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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2012-2016 First-Round Draft Choice Grades

2012: A+
1 (24). David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-5, 316, 5.43 40-yard, 29.5-inch vertical, 34 Bench
If Pouncey is considered one of the best centers in team history, DeCastro has to be considered one of the organization’s best offensive guards. His nine-year NFL career included eight years as a starter, 125 games played, two first-team All-Pro selections, and six trips to the Pro Bowl.

2013: F
1 (17). Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-2, 245, 4.88 40-yard, 30.5-inch vertical, 20 Bench
Jones was a big disappointment, as he was never able to live up to the expectations that followed him after a decorated college career. He only lasted four years in the NFL, playing 50 career games and spending one season as a starter. Jones finished his pro days with just 6.0 sacks and two interceptions.

2014: A
1 (15). Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-1, 237, 4.38 40-yard, 42-inch vertical, 25 Bench
The speedy Shazier was on his way to a legendary career in the Black & Gold until suffering his career-ending spinal injury. He had great instincts and was the leader in the middle of the Steelers defense. Shazier played in 46 career games, serving as a starter for three seasons. He had 7.0 sacks and seven interceptions.

2015: B-
1 (22). Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-4, 269, 4.56 40-yard, 42-inch vertical
Currently a free agent, Dupree has played in the NFL for eight years, serving as a starter for five of them. He spent his first six years with the Steelers and had a career season high 11.5 sacks and 17 hurries in 2019. Overall, he’s played in 103 career games and has posted 46.5 sacks with Pittsburgh and Tennessee.

2016: D
1 (25). Artie Burns, CB, Miami (FL)
Pre-Draft Measurables: 6-0, 193, 4.46 40-yard, 33-inch vertical, 7 Bench, 33 ¼-inch arms
Burns had a promising beginning to his NFL career, intercepting a Joe Flacco pass in his first start and finishing with three total as a rookie. But the expectations heaped upon him as the Steelers’ first cornerback selected in the first round since Chad Scott in 1997 were too much to overcome. He played four years with the Steelers before signing with the Chicago Bears in 2020 and spent last season with the Seattle Seahawks. Overall he’s played in 72 career games over seven seasons and has collected four interceptions.