a work in progress and will have to prove early on that he's willing to work himself into a role.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: 24
17 226 7th Round (from Tampa Bay)
A.Q Shipley, C Penn State 6-1, 295
A bulldog of a blocker, if he was 6-3 instead of barely 6-1 he'd be considered a top prospect worthy of first day consideration. His motor is always running, he finishes every block, and he doesn't make a mental mistake. Occasionally, his size, or lack of it, is a plus as he gets good leverage on defenders, but in the NFL, he's a center and that's it. He has no chance to play guard and will be limited at center by his short arms. Even so, he'll command instant respect and he'll produce from the moment he steps on the field.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 4
32 241 7th Round
David Johnson, TE Arkansas State 6-2, 275
It all depends on what you want to do with him. Extremely strong and thickly built, he made his biggest mark as a fullback in college. A decent blocker, but not a superior one, he needs to refine his technique to become a regular NFL producer. While he's not going to be a complete receiver, he has enough speed to get deep from time to time and he could grow into an H-Back role.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 13


The Draft Was ... Full of tremendous value. RB Rashard Mendenhall, WR Limas Sweed, and QB Dennis Dixon could've gone much, much earlier than they did and were great steals for the draft slot. The Steelers got a bit quirky with DE Bruce Davis going so early (the third round), but there's a chance he could be another James Harrison.
Best Value Pick: Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois. 1st round. Considering the former Illini star might have been the best running back in the draft, it was Christmas time getting him so late in the first round. He should've gone in the top 15, not the 23.
Biggest Reach: Mike Humpal, LB Iowa. 6th Round. The hope is for him to become a major player if he can stay healthy, but he's limited. He doesn't do any one thing really well at an NFL level.
They Should've ... Given a bit more thought about Steve Slaton. While the Steelers already took Mendenhall, and are still planning on Willie Parker being back healthy in the near future, they took Bruce Davis one pick ahead of the former Mountaineer. A speed back like Slaton would've fit the offense perfectly as a complement to Mendenhall's game.


23 23 1st Round    Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
Back in 1999, Ricky Williams was the sure-thing, must-have running back who appeared to be the obvious choice as the first back taken. The Colts made a big call by taking Edgerrin James fourth, with Williams going fifth, and they turned out to be right. This might be the same dynamic between Darren McFadden and Rashard Mendenhall. Late on the draft scene with only one big year at Illinois, Mendenhall has some questions about his long-term ability; why wasn't he a star right away? Whatever. While not as fast as McFadden, he's fast enough with 4.45 wheels on a 225-pound frame. Very strong, very fast (just ask USC) and very good both inside and out, he's about as sure a prospect as can be; at least physically. The key will be how much he wants it. If he can find the fire and the drive to be special, he'll be a yearly Pro Bowl performer.
CFN Value Rank: First Round   
CFN Position Rank: 1
22 53 2nd Round    Limas Sweed, WR Texas
Outside of the wrist injury that cost him most of last year, he has it all. Tremendous size, good enough speed, and fantastic athleticism, he looks the part of a receiver to build a passing game around. He's not a receiver to build a passing game around. Too streaky and not a dominant player at any time at the collegiate level, he was simply above-average, never special. To compare him to a similar sized Longhorn receiver, Sweed isn't as fast as Roy Williams and isn't even in the same league when it comes to home run hitting potential. He'll work his tail off and will be a very productive ten-year pro, but while there's no real downside, it'll take a special set of circumstances to be a star.
CFN Value Rank: Late First to Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 7
25 88 3rd Round    Bruce Davis, OLB/DE UCLA
At 6-2 and 252 pounds, he's too small to be a defensive end and too slow to be a top outside linebacker. He was a tremendous pass rusher who was always in the backfield and was always hitting the quarterback. While he doesn't have more to his game than just being a pass rusher, at least not yet, he showed off in off-season workouts and at the Combine that he has the potential to become a good linebacker if given time to develop.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round   CFN Position Rank: 27 (as a LB)
31 130 4th Round (from trade)   Tony Hills, OT Texas
Hills started out his career at tight end and turned into a steady starter over the last two years. He didn't isn't a great athlete and has physical issues with a broken leg suffered late last season to go along with a chronic foot problem. While there's a limit on how good he can become, he's just good enough to become a decent backup for either tackle spot.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank:
21 156 5th Round  Dennis Dixon, QB Oregon
Had it not been for a torn ACL late last year he'd have won the Heisman. With tremendous athleticism, good smarts and excellent toughness, Dixon become a tremendous leader who took his game to another level with a jaw-dropping senior season. While he's not going to bomb away, he has a good short-range arm and makes plays on the move everywhere on the field. Of course, the knee injury will be a major problem considering his game is all about quickness, and if he's not moving around he can't play in the NFL; he's not a pro pocket passer. Everyone tried to compare him to Vince Young as last year went on, but he's not as big, doesn't have nearly the same arm, and doesn't have close to the same upside. He'll be in the league for a long time, but he won't start for anyone any time soon.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round     
CFN Position Rank: 11
22 188 6th Round  Mike Humpal, OLB Iowa
A high-motor, high-energy defender who's productive when healthy, he has the size to be tough against the run and the want-to to make plays. Not all that athletic, he's not an ideal outside linebacker and isn't quite strong enough to be moved inside. He can do a little of everything, just not at an NFL level.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent  CFN Position Rank: NR
28 194 6th Round (from trade)  Ryan Mundy, S West Virginia
An interesting prospect who'll probably be overlooked overall, Mundy has good size and was plenty productive for three years. He's not really a corner and he's not a big enough hitter to be an NFL safety, but there's just enough promise to be worth a look.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent  
CFN Position Rank: NR