Thursday, May 12, 2011
Grading the Steelers' 2008 draft
By James Walker
We continue our series this week on grading the 2008 draft classes in the AFC North by taking a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Picks: RB Rashard Mendenhall (first round), WR Limas Sweed (second), LB Bruce Davis (third), OT Tony Hills (fourth), QB Dennis Dixon (fifth), LB Mike Humpal (sixth), S Ryan Mundy (sixth)
Analysis: At the time, many felt this was one of the best draft classes in recent memory for the Steelers. That turned out not to be the case, but Pittsburgh still got some production from this draft. The Steelers were surprised Mendenhall fell to them at No. 23 overall and took him as a luxury pick. Pittsburgh had Willie Parker entrenched as the starter but injuries were starting to slow him down. Mendenhall eventually took over in the 2009 season and produced back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Sweed showed early flashes but could never seem to get over drops he suffered early in his career. Now he's at the back of Pittsburgh's depth chart. Dixon and Mundy are both decent backups at quarterback and safety, respectively. Davis and Hills never developed as the Steelers had hoped.
AFC North blog draft grade: C
We will conclude our series on Friday by grading the 2008 draft of the Baltimore Ravens.