Steelers 2009 Draft Recap

Day One

As the offensive linemen most experts had the Steelers targeting flew off the board, the Steelers stood pat and, one must assume, stayed true to their board. With the 32nd pick of the first round, the SB XLIII Champions selected defensive tackle Evander “Ziggy” Hood from Missouri.

(1.32) Evander Hood, DT, Missouri

According to

Hood is an athletic defensive tackle who has the physical skills to be used in a variety of positions at the next level, and he offers starting potential. He played well as a senior, and he really watched his game take off in the post-season. Hood could be a surprise selection in the late part of round one, based on his performance in the past six months.

Sounds like a guy the Steelers can work with on the defensive line. And make no mistake, while many consider the offensive line the greatest weakness, the defensive line is aged and needs an injection of youth.

On, Pete Prisco assigned a grade of “A” for the Steelers’ first pick.

For round two, the Steelers did a little trading with Denver. They swapped (3) 64 and (4) 132 for (3) 79, 84.

Their remaining picks are
(3) 79, 84, 96
(5) 168, 169
(6) 205
(7) 226, 241

Day Two

The beginning of day two saw more “Steelers guys” selected by other teams. Who would be left on the board? What about the offensive line? There goes another tackle. Curses! Two more guards off the board.

(3.79) Kraig Urbik, G, Wisconson

Large, versatile blocker with a solid game. Strong at the point, stays square, and jolts defenders with good hand punch. Powerful, knocks opponents off the line, and works blocks hard. Keeps his feet moving, anchors in pass protection, and plays with a nasty attitude. Displays good vision and works well with line-mates. Breaks down well, and to his credit, consistently plays with good knee bend. Can slide laterally in a small area.

(3.84) Mike Wallace, WR, Mississippi

Game breaking receiver that consistently makes big plays from the line of scrimmage. Quickly gets into pass routes, displays a burst of speed and runs away from defenders in the open field. Nicely makes the reception running full speed and looks the pass into his hands. Gets vertical, grabs the ball from the air and returns to the field on balance then continues running after the reception. Solid athlete who nicely adjusts to the errant throw and makes the catch in stride.

Finally! The Steelers address two areas of need on the interior offensive line and the return game. Urbik should push immediately for a starting position and provides depth in what has become the youngest position grouping on the team. Wallace instantly changes the return game and can push Limas Sweed playing time at the receiver position. Additionally, he provides extreme speed with times ranging from 4.28 to 4.33 in the 40 yard dash. This guy is a burner.

(3.96) Keenan Lewis, CB, Oregan State

Nice-sized cornerback who displayed a lot of improvement in his game over the past two seasons. Fluid pedaling in reverse, quick flipping his hips in transition, and does a nice job positioning himself against opponents in man coverage. Runs downfield with receivers, shows a burst to the action and good hands for the interception. Fights with receivers throughout the action, and rarely challenged by opposing quarterbacks.

Again, the Steelers address depth issues and select a corner back, presumably to push William Gay for Brian McFadden’s vacated starting position. The ranks were getting thin in the defensive backfield where Lewis is a welcome addition.

(5.168) Joe Burnett, CB, Central Florida

Solid cover cornerback who brings the element of a return specialist to his game. Physical, aggressively comes up the field to defend the run or mixes it up with opponents out of routes. Displays good awareness, has a burst of closing speed, and possesses good ball skills. Quickly breaks to the pass, and he is a hard hitter who lays his body on the line to stop opponents.

Coach Tomlin said Burnett is a very productive corner back and nice return man for both punts and kicks.

(5.169) Frank Summers, RB/FB, UNLV

Explosive, well-built ball carrier best running north-south. Patient back who waits for blocks to develop and finds the running lanes. Runs with an aggressive style, turns his shoulders up the field, and drives through the hole, running over opponents. Keeps the play in bounds working to pick up as much yardage as possible and a punishing runner on the inside. Follows blocks everywhere on the field, and displays a good amount of quickness. Powerful in his lower body, breaks arm tackles to pick up yardage off initial contact, or falls forward when tackled. Nifty for a 240-pound back.

Goal line rusher, anyone? Summers is a punishing and physical runner who immediately upgrades the goal-to-go and 3rd and 1 offense. Tomlin assigned the nickname, “Frank the Tank.”

(6.205) Ra’Shon Harris, DT, Oregon

Powerful interior lineman who clogs the middle of the field. Breaks down well, plays with good pad level and easily holds the point of attack. Constantly doubled in the middle of the line, flashes the ability to bull rush opponents off the ball, and chases hard to get involved in the action.

(7.226) A.Q. Shipley, C, Penn State

Explosive and hard-working lineman who plays smart football. Built low to the ground, bends his knees and gets leverage on opponents. Moves well on his feet, and effective blocking in motion. Fights with his hands, extends them into defenders and adjusts to ride opponents from their angle of attack. Good jolt and pop at the point of attack. Quickly gets into blocks, stays with the action, and shows ability as a position blocker.

(7.241) David Johnson, TE, Arkansas State

Relatively athletic tight end who flashes skill on the field. Breaks down well playing with good knee bend, quickly releases off the line into pass routes, and effectively uses his hands to get off jams, then separates from opponents. Adjusts to the errant throw, gets vertical in midair for the difficult reception, and extends to make some outstanding receptions. Solid position blocker with above-average strength at the point. Turns opponents off the ball, and effective when he stays with assignments.

Some of these draftees will make the roster, some the practice squad and some will be invited to continue their life’s work elsewhere. Good luck to them all!

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