Leading up to the 2021 NFL draft in April, let’s look at how some of the Steelers’ drafts played out.
The 2021 NFL draft is less than three months away. Each week leading up to the draft, we are going to dive into an NFL draft class starting with the Steelers 2004 NFL draft. In doing so, each player selected by the Steelers will be highlighted as to how their NFL career, or lack thereof, took shape. As we get to more recent years, some will be combined as many of those draft choices are still with the Steelers.
Part 4 of 15 will highlight the Steelers 2007 NFL draft, the first by head coach Mike Tomlin.
So let’s take a look at the eight players drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2007 NFL draft:
Linebacker, Florida St.
The first ever draft pick by head coach Mike Tomlin, it took Timmons until his third season before he became the regular starter at inside linebacker. Playing 10 seasons in Pittsburgh, Timmons made the Pro Bowl in 2014. With 37.5 sacks and over 1,000 tackles including the postseason while in Pittsburgh, Timmons moved on to the Miami Dolphins in 2017 only to have buyers remorse as the season started and disappeared prior to the Dolphins Week 2 game. Once getting his focus back on football, Timmons started the last 14 games of the season in Miami before being released before the 2018 season.
After only one season, Lamar Woodley locked into the Steelers starting outside linebacker role opposite of James Harrison. Earning a Pro Bowl bid in 2009, Woodley started 81 games in the regular season as well as seven in the postseason during his Steelers career. With 68 sacks including the postseason during his time in Pittsburgh, Woodley is mostly known for the drop off in production after getting a second contract with the Steelers. After seven seasons wearing the Black & Gold, Woodley appeared in six games for the Oakland Raiders in 2014 and 10 games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 before finishing the season on IR with a torn pectoral muscle which kept him from ever seeing the field in the NFL again.
Tight end, Minnesota
After playing 30 games in his first four seasons in Pittsburgh where he had five touchdowns, Matt Spaeth spent two years with the Chicago Bears before returning back to the Steel City. Used primarily as a blocking tight end, Spaeth had seven touchdowns while in Pittsburgh and added three more in Chicago. Spaeth was released just before training camp in 2016 due to a failed physical.
Not only did the Steelers draft a punter in the fourth round in 2007, they traded up seven spots and surrendered their sixth-round draft pick in order to do so. Unfortunately, Daniel Sepulveda did not work out long-term in Pittsburgh as he had a career average of 43.7 yards per punt in four seasons with the Black & Gold. Dealing with multiple knee injuries throughout his short career, Sepulveda only played for the Steelers and was not picked up by another team beyond the 2011 season.
Defensive tackle, Oklahoma St.
Making the Steelers 53-man roster his rookie season, Ryan McBean only appeared in one game for Pittsburgh his rookie season. Released following training camp in 2008, McBean landed on the Denver Broncos practice squad for 2008 and their 53-man roster the following three seasons. Starting 21 games for the Broncos, McBean had four sacks in 2011. McBean spent the 2012 season with the Baltimore Ravens but did not appear in a game. After a year out of football, McBean spent a week of training camp late in the 2014 preseason with the Arizona Cardinals before being released.
Failing to make the roster his rookie season in Pittsburgh, Cameron Stevenson was signed to the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers. In the 2008 offseason, Stevenson was waived due to an injury and was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles. Stevenson did not last all of training camp in 2008 but landed on the New Orleans Saints practice squad. Signed late in the season by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Stevenson was back on the practice squad for 2009 but did not even make it to training camp the following year. Stevenson spent the next five years playing for various teams in the UFL and the Arena Football League.
Defensive back, Louisville
One of the best late-round draft picks in recent Steelers history, William Gay played a total of 10 seasons in Pittsburgh with one year in Arizona sprinkled midway through his career. Appearing in 175 games for the Steelers between the regular season and postseason, Gay had six career defensive touchdowns including a fumble return in the 2010 AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets. Gay also added six sacks to go along with his 11 regular-season interceptions while in Pittsburgh. Released following the 2017 season, Gay spent training camp with the New York Giants in 2018 but failed to make the team.
Wide Receiver, Florida
Signed to the practice squad his rookie season, wide receiver Dallas Baker made the Steelers 53-man roster his second season in 2008. Appearing in eight games, Baker had one catch for six yards during his NFL career. Midway through the season, Baker was released and re-signed to the practice squad. After lasting through training camp in 2009, Baker did not make the team or the practice squad. Over the next five years, Baker played in both the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League before becoming a coach at Warner University in 2015. Baker is currently the wide receivers coach at Marshall University.