Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark loves team's draft

Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Ryan Clark made a number of interesting comments regarding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and pretty much all of those comments were blown out of proportion. More notable are the comments that Clark made to the Erie-Times News’s John Dudley regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 NFL Draft. An individual who enjoys speaking his mind on the NFL, it seems like a future as an NFL analyst for ESPN or another outlet is in the cards for Ryan Clark.

But for now, Clark is busy opining about the league as a player, and his opinions on the success of the Steelers draft are both optimistic and interesting. He said, “The way I look at our draft, every pick was exactly where we needed to go. We got the best pass rusher in the nation the last two years. We got a good young running back. We got another receiver. And we got a highly-rated safety (Syracuse’s 5-foot 9-inch Shamarko Thomas, taken 111th overall in the fourth round) who I think would have gone a lot higher except for his size.”

The most interesting of those comments deals with Shamarko Thomas, who was a great selection for the Steelers in the middle of the fourth round. Thomas is a good free safety prospect out of Syracuse, and I agree with Clark’s comment that Thomas should have gone higher. I am guessing that the Steelers are grooming him to eventually take over for Troy Polamalu, but that’s far off in the future. That’s probably the best-case for the Steelers in that regard, because what is more important right now is that Thomas develops and immediately contributes as a quality backup safety for this team. I always enjoy hearing evaluations (even if they are brief) from current players on players who play that same position.

Clark is correct in his praise of the Pittsburgh Steelers draft, because they did, as they usually do, draft really well. Markus Wheaton is going to alleviate the loss of Mike Wallace as a deep threat, because Wheaton was the best vertical threat in this draft. Jarvis Jones has injury concerns, but there is no denying his talent and his solid value with the 17th pick. The Steelers filled out several needs, and Le’Veon Bell was a nice pick in the second. It seems like the Steelers really like him, and Bell can be the guy Rashard Mendenhall was supposed to be in Pittsburgh.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter for more NFL updates and analysis @SorianoJoe.


Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark Shamarko Thomas

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