The early returns on Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert's 2015 draft class are not too promising.
Only half of the team's eight round picks are currently on the active roster following the release of fourth-round corner Doran Grant, sixth-round linebacker Anthony Chickillo, and seventh-round safety Gerod Holliman. Grant and Chickillo were re-signed to the practice squad. Late-round picks are hardly expected to make an impact, especially in their rookie seasons, but not one of the Steelers' draftees appears headed for a starting role.
First-rounder Bud Dupree will likely be a situational pass rusher while second-round corner Senquez Golson will miss the season with a shoulder injury. The selections of Golson and Grant were supposed to help a porous secondary, but the Steelers ended up dealing a 2015 fifth-round pick to obtain corner Brandon Boykin instead.
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Speaking of mid-round picks, the Steelers have used a fourth- or fifth-round selection the past three years, and all three have failed to make the opening day roster, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Shaquille Richardson and Terry Hawthorne were fifth-round picks in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
Wide receiver Sammie Coates, drafted in the third round to help alleviate the expcected loss of Martavis Bryant to suspension, showed up to camp out of shape and hasn't shown he's ready for major reps. Fifth-round tight end Jesse James struggled early in the preseason but made the team, and is now doing his best Rob Gronkowski impersonation as the Steelers ready for New England in the season opener Thursday night.