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National Media Gives Steelers High Marks In First Round

Ok, you’ve heard us talk a ton about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first round selection. What does big media think? To sum up, they’re all on board with the selection.

Sports Illustrated gave the team taking TJ Watt a B+ grade. An excerpt from their explanation.

“He tested extremely well at the combine, and he plugs in much better in the Steelers’ 3-4 attack than he would have with a 4-3 scheme. The coaching staff in Pittsburgh won’t have to worry about effort here, either—he’s at full speed, all the time. He may never be an All-Pro, but this is a solid find at pick 30.”

To be fair, and I’m sure this is true for most outlets, these grades are wholly generous. All but two two teams got at least a B and nearly half the league received an A. The only teams lower than a B where the Chicago Bears trading up for Mitchell Trubisky – they got a D – and the Baltimore Ravens taking Marlon Humphrey – they received a C.

Chad Reuter over at NFL.com took it a step farther and gave the Steelers an A, sounding surprised Watt fell all the way to 30.

“The fact that T.J. Watt was available for the Steelers was amazing. He’s a war daddy, and Pittsburgh can play him inside or outside for years. This was one of those picks where everyone will wonder in four years how Watt dropped this far.

For comparisons sake, they’re one of 15 teams to get a solid A. The Steelers and the Cleveland Browns were the only two AFC North teams to get an A on day one and Pittsburgh didn’t have three picks like the Browns.

Finally, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco gave a brief explanation but still gave the Watt pick a respectable B+.

“I like the pick. He fills a pass-rush need and he is a rising player. Still learning to play the game.”

Prisco graded much more harshly, giving seven teams a C or worse grade. The Browns got a straight-up F for taking Jabrill Peppers. So a B+ is more meaningful even if ultimately, it literally means nothing.

Watt certainly has concerns and is not a finished product. There’s a medical history and his game has to keep growing and now that he’s in the NFL, it has to at a fast pace. But the consensus is the Steelers took a high reward player and one of the best selections they could’ve made given who was left on the board.

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