Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 6/24/13
No matter what decade or who is the team’s head coach, the one thing the Pittsburgh Steelers have been able to do better than most of the teams in the NFL is scout talent and draft players.Whether it was the famed Draft of 1974 (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster) or the 1987 Draft the produced Rod Woodson, Pittsburgh puts a premium of building its franchise through the Draft.This season is no different.Of the players drafted and signed as rookie free agents, head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff assembled a core of young players who could make this team and contribute. There are some who won’t make this team, but will be contributors with other franchises.This year, especially, is an important season for these Steelers. Age is now a factor. James Harrison is no long on the team. The running game must step forward and the receivers must attribute for the loss of Mike Wallace.As a group, this may be the most important rookie class in a decade and here are somethings and how rookies looked so far in Rookie mini camp and OTAs.Jarvis Jones: The top pick has a lot to learn. As Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh News-Gazette wrote, Jones was undersized and look out of sorts. While the rookie is signed to a contract, which according to NFL.com is "a four-year deal worth $8.705 million with a $4.7 million signing bonus. Jones' contract also is fully guaranteed."Jones will need to bulk up and continue to work through training camp to earn a starting spot on the roster.Grade CLe'Veon Bell: He has been quicker than some would have thought and has been a pleasant surprise in camp. I liked Bell coming out of college and fits the mold of traditional Steelers' backs. I think if he continues to produce in training camp, he might be the opening game starter for this franchise.Grade A-Mike Golic, Jr.: Take away the fact his father played in the NFL and is a well-known ESPN personality. Golic has a chance to make this team as a defensive lineman. He has been a nice surprise so far and could see time on special teams. If he does not make the 53-man roster, I certainly think he makes the practice squad as an undrafted rookie free agent.Grade BLandry Jones: Remember two seasons ago, we all thought Jones was the can't-miss prospect from Oklahoma? The next Troy Aikman? Now, it looks like he is lost on an NFL training camp and may not make the 53-man roster. His mechanics need work.Grade DTerry Hawthorne: According to behindthesteelcurtain.com, "The day after having a procedure to remove bone chips from his knee, Hawthorne signs a four year deal with Pittsburgh."Cornerback is a key need for this team. The Steelers want Hawthorne to earn the spot and be a new starter and the eventual replacement for Ike Taylor.Grade C (but this is due to injury)OVERALL GRADE: C+ 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Belichick: Brady is not going to lose his starting job

Report: Brown 'confident' Steelers will rework his contract

Report: J.T. Barrett lost full scholarship over summer for DWI

Police escort helped Joey Gallo get to ballpark on time

Agent: Bryant ‘heartbroken that he’s not allowed to play’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Trent Baalke could lose job if 49ers don’t show progress

Lawsuit: Baylor players gang raped student, school knew

Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly remain far apart

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA champ Cavs honored with 2,000-pound butter sculptures

John Daly dons super-patriotic outfit for Champions Dinner

Aaron Rodgers not inclined to talk about brother Jordan

Astros fan starts GoFundMe page to buy out Gomez contract

Durant told Westbrook he was returning to Thunder?

Five NFL teams set to rise up in 2016

Jeremy Lin reportedly looking to trademark phrase ‘Brook-Lin’

Matt Leinart engaged to actress Josie Loren

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker