The Pittsburgh Steelers had eight selections in the 2015 draft. Here’s a closer look at how their picks have contributed:
2015 draft class:
On the cusp: Dupree plays significant snaps as part of a four-man outside linebacker rotation. He also leads the Steelers with 4.0 sacks. He's been a positive so far as a de facto starter. He hasn't mastered his pass rush yet, but his athleticism shows and he's constantly around the ball. Jesse James isn't taking Heath Miller's starting spot any time soon, but he's slowly earning more reps and scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 9 against Oakland.
Undrafted free agents they like: Tyler Murphy is on the practice squad right now, but the Steelers have utilized his versatility on the 53-man roster. He caught a 16-yard pass in Week 1 and served as the backup quarterback in Week 7 while Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick were injured. The Steelers like his feel for the game. Offensive lineman B.J. Finney showed physicality in training camp and the team kept him on the practice squad as a result.
My take on class: The Steelers tried to upgrade the secondary with this draft, but Senquez Golson is injured and Doran Grant has spent most of the year on the practice squad. Coates has made minimal impact on the offense. All those factors make it difficult to give the Steelers an A grade. A solid B is in order, though. Dupree is panning out, and James is improving. L.T. Walton is part of the backup defensive end rotation. They still like Grant; he just wasn't ready to contribute right away. If Golson becomes a starter next year, this class will prove fruitful.
Mel Kiper Jr.’s take on class: Dupree has shown he knows how to get to the QB on occasion, but it's more flashes balanced by a lack of impact elsewhere. They expected more. This is another potentially good class that took a major hit before things started, because I thought Golson could have an impact. Whether they get another good mid-round WR story out of Coates is also a question, but it's hard to see him finding the reps.