I know, I know. Draft grades are sorta silly and pointless. I’m not crazy about them either. But some people do and at the least, they provide another jumping off point as we begin to put a bow on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft class.
Pete Prisco jumped into the fray with his evaluation of each draft class, giving the Steelers a solid “B” for their eight picks.
Here’s what Prisco had to say, mostly focusing on just the first two days of what the organization did.
“First-round pick T.J. Watt is a player who is a perfect fit for the Steelers’ scheme. His best football is in front of him. I thought second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster went a little high, but third-round corner/safety Cam Sutton was a really nice pick. The best story of the draft is the pick of third-round runner James Conner out of Pittsburgh. This is a kid who overcame cancer. Love that.”
Fair points all around and I don’t think many fans would disagree. Though again, it’s important to remind everyone that as great of a story Conner is, and everyone is rooting for him, we need to quickly look at him as a prospect and how he helps the team. Not just a guy with a great story.
And he generally wasn’t viewed as a third round talent. NFL Draft Scout and NFL.com pegged him as a 5th rounder with the latter comparing him to TJ Duckett. Draft Countdown had him as the 14th best back. None of that really matters when it comes to the Steelers’ opinion, and NFL draft boards can be wildly different than conventional media, but it’s hard for us not to think it was a bit too early.
Back to Prisco. He is generally a “tough” grade so don’t think every team got A’s and B’s. A pair of teams got a “D,” the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.
He also handed out just five “A” grades but two of those came in the AFC North. The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns were the recipients even though Prisco soured on the Browns taking Jabrill Peppers with one of their three first round picks. The Baltimore Ravens got the lowest AFC North grade, a B-, though frankly, I liked what they did.
If you’re so inclined, what grade would you give the Steelers? Does a B fit well? Or is it something higher/lower? Let us know in the comments below.