The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: How would you rate the Steelers’ 2015 NFL Draft class?
The 2018 NFL Draft gets closer and closer, and we approach the day we’ve been waiting months for, we turn our sights backward a bit to a few of the Steelers’ most recent drafts, some of which have been more successful than others. Today we turn our attention to the class of 2015.
The class began with outside linebacker Bud Dupree in the first round. The pass-rusher posted a career-high six sacks last season and just had his fifth-year option exercised by the team, but they are still counting on him as potential more than as actual proven qualities.
The second round featured a name some are loathe to even hear voiced at this point: Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson. The 5’9″ splash-play machine never even got on the field due to injuries for three consecutive seasons. The Raiders recently signed him.
Having known that Martavis Bryant would be hit with a suspension, Pittsburgh drafted Sammie Coates at wide receiver in the third round. He was a virtual non-contributor as a rookie but due to circumstances beyond his control he started his second year and had a very promising run of five games to start the year. He broke some fingers after that and was never the same again. Coates was traded for a seventh-round pick last September to the Browns and now is with the Texans.
Fourth-round cornerback Doran Grant is out of the NFL. Some were so high on him that they rationalized the high selection of Golson by seeing him as a value. He wasn’t on the opening-day roster, however, and washed out by his second season.
The later rounds have been some of their more valuable selections. Fifth-round tight end Jesse James has been their primary player at the position, though largely due to injury, yet has a clear role. Sixth-rounders Anthony Chickillo and L.T. Walton at outside linebacker and defensive line provide trusted depth at their respective positions, while Chickillo is also a core special teams player.
The Steelers took a chance on tackling-averse safety Gerod Holliman in the seventh round because he recorded 14 interceptions. Well, he didn’t record any in the preseason, so he didn’t make the team.