Grading each Pittsburgh Steelers first-round draft pick in the Mike Tomlin era

Lawrence Timmons was Mike Tomlin's first draft pick in 2007.
Lawrence Timmons was Mike Tomlin's first draft pick in 2007. / Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/GettyImages
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2007-2011 First-Round Draft Choice Grades

2007: A
1 (15). Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Florida State
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-1, 234, 4.66 40-yard, 35-inch vertical, 25 Bench
Timmons played in the NFL for 11 years, starting nine of them, with 172 career games played. He rang up over 1,000 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, and collected 12 interceptions over the course of his career, which included two Super Bowl trips (one win). Timmons earned one Pro Bowl honor with the Steelers before ending his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2017.

2008: C-
1 (23). Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
Pre-Draft Measurables: 5-10, 225, 4.45 40-yard, 33.5-inch vertical, 26 Bench
Mendenhall played six years in the NFL, starting four of them, with 72 career games played between Pittsburgh (2008-2012) and Arizona (2013). He had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Steelers (2009 and 2010). Overall, he rushed for 4,236 career yards (1,081 career attempts) and 37 TDs. 

2009: D
1 (32). Evander “Ziggy” Hood, DE, Missouri
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-3, 305, 4.83 40-yard, 34 Bench
Hood never became a mainstay for the Steelers, but he managed to carve out a 10-year NFL career with five different teams. His best season with the Steelers was in 2012 when he made 16 starts and posted 42 total tackles and 3.0 sacks. Hood ended his journeyman career with 14.0 career sacks. He was a five-year starter and played in 142 career games.

2010: A+
1 (18). Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-4, 304, 5.29 40-yard, 26-inch vertical, 27 Bench
One of the best centers in Steelers’ history, Pouncey could one day find himself in the Hall of Fame. He played for 11 seasons, starting nine of those, and totaled 134 games played overall. He was a two-time first-team All-Pro and was selected to nine Pro Bowls, all with the Steelers.

2011: A+
1 (31). Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-5, 294, 4.95 40-yard, 35-inch vertical, 34 ¼-inch arms
Heyward is also one of the best players in Steelers’ history, and he’s still going strong after just completing his 12th NFL season. A 10-year starter, he’s played in 183 career games and is one of the top sack artists in Steelers’ history with 78.5 on his resume. Heyward has been named first-team All-Pro three times and has been selected to six Pro Bowls.