|Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 NFL Draft Review|
|By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor|
1 - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State (6-5, 294);
2 - Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida (6-6, 330);
3 - Curtis Brown, CB, Texas (6-0, 185);
4 - Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel (6-1, 197);
5 - Chris Carter, OLB, Fresno State (6-1, 248);
6 - Keith Williams, OG, Nebraska (6-4, 318);
7 - Baron Batch, RB, Texas Tech (5-10, 207)
Top Picks Analysis: Age and injuries created some problems for the Steelers along the defensive line during last season's Super Bowl run, so personnel director Kevin Colbert took advantage of this year's deep crop of end prospects to pluck Heyward, the son of former NFL running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, near the end of round 1. The ex-Buckeye is stout at the point of attack and disciplined in his assignments and should be an eventual starter. Gilbert sports impressive athleticism considering his large size and will likely be groomed as the future successor to 36-year-old Flozell Adams at right tackle. Cornerback was probably the biggest sore spot on the roster, so Colbert went out and got two big ones with upside in Brown and Allen. The former is the more polished of the pair and may have an opportunity to push for playing time right away.
Best Value Pick: Carter was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year as a defensive end in 2010 and has an advanced array of pass-rush moves for an incoming player, making the Fresno State product a nice get in the fifth round.
We Question Why: The Steelers waited until the middle rounds to address the cornerback situation, as neither Brown nor Allen are ready to start right away. That's nit-picking, however, especially when factoring in that defensive and offensive linemen were going off the board early in the draft.
Summary: Not a lot of sizzle, but enough good solid prospects that will replenish depth and give the Steelers a sound base for the future.
FINAL GRADE: B