At first glance, an additional 6th round pick in the 2013 NFL draft might not seem like much. The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t always had a great reputation for their late round picks, but in a draft this deep, the Steelers have a chance to get a really nice player with this additional pick.
The league awards compensatory picks through a formula that weighs out the quality of players lost in free agency and the players signed in free agency. This means that some teams who vacate lots of talent are rewarded the following seasons with better picks, sometimes as high as the third round. For the Steelers, that means the loss of players this offseason including wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Keenan Lewis and running back Rashard Mendenhall along with the lack of free agents the Steelers have signed to replace them, the team is almost assured to do better than a single 6th round pick in 2014.
But that’s not to say the Steelers can’t make good with this pick. Thinking about positions that are typically underrated in the draft and pushed to later in the round, running back comes to mind immediately. Typically running backs don’t get drafted as early as their talent might indicate if for no other reason than because the league as a whole feels like they can wait to draft one. The Steelers would be well served to consider looking to Arkansas for one of their talented backs. Both Dennis Johnson and Knile Davis have NFL caliber skills, but due to injuries, and fumbles, compounded by one of the most forgettable seasons in recent history at Arkansas have been all but forgotten by NFL scouts. But either, or both in the 6th round would be an ideal low risk/high reward type of pick that could reap serious dividends during the season.