To select speedy scatback Dri Archer in the third round, the Steelers used the 97th overall selection, which was a pick that was essentially at the top of the fourth round as one of many compensatory picks the NFL tacked onto the end of the third round.
The Steelers didn't have a real third-round pick this year. They dealt this year's third-rounder, which turned out to be No. 83 overall, to Cleveland during last year's draft, for the right to select 5'9" safety Shamarko Thomas.
Louis Nix or Shamarko Thomas? Who would you rather have?
Let's hope last year's trade of this year's third-round pick (83rd overall in 2014) for the right to draft Shamarko Thomas in last year's fourth round (111th overall in 2013) was worth it.
That 83rd selection this year? It turned into Louis Nix, the Notre Dame nose tackle who many people projected early on as being a potential first-round pick this year for the Steelers, early in this draft season.
For Joey Porter's Pit Bulls, Thomas will merit as much scrutiny this season as any player in the 2014 draft. He is in his second year, so more is expected of him, but that trade ... we didn't like it at the time, and we like it even less today. Thomas is listed at 5'9", 217. There's no other way to say it: He's short. And he doesn't appear to be especially rangy, which is something you'd like to see in your safeties.
If you buy Kevin Colbert's assertion that this year's draft is so deep, that second-round picks equate to first-round picks, third-rounders to second round, etc., that particular 2014 third-round pick that Colbert traded last year turned out to be very expensive. By that logic, Thomas is a second-round talent. By that logic, Dri Archer is a late-second/early-third talent.
Thomas has much to prove.
Joey Porter's hope the best for all the Steelers' picks. We hope all turn into Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers.