The Pittsburgh Steelers have regressed since Doug Whaley left, spending first round picks on players like Jarvis Jones.
They’re putting those days behind them with this draft.
First-round pick Ryan Shazier can absolutely fly around the field, and showed improvement in stacking and shedding this past year. He will make an impact in the base and sub packages.
The Steelers come back in the second round and pluck Stephon Tuitt off the board. He was an absolute force at defensive end. He locks out blockers and tosses them aside with ease in the run game. He’s no slouch rushing the passer, either.
Sporadic thoughts on Day 2:
— The AFC North is having a great draft, collectively. Darqueze Dennard fell to the Bengals late in the first. The Ravens have injected youth and talent into their defensive front. And the Browns are having the runaway best draft of 2014.
— NFC teams who get high marks include the 49ers, Falcons and the Panthers.
— Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco is doing everything he can to make fans forget about his 2013 draft haul. I didn’t see a lot of polished play out of Jason Verrett. Jeremiah Attaochu has the athleticism and motor to add an element of unpredictability to John Pagano’s defense, much the way Melvin Ingram does. But then the Chargers leave Donte Moncrief on the board when he falls to them late in the third round. Did they need a short guard more than a 6’3″ wideout with 4.4 speed? I’m shaking my head. Vigorously.
— The only one with a lower batting average is Telesco’s predecessor, AJ Smith and his new team, the Redskins. Trent Murphy was drafted several rounds too early. That pick has AJ’s fingerprints all over it, as he loves the compelling stories and hidden gems. The fact is, Murphy probably doesn’t have the athleticism to make an impact in the NFL.