The Pittsburgh Steelers have now signed their entire 2014 draft class. Wednesday morning they announced that second-round pick DE Stephon Tuitt was signed to a four-year deal. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Stephon Tuitt is a 6’5”, 303lb defensive end out of Notre Dame. In his three years playing for the Fighting Irish he accumulated 127 tackles, 21.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, with one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Tuitt will wear Aaron Smith’s old #91 and even he knows the magnitude of stepping into not only that role but possibly becoming the first rookie to start on the defensive line for the first game since John Mitchell took over as defensive line coach 21 years ago.
There was a lot of talk that Tuitt could have gone in the first round of the draft, but his 2013 season was spent recovering from sports hernia and foot surgeries so he dropped to the second round. Still, the Steelers think they got a steal when he was available to them with their second-round pick.
Tuitt has an opportunity to start on a line that saw quite possibly the most turnover this offseason with the departures of Ziggy Hood, Al Woods and so far there hasn’t been a play to re-sign Brett Keisel. As John Mitchell explains in Ed Bouchette’s May 18th article regarding Steelers rookie camp, the Steelers have high hopes for Tuitt.
“We look for this guy to be here for a long time. He’s a guy that can do a lot of things for us. He can push the pocket. He can play the run. He can get off blocks and he can get to the ball. We got a good football player.” – John Mitchell
Now the Steelers look to finish minicamp and enter their month-long break before training camp with their entire draft class under contract.