2010 NFL Draft Analysis
Round (17-32) |
2nd Round |
| 5th Round
| Top Free Agents
Maurkice Pouncey, C Florida 6-4, 304
Overall Pick No. 18 CFN Overall Ranking: 10
It might seem a bit boring to take a center, but this is Pittsburgh and it never, ever goes wrong with taking top O line prospects. If you could be guaranteed a Pro Bowl player at the 18, you’d take it in a heartbeat. Pouncey will go to several Pro Bowls as either a center or a guard, but there might be some Steeler fans who might have liked Jimmy Clausen as a prospect to build around for the future.
With prototype size and good athleticism, he’s by far the best center prospect in the draft. However, he might end up being better served at guard where he can use his nasty run blocking ability and toughness to work well in the right scheme. Extremely quick, smart, and technically sound, he has it all. He’ll make a line his the second he hits the practice field and will be a leader and high-level producer for a decade.
CFN Projection: First Round
Jason Worilds, OLB Virginia Tech 6-1, 254 (DE)
Overall Pick No. 52 CFN Overall Ranking: 81
Pittsburgh likes their pass rushers, and Worilds fits a type. Lamarr Woodley didn’t step up in every game at Michigan and how did he turn out for the Steelers? It’s the same thing with Worilds, who might not have been consistent, but he should now that he’s with the perfect NFL team for him.
Part defensive end, part outside linebacker, he’s a true tweener with a high motor who can do a little of everything, he was quick through the short drills in workouts. A tough tackler who has to be dragged off the field, he has had several injuries to play through but isn’t going to dog it. While he’ll need to be a more creative pass rusher and will have to grow into a role as a 3-4 linebacker.
CFN Projection: Third Round
Emmanuel Sanders, WR SMU 5-11, 186
Overall Pick 82 CFN Overall Ranking: 136
So the Steelers are going to go back to the thumping, pounding style everyone remembers from the old days … yeah, and they’re also going to upgrade the receiver wheels along the way. Sanders can fly and will get his chance to instantly grow into a Santonio Holmes role.
With 4.44 speed and excellent jumping ability, he’s a terrific athlete who negates his lack of size by being able to jump out of the stadium. He’ll work for a catch and is never afraid to try to make the tough play, and while his deep speed is excellent, his quickness and cutting ability is even better. There are character issues, though, having been suspended from the team after having problems missing meetings and not being on time enough. He’s not big, but he has the quickness to be a dangerous slot receiver and a great third target in a Wes Welker-like mold.
CFN Projection: Third Round
Thaddeus Gibson, OLB Ohio State 6-2, 243
Overall Pick 116 CFN Overall Ranking: 133
What a shocker. Pittsburgh goes with … a hybrid linebacker! The Steelers almost never go wrong with picking up pass rushers, and they always seem to do a great job with the good prospects who just need a fire lit under them (LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison). Combining with Jason Worilds, the Steelers have their defensive playmakers for the next several years.
With a great frame and the perfect look, he has the appearance of a next-level linebacker, even though he has defensive end skills. A veteran who has been through it all, he has great athleticism and could be a natural in several spot. Very quick, he led all defensive ends at the Combine in the cone drill and blazed through the shuttle drills, and the 32 reps on the bench were terrific. However, his skills don’t necessarily translate to the field and he isn’t an elite pass rusher and there might be a concern of a Vernon Gholston tag (looks the part but can’t play).
CFN Projection: Second Round
Chris Scott, OT Tennessee 6-5, 319
Overall Pick 151 CFN Overall Ranking: 193
The Steelers know how to work with offensive linemen, and while Scott might end up being a better guard than a tackle, he’s versatile enough to be used in a variety of ways as a key backup. He has the size and he was a good blocker at a high level, but the Steelers will need time to develop him.
A mauler of a run blocker who’ll likely end up spending his career at guard, he’s very strong, a nice pass blocker, and was, arguably, the best blocker on a terrific Volunteer line. Able to play almost anywhere on the line, his versatility alone should keep him on a roster as a backup, at least. He needs to get physically stronger (he’s not going to be able to overpower linemen in the NFL like he did in college) to be a great guard, and he needs technique work, but he could be a low-risk pick late.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round
Crezdon Butler, CB Clemson 6-0, 191
Overall Pick 164 CFN Overall Ranking: 168
The Steelers keep upgrading at key spots. Butler won’t tackle anyone, but he’s a blazer who’ll help Pittsburgh’s team speed. He’s at the perfect team for him. He has the tools and the athleticism, but he needs coaching. He’ll get it.
The size is there and the speed is definitely there after blazing a 4.41 at the Combine to go with a stunning vertical of 39.5”. His technique needs to be blown up to be built up again by an NFL coaching staff. The athleticism isn’t a problem and he looks the part, but he’s not a natural football player and he doesn’t tackle up to his size. Some defensive coach will have to see Butler as a wad of clay to mold and will have to ignore the game tape.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round
Stevenson Sylvester, OLB Utah 6-2, 231
Overall Pick 166 CFN Overall Ranking: 220
There’s a reason the Steelers are the Steelers. Sylvester is a dangerous, disruptive tweener of a pass rusher who’s the PERFECT fit for what Pittsburgh does. He’s an aggressive playmaker who’ll find a role right away and will be used to maximize his talents.
While he’s not going to be a three-down defender, he could make a ton of money and make a lot of headlines as a pure pass rushing specialist. He played at a high level throughout his college career and ate Alabama’s lunch n the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Extremely quick with cut-on-a-dime quickness, he could be a disruptive force as a 3-4 outside linebacker if he’s in the right defense. But if he’s on the field for more than a few downs, he’ll get run over by any NFL lineman.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round
61. Jonathan Dwyer, RB Georgia Tech 5-11, 229 (Jr.)
Overall Pick 188 CFN Overall Ranking: 61
Here you go fantasy fans; here’s your 2010 sleeper you MUST have. With Willie Parker gone, Dwyer is a great fit for the Steeler running game when, not if, Rashard Mendenhall gets hurt. While the slow running time made him slide down boards, Dwyer is in the perfect place for his skills.
Easily the call of the draft among the running backs. He’s big, quick, and was phenomenal in the Paul Johnson option offensive system, but he was an utter disaster at the Combine compared to the other top backs running a glacier-slow 4.66 in the 40 and didn’t do much better in the passing and agility drills. However, if he could drop a few pounds, he’ll show he’s a good runner who was great on tape even in the gimmick offense and he always showed up in the biggest games at the biggest times. He won’t be for every offense, but if he’s allowed to play on a team with a zone-blocking scheme, he has the potential to put up big numbers for a long stretch. There was a time when he was considered a top 15 overall pick, and now someone will consider him a steal as he drops down.
CFN Projection: Third Round
Sixth Round (from Arizona)
Antonio Brown, WR Central Michigan 5-10, 186 (Jr.)
Overall Pick 195 CFN Overall Ranking: 171
How many fantastic picks can the Steelers make? They had a back half of the draft as good as anyone getting a tremendous producer, a great kick returner, and a receiver who can step in and play right away. He might not be an Emmanuel Sanders-like blazer, but he can play.
Ultra-productive as both a receiver and a return man, he was an elite college playmaker, even though he played in the MAC, with good quickness, smooth ability, and clutch play as Dan LeFevour’s most dangerous target. He’s not all that big and the 4.57 40 run at the Combine was a killer, but he plays fast on the field. Not all that polished and without a top-end work ethic, he’s not a sure thing, but when the lights were on he was fantastic.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round
Doug Worthington, DT/DE Ohio State 6-5, 292
He never quite reached his potential for the Buckeyes as there was always the hope for more from the interior. The Steelers like their tweeners, but he’s not quite the type of athletic pass rusher who can be used on the outside and isn’t big enough to be a regular presence on the inside.
Overall Pick 238 CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent