<
>

A look at Steelers' 2013 draft class: Part 2

9/1/2014

PITTSBURGH -- Here is the second half of our analysis of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2013 draft class.

Fourth-round pick: QB Landry Jones

What he did as a rookie: The former Oklahoma star did not dress for any of the Steelers’ games, serving as the No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski.

His projected role for this season: It will be the same. There had been considerable speculation that the Steelers would release Jones and try to sneak him onto their practice squad after the second-year man did not lead any touchdown drives in three preseason games. He is safe for now.

Notable player taken after him in 2013 draft: Kenny Stills. One of Jones' favorite targets at Oklahoma averaged 20 yards per catch for the New Orleans Saints in 2013 and finished his rookie season with 641 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Fifth-round pick: CB Terry Hawthorne

What he did as a rookie: Hawthorne couldn’t stay healthy and the Illinois product did not show the Steelers enough during training camp and the preseason to even make the practice squad.

His projected role for this season: Hawthorne has seemingly vanished from the football landscape. His last known attempt to stay in the game -- Hawthorne reportedly gave the CFL a shot in June -- lasted just a few days.

Notable player taken after him in 2013 draft: Micah Hyde. The Iowa product has been a find for the Green Bay Packers. He projects as a starting safety this season after playing extensively as a rookie and recording 55 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.

Sixth-round pick: WR Justin Brown

What he did as a rookie: Brown spent the entire season on the practice squad.

His projected role for this season: It’s hard to imagine Brown dressing for many games after he caught just five passes for 32 yards in the preseason despite playing more snaps than any Steelers’ skills player. The Steelers like him as a slot receiver and he still has plenty of room for growth. But unless No. 3 wide receiver Lance Moore falters, Brown is unlikely to get on the field much this season.

Notable player taken after him in 2013 draft: Andre Ellington. Could be a sixth-round steal along the lines of Antonio Brown in 2010. The Arizona Cardinals running back averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season and had 1,023 rushing and receiving yards combined as a rookie.

Sixth-round pick: LB Vince Williams

What he did as a rookie: Started 11 games at left inside linebacker and got better as the season progressed. Williams finished sixth on the Steelers with 66 tackles.

His projected role for this season: Williams is to back up Lawrence Timmons at right inside linebacker and will play special teams. The Florida State product is the biggest reason why the Steelers have excellent depth at inside linebacker. Williams has a serious motor and can play.

Notable player taken after him in 2013 draft: LB Michael Mauti. The Penn State product will provide depth at outside linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings and contribute on special teams.

Seventh-round pick: DE Nick Williams

What he did as a rookie: Spent the entire season on injured reserve after hurting his knee.

His projected role for this season: Williams opens the season on the practice squad, and the 6-foot-4, 309-pounder has enough potential for the Steelers to see what he has after veteran defensive line coach John Mitchell gets an extended chance to work with him on the field.

Notable player taken after him in 2013 draft: Zac Dysert. Spent last season as the No. 3 quarterback in Denver behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.