While the Pittsburgh Penguins were mounting a furious comeback from a three goal deficit to finally erase Philadelphia Flyers scum from the NHL playoffs, the 2009 NFL Draft was deciding the future of several NFL teams. As is usual for the draft, some players saw their stock rise (USC quarterback Mark Sanchez rose from a mid-first rounder to the fifth overall pick) while several saw their fortunes fall (USC LB Ray Maualuga, projected as a first rounder slide all the way to the middle of the second). Pitt’s star RB Shady McCoy found a new home (although hopefully not a new hockey team) when the Philadelphia Eagles called his name late in the second round. General consensus is had he come back for one more year, Shady would’ve positioned himself as a definite first round pick so his greed and arrogance looks to have cost him several million dollars. Plus now he has to play for the Eagles which is a terrible fate all by itself.
And the Pittsburgh Steelers got their man in Evander “Ziggy” Hood.
Ziggy Hood, a 6’3 300 pound defensive tackle out of Missouri, was a name long associated with the Steelers. There were several intriguing prospects still on the board when it came time to write down a name, including OTs Eben Britton, William Beatty, and Phil Loadholt and DBs Jairus Byrd and Darius Butler. However, the need to inject some youth in to an aging defensive line won out in the end. With every current starter age 30 or older it was time to look toward the future.
Hood will fit in nicely at DE in the Steelers 3-4 defense. Since it takes rookies a year to understand Dick Lebeau‘s complicated schemes, he can sit for a year behind Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith with no pressure to step in right away. With Keisel becoming a free agent next year, they’ll expect Ziggy to take his place on the line in 2010. From the looks of his game film posted above, he should be a more than adequate replacement.
Hood has excellent size and strength. He’s also an active defender with a motor that doesn’t stop. He can get upfield to collapse a pocket but is also very stout at the point of attack. This is important in the Steelers scheme because we don’t normally depend on our DL to pressure the QB but rather to engage the OL to free up our linebackers and/or clog up running lanes. He has the body type, power, and agility to do all those things and do them well.
The reasons he fell to us at the end of the first round are twofold. First, his college numbers are pretty mediocre. He only averaged about 50 tackles and 3 sacks over his four year career. His other drawback is while he’s solid in every area, he excels in none. He can pressure the passer but he isn’t a sack artist. He can stop the run but he isn’t an immoveable beast like Albert Haynesworth. He’s basically projected as a nice capable starter which is fine except most teams want to believe they have a future Pro Bowler with their 1st round pick.
In the second round, the Steelers looked over the remaining names and decided they didn’t like anybody. They traded the selection to the Denver Broncos for two more 3rd rounders, giving us three selections in the 3rd, two in the 5th, one in the 6th, and two more in the 7th (including the final overall choice, also known as Mr. Irrelevant).
Topics: 2009 Nfl Champions, 2009 Nfl Draft, 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2009 Steelers Draft, Black And Gold, Draft, Evander Hood, Evander Ziggy Hood, Iggles, Lesean Mccoy, Mike Tomlin, Missouri, Nice Pick Cowher, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Iggles, Pitt Mccoy, Shady, Shady Mccoy, Steeler Nation, Steelers 1st Round Draft Pick, Steelers 1st Rounder, Steelers Blog, Steelers Draft Picks, Steelers First Round Draft Pick, Steelers First Rounder, Ziggy Hood