Well, the Steelers have used their first three picks of the draft fairly wisely, and unless something unexpected happens, are done drafting until tomorrow. Overall, I give the draft an A-, the only knock being that I think they could have kept the 4th round draft pick they used to trade up in the 2nd. My gut feeling is that Colclough (pronounced COKE-lee) would have been there #44—I don't think they needed to jump up to the #38 spot to get him. Overall I'd give this draft a grade of A- so far—the minus coming from the giving away one of our 4th round picks. Anyway, here's the first day picks:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami University (Ohio) [1st Round]
Three-year starter who is regarded among the elite of college football... Blessed with the size of a linebacker and the mobility of a tailback, this excellent field leader has drawn comparisons to former Buffalo Bills great Jim Kelly for his ability to remain cool under pressure and strike from anywhere on the field... In 38 games, he rewrote virtually every school game, season and career passing records... Completed 854 of 1,304 passes (65.5 percent) for 10,829 yards, 84 touchdowns and 34 interceptions, topping the previous all-time records of 903 pass attempts, 6,524 yards and 49 scores by Mike Bath (1997-2000), 484 pass completions by Sam Ricketts (1994-97), 27 interceptions by Larry Fortner (1975-78) and 61.6 pass-completion percentage by Terry Morris (1985-86)... Added 246 yards and seven scores on 269 carries (0.9 avg.)... Set another RedHawks career record with 11,075 yards in total offense, surpassing the old mark of 7,010 yards by Bath... Became only the third player in Mid-American Conference history to throw for over 3,000 yards in three seasons and was the 10th passer in conference annals to throw for over 10,000 yards in a career... Became only the eighth player in school history to earn All-America honors... Can also handle punting chores, kicking 24 times for 963 yards (40.1 avg.), with 17 attempts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Ricardo Colclough, CB, Tusculum [2nd Round]
Small college standout with outstanding natural talent... Dominating shutdown pass defender who did not allow a reception in 11 of the 20 games he played in for the Pioneers... Heavily recruited coming out of high school, Colclough enrolled at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College to improve his academic standing... In just two seasons at Tusculum, he set school career records with 15 interceptions (138 yards in returns) and 38 passes defended (13 thefts, 25 breakups), topping the previous marks of 11 pass thefts by Jermaine Mack (1994-97) and 35 passes defended by Greg Rush (1999-2002)... Recorded 106 tackles (60 solos) with seven stops behind the line of scrimmage... Added 345 yards and two touchdowns on 24 punt returns (14.4 avg.) and 659 yards with a pair of scores on 23 kickoff returns (28.7 avg.)... His punt return average of 14.4 yards set a school all-time record, topping the previous mark of 12.1 yards by Donald Amaker (2000-03)... His kickoff return average of 28.7 yards surpassed the old school career record of 27.4 yards by Larry Crosby (1991-93).
Max Starks, OT, Florida [3rd Round]
Highly regarded prospect coming out of high school who provided stellar play for the Gators at a variety of positions during his three years as a starter... Competed as a left offensive tackle and right guard as a senior after playing left tackle as a junior and right tackle during his sophomore campaign... Was elected a University of Florida Student Senator during his freshman year... Comes from a family rich in football tradition, as six relatives played in the National Football League, including his father, Ross Browner, who was a two-time (1976, 1977) All-American defensive lineman at Notre Dame and was the recipient of the 1976 Outland Trophy and the 1977 Lombardi Trophy. Browner also placed fifth in the 1977 Heisman Trophy balloting and was a first-round selection in the 1978 NFL Draft by Cincinnati... Heavily involved in the community, including serving as a tutor and working with Kids Against Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco... Stared 36 of 43 games during his career, participating in 2,698 plays.- NFL.com
You can find more information about the Steelers draft picks, including audio interview with the players themselves and with the Steelers personnel, at the Official Pittsburgh Steelers 2004 Draft page.