Steelers' draft class enduring painful streak

The Steelers have watched a draft pick go down with a knee injury in three of their four preseason games. The latest is the most severe.

Rookie third-round pick Sean Spence has multiple torn ligaments in his left knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the season, a source told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This has been a bad run of injuries for the Steelers' 2012 draft class. Pittsburgh's first three selections have all injured their knees and the regular season hasn't started yet.

First-round pick David DeCastro injured his knee in the third preseason game five days ago and he could be placed on injured reserve next Tuesday. Under the new IR rule, the Steelers can bring back the right guard after eight weeks.

The first draft pick to suffer a knee injury was offensive tackle Mike Adams, a second-round pick. Adams sprained his MCL in the preseason opener but he returned five days later.

Now, the loss of Spence puts a dent in the Steelers' special teams and depth at inside linebacker. Former Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson is expected to replace him.

As I addressed in the AFC North blog last week, it looks like one draft pick will make an impact for the Steelers this season and it could be a significant one. Rookie fifth-round pick Chris Rainey has proven in the preseason to be a threat to score as a running back, receiver and returner.