Happy Draft Day Steeler Nation! In just a few short (or painfully long hours depending on how you’re spending your day) we will know who the newest edition to your Pittsburgh Steelers will be. Bob Labriola of the Steelers Digest explains how important each previous draft class is to the new ones coming in.
Without question, the Pittsburgh Steelers organization has been known for decades for their abilities to build championship teams through the draft. The 1974 draft was indisputably the most successful draft in history, with four future Hall of Famer’s joining the team that season. As Bob points out, however, only Lynn Swann played any significant time that season due to an injured veteran. So the moral of the story is; these players who remain from the 2012 draft class have got to be ready to step into major contributing roles for the team in order for the 2013 draft class to be successful.
I’ll do Bob one more on that. The 2012 draft class that remains has to be successful to help erase memory of questionable character draft picks. The Steelers went a scooch outside everyone’s comfort zone last spring when they decided to take a chance on a few “unSteeler-like” individuals; or individuals that were already bringing to the table off-the-field incidents this organization typically has a “zero tolerance” policy for. Second round pick Mike Adams was drafted although he had tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Alameda Ta’amu was selected although he had a previous DUI while at school and Chris Rainey was selected although he had a history of domestic violence charges on him as well.
DeCastro and Adams both traded time on the injury report last season so their potential to the offensive line unit haven’t been fully realized just yet. I think this season can define them as valuable additions like Maurkice Pouncey. If this line stays healthy and plays to their potential, this could be the first season in too many to remember that Steeler Nation isn’t griping about the O-line and their faults. I know I don’t have to tell you how valuable that can be to the offensive efforts this season.
So what are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you think the 2012 draft class has a responsibility to improve this season to help whoever is coming in as part of the 2013 class?