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The reason the Steelers have been so bad this year is their drafts have not refilled the pipeline of starters like it did in years past. Here is the complete list of players drafted from 2008-2011. The last two drafts are too new to get a good evaluation.
The bottom line is the Steelers have only 4 full time starters out of 33 total picks. That is not enough to keep the Steelers competitive. The issue this season is not the coach. The problem is the front office.
2008 Draft 0 starters in 2013
1 23 Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois
Mendenhall started for the Steelers for just 3 seasons and was let go in free agency in 2012.
2 53 Limas Sweed WR Texas
He never started a game for the team and had only 7 catches in 2 seasons.
3 88 Bruce Davis LB UCLA
He was only a special teams player in 5 games in 2008 and was released in 2009.
4 130 Tony Hills T Texas
Hills was active for just 4 games in his 3 seasons with the team.
5 156 Dennis Dixon QB Oregon
Dixon has started 3 games when he was the only option. His athleticism has gotten him a lot of tryouts.
6 188 Mike Humpal OLB Iowa
He did not make the final roster.
6 194 Ryan Mundy FS West Virginia
Mundy is a special teams player that did make 5 starts over 4 years for the team.
2009 Draft 1 starter 1 part time starter in 2013.
1 32 Ziggy Hood DT Missouri
Hood has become a fairly productive player and intermittent starter.
3 79 Kraig Urbik T Wisconsin
He never was active for the Steelers and was released in 2010. He did start games for the Bills.
3 84 Mike Wallace WR Mississippi
Wallace was a 3rd round pick because he was a head case. While this pick was successful, the team was done with him by 2013 and let him walk in free agency.
3 96 Keenan Lewis DB Oregon State
Lewis was active for only 13 games in his first 2 seasons. He did start in 2012 but was not retained.
5 168 Joe Burnett DB Central Florida
He was active for 15 games in 09 but did not make the roster in 2010.
5 169 Frank Summers RB Nevada-Las Vegas
He was active for only 2 games in 09 and was cut.
6 205 Ra’Shon Harris DT Oregon
Harris never played a game for the Steelers.
7 226 A.Q. Shipley C Penn State
He never made the Steelers roster.
7 241 David Johnson TE Arkansas State
He has started 25 games but has only 22 catches in his 4 seasons. He is a blocking TE.
2010 Draft 2 starters one of which is injured.
1 18 Maurkice Pouncey C Florida
Pouncey has become a solid starter.
2 52 Jason Worilds LB Virginia Tech
They are waiting for Worilds to become the player they thought they saw. So far he has not.
3 82 Emmanuel Sanders WR Southern Methodist
Sanders has become a decent WR and has 114 catches in 4 seasons.
4 116 Thaddeus Gibson LB Ohio State
He was never active for the Steelers.
5 151 Chris Scott T Tennessee
In 2 years with the Steelers he was active for just 2 games. He is a starter with the Panthers.
5 164 Crezdon Butler DB Clemson
He was active for just 4 games and then was released.
5 166 Stevenson Sylvester LB Utah
He is a good special teams player.
6 188 Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
Dwyer was supposed to be the starter over several seasons but has yet to develop into the guy.
6 195 Antonio Brown WR Central Michigan
Brown is the second best pick out of this draft. He has become a starter with 183 catches.
7 242 Doug Worthington DE Ohio State
He never played a game for the team.
2011 Draft 1 below average starter in 2013
1 31 Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State
The team expected Heyward to become a starter. So far he is a rotational player at best.
2 63 Marcus Gilbert T Florida
Gilbert is a starter on a very poor O line.
3 95 Curtis Brown DB Texas
Brown is a decent dime back and special teams contributor.
4 128 Cortez Allen DB The Citadel
Allen has started 2 games this season.
5 162 Chris Carter LB Fresno State
Carter has been active in about half his games since 2011. He has 7 total tackles.
6 196 Keith Williams G Nebraska
Despite the desperate need at OG, Williams never made the roster.
7 232 Baron Batch RB Texas Tech
Batch got 25 carries in 2012. That was all.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.
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Why did the Steelers fall so far so fast? by Bill Smith