Archive for May, 2021

Steelers grab a nice haul of UDFAs!

May 5th, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have a solid track record with undrafted free agents and have even struck gold. (See James Harrison/ Donnie Shell) All the players have good to even great upside but need further development.

Here is the BWG Take:

Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State: Very high upside prospect who continues to develop. Good coverage skills and could move into a nickel spot. He has a chance to make the team or the practice squad.

Lamont Wade, S, Penn State: A local kid from Clairton, in Allegheny County, Will also challenge for the nickel spot, which he played for the Nittany Lions. He has good tackling ability, deceptive speed and can move around in the secondary. Where he has the best shot of making the team is on special teams.

Jamar Watson, LB, Kentucky: Tough pass rusher who had a very productive college career. Has good first step but struggles against bigger tackles. Despite some athletic limitations, he has good run stuffing abilities and will help with depth.

Calvin Bundage, LB, Oklahoma State: Hard working versatile linebacker who played in a 4-3 scheme. He can play inside and outside and is good against the run and can rush the passer. Needs experience and polish.

Isaiah McCoy, WR, Kent State: Very good hands and big frame receiver. He can push to make the team as a possession receiver. The Steelers have excelled at finding guys like this and making them successful. Hmm undrafted rookie from Kent State, where else have we heard that before?

Mark Gilbert, CB, Duke: The Steelers need depth in the secondary and Gilbert provides that. He has a great pedigree and while he is from North Carolina, he has Aliquippa roots. He is the nephew of Sean Gilbert, NFL standout and the cousin of all-world Cornerback Darrelle Revis. He ran a 4.36 forty and has all the tools to make it in the league. The injury bug seems to plague him however, he needs to stay on the field.

Rico Bussey Jr., WR, Hawaii: Explosive high upside athlete, possesses great speed, strong hands and a solid frame. He will have a chance to make the teams on Special Teams as well as push for a receiver spot. Injury concerns affected his draft status. The Steelers have a knack for finding diamonds in the rough at receiver. Bussey is one of those diamonds.

Donovan Stiner, S, Florida: Solid sized Safety with strong instincts and a knack for finding the football. A bit of an underachiever who did not develop past his sophomore year, according to some scouting reports. He is the prototypical strong safety who can help in the run and play in a system successfully.

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Your 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Class!

May 4th, 2021

The 2021 Draft is in the books and here is the Steelers’ haul.

Round 1, Pick 24; Najee Harris, RB —So grabbing a running back in the first round, seemed like a luxury that the Steelers couldn’t afford. But it is hard to argue against it, when the best player at his position is on the board and it is one of your most glaring needs, you grab him. The Steelers grabbed the best runner on the board and he will be a huge asset. He is a great person off the field as well and looks like a great culture fit as well as player fit.  Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 55; Pat Freiermuth, TE — This was a little mind boggling, because TE was not a need. But Freiermuth is a throwback tight end who can block as well as catch. He is a tremendous athlete and will immediately be in the starting lineup. I wanted to see a Tackle or Cornerback here, but Freiermuth will be a Steeler for a long time. It was a great pick.  Grade: A

Round 3, Pick 87; Kendrick Green, C — Center was a gaping hole, and the Steelers grabbed a very good prospect. Green has great speed and is a violent blocker, he is a little undersized but will bring some “nastiness” to the line as the Steelers look to rebuild up front. This could be a starter and someone who will fit in the Steelers Center Dynasty!   Grade: B+

Round 4, Pick 128; Dan Moore Jr., OT — The Steelers are confident in Chuks Okorafor and Zach Banner as the starting tackles and Al Villanueva is still available. The Steeler also added Joe Haeg as a swing tackle in free agency. Moore will slide into a backup role and could push for a starting spot. He adds much needed depth, he has strong athletic ability. Grade: B-

Round 4, Pick 140; Buddy Johnson, ILB — Johnson looks like Vince Williams 2.0. He is an old school middle of the line banger. But he also has good coverage skills and will most likely see the field this season. This was a great pick and will pay big dividends. Grade: B+

Round 5, Pick 156; Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE — Will provide much needed depth on the defensive line. He has the physical tools but is a very raw prospect.   Grade: C+

Round 6, 218; Quincy Roche, OLB —Roche fits the classic Steelers prototype, a converted defensive end with the explosiveness to rush the passer. He has a strong quality first step. This was a great value pick, who will be given every chance to be in the rotation, especially on passing downs. This is the most intriguing pick the Steelers made. Grade: C+

Round 7, 245; Tre Norwood, DB — Norwood is a versatile defensive back who can play cornerback and safety. His athleticism makes him a candidate to play in the dime defense or be a special teams contributor. This is a solid value pick that can provide some young depth at a position that lost two of its’ best players. Grade: B

Round 7, Pick 254; Pressley Harvin III, — What in the name of Colin Holba are we doing drafting a punter? Well let me tell you, this isn’t your father’s punter, unless your Dad was a fan of the late great Reggie Roby. Harvin is a 260-pound punter who can actually throw the ball a country mile. He also can punt, averaging 48 yards per attempt last season while winning the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter. Ironically, the Steelers grabbed the best player at the position, a position that they have spent three seasons trying to upgrade. Also, keep in mind the Steelers have jettisoned their seventh-round pick almost regularly after camp, so they grab a pick who will most likely start for the team, it was a no brainer and a great value pick. Keep also in mind, he has Steelers cult hero potential written all over him! Grade: A+

Overall: So, no surprise to anyone, the main-stream press outside of Pittsburgh didn’t like the Steelers draft. That is ridiculous, from where they were drafting, the Steelers grabbed three potential starters out of nine picks. Not many teams picking in the twenties can make that claim.

Every pick had potential and good value. Grabbing a cornerback or edge rusher earlier would have been more ideal than a Tight End. However, the Steelers clearly drafted the best available player and had a nice haul. What more can you ask for. Grade: A

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