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Mano: Drafting Key to Steelers' Playoff Run

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
As you get deeper and deeper into a playoff run, you have to use your depth more and more. Injuries, bumps, and bruises become a common theme and usually, the teams that can constantly churn out contributing role players, along with players that step can step into bigger roles right away, are the ones that are usually left standing in February. We know this for a fact, as the last two years we've had two playoff appearances that had potential slip away because we had too many injuries and just weren't deep enough at the positions that we needed the most. This has come from shaky draft classes in the past, as we have seen many prospects fall off and not be able to make the contributions we thought they could make.
However, it's my opinion that the past three draft classes have been some of the best ones we've had in quite a while, as players have been able to step in right away and make an impact. This draft class specifically has been very deep, as we have three players from it that already start on the team and another one that has played a big role down the stretch out at the receiver position. Let's have a look at some notable players from the past three draft classes:
2014: Shazier, Tuitt, Bryant
2015: Dupree, Coates, Jesse James, LT Walton, Finney
2016: Burns, Davis, Hargrave, Ayers
It's really impressive the way they hit on just about every pick they had in 2016. Out of 7 picks, we got three starters, a good receiver in the 7th round, a good ST player, and Jenkins who looked pretty promising at tackle before he went down with an injury. There's also many on the list that have either made big contributions on special teams (Matakevich) and other players who have been able to be serviceable backups when someone goes down on occasions (Chickillo), and this isn't even mentioning players like Senquez Golson who could be a big contributor at CB if he can stay healthy. This is why the defense has improved so much since 2014 and why this is most likely the deepest and most talented team we've had since our Super Bowl XLV run in 2010. Huge hats off to the Rooneys, Colbert, and Tomlin on rebuilding this team in a short time's notice to get back to contending. Overall just night and day compared to some of the draft classes we've had in the past. Looking forward to a good week of reading game previews leading up to Sunday! Time to take advantage of a great opportunity and get back to the Super Bowl Mano: Drafting key to Steelers' playoff run

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