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Finally, the 2009 NFL Draft has come to an end, and not a minute (or an awkward Erin Andrews/Quan Cosby/Bill Cosby segment) too soon.

Armed with two picks in the final round, the Super Bowl Champs first selected center A.Q. Shipley, the 6'1", 304-pound Penn State Nittany Lion who hails from Moon High School. In addition to being perhaps the first NFL player named A.Q., he happens to be the reigning Rimington Trophy winner as the best center in college football.

A caller to Mark Madden's show recently suggested the Steelers select Shipley in the first round, and after Madden got done berating him it was obvious that Shipley would be available later in the draft. I think he certainly possesses talent above the slot where he was chosen, so he was a good value with this pick.

With their second pick in the round, the Steelers reminded everyone that they loooooove to collect tight ends, adding Arkansas State's David Johnson, a 6'1", 260-pound specimen.

Johnson, ESPN's 15th-ranked tight end, had 22 receptions for 356 yards and five touchdowns last season. He is also a punishing blocker, and you can never have enough of those. He is also not this guy.

I think the Steelers' 2009 draft will be remembered as a very solid yet unspectacular class. It doesn't seem to have an enormously-high ceiling, but seems to be loaded with potential contributors and "good guys". They had a wish list I think got fulfilled quite nicely, and have plugged a lot of the holes that remained after free agency. They also began preparations for the future with the picks to supply the aging defensive line.

If there's ever been a team that you should trust in the draft, it's the Steelers, and I'm sure that in time this will be proven again with this year's class. And don't forget, with the virtual redshirt of the 2008 class, this year could be a double-infusion of young talent. When added with centerpieces like Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, and Santonio Holmes, plus a host of others, this team's future could shine brightly for years to come. I hope.

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Brian said...

Clearly I'm not a football expert, but how does the best center in college football last to the last round?

Anonymous said...

Seen anything about who the Steelers picked up as undrafted FAs?