Pittsburgh is home to one of the premier franchises in the NFL. They have a history of tough defenses and smash mouth offenses. They’ve built their rosters by uncovering immense talent in nearly every round of the draft. But just like all other franchises, they’re not without their blemishes.
Heading into the 2013 draft the Steelers were looking to restock their defense with young impact defenders, especially at pass rusher. Insert Jarvis Jones who was coming off a dominating season in the SEC where he registered 14.5 sacks. He was widely considered the best pass rusher in the class by most pundits. The Steelers selected him at 17th overall with the hopes of him carrying on the run of elite Pittsburgh linebackers.
Instead they got a pass rusher that owns 6 career sacks. Jones struggled to contribute when he was on the field and eventually lost his job to the eternal James Harrison. The Steelers declined to pick up his 5th year option and he then spent a few months with the Arizona Cardinals.
When the Steelers selected Jones in 2013, they passed on a plethora of elite talent. The following players were selected after Jones; Kyle Long, Tyler Eifert, Xavier Rhodes, DeAndre Hopkins, Travis Frederick, Zach Ertz, Darius Slay, and Jaime Collins. The thought of adding Hopkins or Ertz to the Steeler’s already potent passing attack is beyond terrifying.
The Steelers miss so rarely on players that when they miss it’s almost surreal. They found the NFL’s best receiver in the 6th round, the league’s best running back in the 2nd round, and Martavis Bryant in the 4th round. Those are insane finds. The addition of TJ Watt helps heal the wound left by Jones being a bust. Watt already looks like the player they had hoped for after one season. The Steelers look poised to compete for the Lombardi for years to come.