First Round Selection
Evander (Ziggy) Hood, DE, Missouri
Height: 6-2 7/8 | Weight: 300 | 40-Time: 4.89
2005: 18 tackles ‚Äì 1 sack
2006: 36 tackles ‚Äì 4 sacks
2007: 49 tackles ‚Äì 5 sacks
2008: 62 tackles ‚Äì 7 sacks
Strengths: Hood played defensive tackle at Missouri but was drafted by the Steelers to be a defensive end in the NFL. Athletic, very good size and bulk which fits the Steelers kind of defensive end for a 3-4 scheme. Has an explosive first step and great quickness which has scouts optimistic that Hood will make the adjustment to defensive end in the NFL, quite easily. High motor and is versatile, can play DT and DE.
Best attributes — Seen as being very coachable. A Steelers type of player and is regarded as a hard worker on and off the field.
Weaknesses: Not a dominant run stopper, needs some work in that area. Is not viewed as a difference maker, although he has the physical tools and athletic ability to become one. Production in college is not overwhelming. Needs to improve lower body strength.
Analysis: Going defensive line in the first round was a pressing need and Steelers addressed that need with the selection of Missouri defensive end Evander Hood. All three starters on the Steelers defensive line are on the wrong side of 30.
With Brett Keisel entering the final year of his contract, Hood will be groomed into being Keisel’s replacement in 2010. Hood is very coachable and has a great opportunity to develop his game at the next level as he won’t be a starter early in the season.
Third Round Selections
Kraig Urbik, OG, Wisconsin
Height: 6’5‚Öõ” | Weight: 328 lbs
2005: Started all 13 games of the 2005 season at right tackle.
2006: Started all 13 games at guard
2007: Started 10 games at guard and three games at right tackle.
2008: Started all 13 games at guard
Strengths: Excellent size and bulk, an element the Steelers are missing on their interior offensive line. Plays with a mean streak that fits the Steelers mentality. Has above
average upper body and lower body strength. Above average run blocker and is a fierce competitor in the trenches.
Weaknesses: Lack of quickness is regarded as a redflag with Urbik and a reason he went from a 2nd round prospect at mid-season to a third round selection. Due to quickness issues, he has some difficulty changing directions when pulling.
Analysis: Steelers love his size and strength as the Steelers have struggled with short-yardage situations. Urbik addresses a primary need for the Steelers and was the best value on the board. Will battle for a starting right guard job in training camp.
Mike Wallace WR, Mississippi
Height: 6’0″ | Weight: 199 lbs | 40 Time: 4.33
2006: 24 rec – 410 yds – 2TD
2007: 38 rec – 716 yds – 6TD
2008: 39 rec – 784 yds – 7TD
Strengths: Wallace ran a 4.33 forty yard dash at the NFL combine, second fastest among wide outs. Excellent speed, outstanding athlete, can stretch the field and is a vertical deep threat. Terrific return player, had 56 kickoffs for a total of 1,343 yards and two touchdowns at Mississippi. Fills the role of a slot receiver and kick returner for the Steelers.
Weaknesses: Has difficulties catching the ball at times (similar to Nate Washington). Needs some work on his route running as he relied solely on his exceptional speed at the college level. Average production in college.
Analysis: Like Urbik, Wallace addresses a primary need for the Steelers. He fills the role of a 4th/slot receiver and most importantly addresses the need of a return specialist.
Keenan Lewis, CB, Oregon St
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 208 | 40-Time: 4.53
2005: 45 tackles ‚Äì 0 INT
2006: 22 tackles ‚Äì 0 INT
2007: 15 tackles ‚Äì 3 INT
2008: 35 tackles ‚Äì 4 INT
Strengths: Lewis has very good size which is what the Steelers were looking for with this pick to replace the departed Bryant McFadden. Lewis was a four year starter at Oregon St and has shown the ability to have great ball skills and instincts.
Lewis excelled in zone coverage at the college level and is regarded as a hard worker on and off the field. Lewis is viewed as a physical type of cornerback which suits the Steelers kind of cornerback.
Weaknesses: Lacks top flight speed and quickness. Struggles going laterally against speed receivers. Over-aggressive at times and excels playing physical at the line of scrimmage. The Steelers defensive scheme doesn‚Äôt rely on their cornerbacks being aggressive at the line of scrimmage. Rated in the 15-17 range by most scouting outlets and was viewed as a reach in the 3rd round.
Analysis: Lewis will likely be a project in year 1. It is going to take him a while to make the adjustment to the speed in the NFL. Steelers view him as a starter down the road.
Fifth Round Selections
Joe Burnett, CB, Central Florida
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 193 | 40-Time: 4.57
2005: 63 tackles ‚Äì 5 INT
2006: 50 tackles ‚Äì 1 INT
2007: 64 tackles ‚Äì 7INT
2008: 44 tackles ‚Äì 4 INT
Strengths: Excellent athlete, was a star basketball player in high school and was nominated for McDonalds All-American Game. Very good hands, vision and ball skills. Intercepted 16 passes in his four year career in college. Does not have the physical tools teams look for in a cornerback but he makes plays. Dynamic returner
Weaknesses: Does not have top end speed. Below average tackler and is over-aggressive in pass defense and run defense. Lacks the toughness and physical ability to match up against big strong receivers.
Analysis: Burnett projects to be a backup cornerback and a return specialist in the NFL. Is a major project at cornerback but Burnett has big play ability and is a superb return specialist.
RB Frank Summers, RB/FB, UNLV
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 242 lbs | 40-Time 4.55
2007: 928 Rushing yds ‚Äì 252 receiving yds ‚Äì 10 TD
2008: 780 rushing yds ‚Äì 150 receiving yds ‚Äì 10 TD
Strengths: Very strong and excellent bulk. Versatile, has the ability to play running back and¬†full back. Above average speed for his size, hits holes hard and loves to deliver hits. Is viewed as a perfect kind of short-yardage back in the NFL. Great pass catcher out of the back field. Steelers coaching staff regards Summers as having “unique abilities”.
Weaknesses: Did not play against top level competition. A reason he was bypassed by so many teams. Inconsistent, lacks breakaway speed —
Analysis: Summers has been on the Steelers radar since March and the team was thrilled to draft him in the 5th round. Summers will be giving a strong opportunity to be the Steelers short-yardage back this season. Summers is among the most intriguing prospects the Steelers selected on day 2. Will have the opportunity to make an impact in 2009.
Sixth Round Selection
Ra‚Äôshon Harris, DT, Oregon
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 298 | 40-Time: 4.99
2006: 3 tackles ‚Äì 1 sack
2007: 15 tackles ‚Äì 0 sacks
2008: 47 tackles ‚Äì 3 sacks
Scouting Report: Good size and bulk for a DT in a 3-4 scheme. Very athletic, agile. Was not productive in college, viewed as an under-acheiver. Struggled getting off blocks against top teams. Regarded as having a bad work ethic. — Practice Squad
Analysis: There could be some promise with Harris down the road because of his athletic ability and size but there are serious concerns with his lack of production in college and being regarded as having a bad work ethic.
Seventh Round Selections
A.Q. Shipley, Center, Penn State
Height: 6-11/8 | Weight: 304 |
Strengths: Won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center in 2008. Excellent strength, tough and physical, very smart instincts. Learns systems very well and is a student of the game. Plays with a nasty edge and is an intense player. Viewed as being a great value in the seventh round. Will be a project in year one and will get an opportunity to learn the system.
Weaknesses: Height and short arms led to Shipley‚Äôs stock plummeting in the draft. He doesn‚Äôt have the physical tools you look for in a NFL center.
Analysis: Shipley lacks the physical tools that teams look for in an NFL center, but Shipley can play the game and it would not be surprising in a few years if he develops into a starting center in this league.
David Johnson, TE, Arkansas St.
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 260 | 40-Time: 4.73
Scouting Report: Interesting prospect. Regarded as being versatile and very athletic. Can stretch the field and has soft hands in traffic. Has the physical tools but lacks ideal height, inconsistent run blocker and was not productive in college. Will get a look at HB.–¬†Practice Squad
Overall Grade (B-)¬†
Outlook for the 2009 season: ¬†Hood will¬† be a project early in the season but he will contribute by the end of the season. Guard¬†Kraig Urbik will have the opportunity to win the starting right guard job during training camp.
Burnett, Wallace will have opportunities to make contributions on special teams. Wallace will likely win the 4th receiver spot on the depth chart. Summers will get some looks as a short-yardage back, full back and was a solid special teams player at UNLV. He will make the roster.
Cornerback Keenan Lewis will be a project in year 1. It’s going to take him some time to adjust to the NFL. The same for A.Q. Shipley