Pos: S • Ht: 5-9 • Wt: 217 • School: Syracuse
• About the pick: Compact, powerfully built safety who reminds team of former Colts S Bob Sanders. ... Aggressive, violent hitter who is explosive in short areas. ... Was timed in one of his 40-yard dashes at the combine in 4.38, even though he stumbled to the finish. ... Makes up for lack of height with great leaping ability. Had 401/2-inch vertical jump at the combine. ... Steelers traded a third-round pick in 2014 to move into the 111th overall spot to draft Thomas because they thought the Buffalo Bills would try to take him. ..."If he had two more inches, he would have been [drafted] in the first round," secondary coach Carnell Lake said. ... Started 39 of 48 games at strong safety for Syracuse, but will be used mostly at free safety with the Steelers. ... Called the defensive backfield signals for the Orange. ... Was a consensus All-Big East Conference first team-selection in 2012.
Pos: QB • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 221 • School: Oklahoma
• About the pick: Productive player who benefitted from playing in a wide-open, pass-happy, spread offense at Oklahoma. ... Will be used as Steelers' No. 3 quarterback, spelling the end for Charlie Batch's 11-year career with the Steelers. ... Strong arm, despite throwing a lot of short, quick passes. Not very mobile. ... Started 50 of 52 games with the Sooners, including school-record 48 in a row. ... Shattered school and Big 12 Conference career records with 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns in four years. ... Pure pocket passer. ... As a fifth-year senior, earned second-team All-Big 12 Conference selection after averaging 319.77 yards passing per game and throwing 30 touchdowns. ... "It was time to start grooming a new player," quarterback coach Randy Fitchner said. "Freshen up the room, if you will." ... Got married in 2012 to Oklahoma women's basketball player Whitney Hand, who played on the same team with Ben Roethlisberger's sister, Carlee.
Pos: CB • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 • School: Illinois
• About the pick: Bump-and-run style cornerback who the coaches think has a big upside. Talented, but inconsistent, a player who will benefit from solid coaching. ... Was a Parade All-American wide receiver in high school who was converted to cornerback. ... Ran 4.42 at the combine and has the natural look of a cornerback. ... Negatives are small hands and lack of mental toughness. ... Plays the run well. ... Honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference selection each of the past two years. ... Started 26 of 44 games at Illinois with six interceptions, two for touchdowns, and 121/2 tackles for losses. ... "He's big, he's fast, he doesn't mind tackling," secondary coach Carnell Lake said. "And he can play press coverage well in the same vein as an Ike Taylor. With some real work he can be even better."
Pos: WR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 209 • School: Oklahoma
• About the pick: Big receiver who gives the Steelers a larger, more physical target for Ben Roethlisberger. ... Transferred from Penn State after his junior season and, in one season with Sooners, started 13 games. Started 39 of 49 games in his college career and caught 146 passes for 1,926 yards and eight TDs. Steelers also liked his ability as a punt returner. Had 71 returns for 637 yards in his career. ... Was a teammate of fourth-round pick Landry Jones and had biggest game against Oklahoma State, catching 15 passes for 146 yards. "He's a big guy with good toughness," receivers coach Richard Mann said. "On top of that, he can catch the football." ... His older brother, Jeremiah, played football at California University of Pennsylvania.
Pos: LB • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 247 • School: Florida State
• About the pick: Prototypical-sized LB for the Steelers who will provide much-needed depth and help on special teams. ... Runs to the ball, gets off blocks and likes to hit. Uses his lack of height to play with leverage. But wasn't even a three-down player at Florida State, so will be nothing more than situational player in the NFL. ... "There are two things you can't teach linebackers -- one of them is how fast you're going to be and the other one is will you hit someone," LB coach Keith Butler said. ... Started 26 of 50 games in his career, recording 140 tackles with three sacks and 131/2 tackles for losses. ... Started all 14 games in 2012 for a defense that led Division I-A in yards allowed per play (3.86) and ranked second in total defense. ... Will be 24 in December.
Pos: DE • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 320 • School: Samford
• About the pick: Was a prep basketball standout who didn't start playing football until his senior year in high school. ... Was 240 pounds when he went to college and added 75 pounds of muscle over four years. ... Raw, unfinished player with tremendous upside. ... Well-built frame and carries his weight well. Good grip strength, but still learning how to rush. ... Had 33-inch vertical jump. ... Likely to spend at least his first season on the practice squad. Defensive line coach John Mitchell called him a project. "You can't get a guy at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds who can run like a guy who looks like he's 320 pounds," Mitchell said. "This guy has tremendous upside. I'm excited about him."