(Sports Network) -
1 (17) - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia; 2 (48) - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State; 3 (79) - Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State; 4 (111) - Shamarko Thomas, S, (Syracuse); 4 (115) - Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma; 5 (150) - Terry Hawthrone, CB, Illinois; 6 (186) - Justin Brown, WR, Oklahoma; 6 (206) - Vince Williams, LB, Florida State; 7 (223) - Nick Williams, DT, Samford
Top Picks Analysis: Jones said he would never get past the Steelers and sure enough he didn't. It's like the whole league conspires to give Pittsburgh impact 3-4 players. Poor 40 times sent Jones crashing out of the top 10, but the Steelers got a Terrell Suggs-like steal in the first round. Second-rounder Bell is a big back who doesn't run like one most of the time, while Wheaton will have some value as a potential vertical threat, something needed after Mike Wallace fled to South Beach in free agency.
Best Value Pick: The Steelers may have found their successor to the declining Troy Polamalu in fourth-round choice Thomas, an undersized, high-energy thumper on the back end.
Questionable Calls: Taking Bell over Alabama's Eddie Lacy and Wisconsin's Montee Ball is going to make that a microscope pick. The thought process is that Pittsburgh wants big, physical backs to take advantage of the late-season weather in Western Pennsylvania but Bell just hasn't shown the nastiness as runner the Steelers expect from their backs.
Summary: Age has slowly crept up on the Steelers and this was the most important draft for Pittsburgh in years. The Steelers have moved on from former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison and really can't count on the oft-injured Polamalu any longer. Jones is a perfect fit as an edge player and Thomas has a chance at safety. Getting Landry Jones, a Ben Roethlisberger- like clone, albeit without the escapability, was also a nice depth move.
FINAL GRADE: B
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Northwestern DE Brian Arnfelt; Northern Illinois LB Alan Baxter; Utah WR Reggie Dunn; San Diego State OT Nik Embernate; Penn State OT Mike Farrell; Notre Dame OL Mike Golic Jr.; Louisiana-Lafayette DE Cordian Hagans; UAB G Chris Hubbard; Florida DT Omar Hunter; Hawaii LS Luke Ingram; West Virginia C Joe Madsen; USC RB Curtis McNeal; Baylor C Ivory Wade; Michigan State DT Anthony Rashad White; West Virginia WR J.D. Woods