First Down: The Steelers 2009 Draft Pick Breakdown
Round 1 (32nd overall)
Evander Hood, DT; Missouri; 6’3", 300 pounds
Known to most by his childhood nickname "Ziggy," Evander Hood is a textbook Steelers’ first-round pick: an unheralded, no-nonsense, smart, physical player who fits the team’s needs and scheme. Will benefit from a year or two learning from guys like Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton. Provides immediate depth where there was precious little before.
Round 3 (79th overall)
Kraig Urbik, OT; Wisconsin; 6’5", 328 pounds
Although he played both guard and tackle in the Big Ten, Urbik is most likely a guard at the pro level and could compete for a starting job as a rookie. A "road grader" type of lineman, Urbik is known more for his run-blocking power than for his pass-blocking skill. Is aggressive blocking downfield.
Round 3 (84th overall)
Mike Wallace, WR; Mississippi; 6’0", 199 pounds
Ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash at the combine (4.33). Was not overly productive at Ole Miss (just 39 receptions as a senior) but did lead the SEC in yards per catch (20.1). Could immediately address one of the team’s most glaring weaknesses: kickoff returns.
Round 3 (96th overall)
Keenan Lewis, CB; Oregon State; 6’0", 208 pounds
Is known to excel in press coverage. Started 48 games at OSU while earning Academic All-Pac 10 honors as a senior. Known for a strong work ethic and was a high school teammate of Mike Wallace’s.
Round 5 (168th overall)
Joe Burnett, CB; Central Florida; 5’9", 192 pounds
His lack of size and speed (4.57 40-yard dash at the combine) pushed him down many draft boards, but scouts like his toughness. Was a four-year starter in college. Could contribute on special teams, possibly as a punt returner.
Round 5 (169th overall)
Frank Summers, RB; UNLV; 5’9", 241 pounds
Nicknamed "The Tank." Rarely got knocked backward in Vegas. Despite his size, is not a prospect at fullback. Will benefit from the off-season release of Gary Russell.
Round 6 (205th overall)
Ra’Shon Harris, DT; Oregon; 6’4", 298 pounds
Also goes by a nickname, "Sonny." Is likely a "project" for D-line coach John Mitchell, having started just one year in college. Known for his quickness and agility.
Round 7 (226th overall)
A.Q. Shipley, C; Penn State; 6’1", 304 pounds
Despite winning the Rimington Award as college football’s top center, he dropped to the final round because of his height and short arms. Won a state championship in basketball at Moon High School in 2004. Could benefit from a lack of depth at center.
Round 7 (241th overall)
David Johnson, TE; Arkansas State; 6’2", 260 pounds
Good run blocker who also averaged 16 yards per catch as a senior in college. Could curry favor with referees: His high school team was nicknamed the Zebras.
Craig McConnell is a born-and-bred Pittsburgher. He is a coordinating producer at FSN, where he’s worked since 2001. Before joining FSN, Craig worked as a videographer at WSYX-TV in Columbus and WTOV-TV in Steubenville. He lives in Hampton with his wife, Jill, and their two kids, Derek and Leah.