The 2014 NFL Draft is over after three months of buildup, which is an additional two or three weeks than we’re accustomed to waiting.
That gave the powers that be more time to analyze 20 to 23-year old kids and make decisions to potentially bless them with millions of dollars.
Such is the NFL Draft.
The Pittsburgh steelers made nine selections.
There was much fanfare.
Each player represents a beacon of hope for the future of a proud franchise.
Handshakes with the commissioner and glowing press conference reviews are all well and good, but will any of these guys make an impact for the 2014 Steelers?
Let’s go pick by pick:
Ryan Shazier, No. 15 Overall
Shazier uses his brilliant speed to make a tackle
Will he make the team?
Let’s make this simple: he’s the first round draft choice. Yes. Red stamp. Move along.
Will he see the field?
Here’s where things get trickier. He’s an outside linebacker that predominantly played in a 4-3 scheme in college.
His production is undeniable.
He’s had at least 100 tackles and five sacks in his past two years in the Big Ten.
That could be enough for him to get a look, though.
Neither of the two outside linebackers listed on the Steelers’ depth chart blow you away:
ROLB: Jason Worilds – 63 tackles, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and no interceptions
LOLB: Chris Carter – 5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery.
Pittsburgh’s 2013 first-round pick Jarvis Jones is waiting in the wings at LOLB, but Shazier could move in to the ROLB spot with an impressive camp and preseason.
At the very least he’ll see time in a rotation or situationally.
He could also make an impact on special teams, as open-field linebacker skills translate very well to that area.
You’ll see Shazier on the field in 2014. It’ll be up to him how much and where.
POLL: Which Steelers rookie will see the most playing time this year?