The Steelers took one step closer to getting their nine-player draft class under contract on Thursday when they signed first-round pick Ryan Shazier. Shazier is the sixth draftee sign, leaving the Steelers with only three players to get under contract.
The 15th overall pick signed a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year. Although the terms haven't been announced, the deal is expected to be worth $9.51 million and include a $5.23 million signing bonus.
The former Ohio State linebacker has been taking first team reps during OTAs, which is a big deal in Pittsburgh because rookies almost never start under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The last rookie to start under LeBeau came in 1999, when second-round pick Charles Fisher started for the Bengals while LeBeau was defensive coordinator in Cincinnati.
CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco gave the Shazier pick a B+. Prisco believes that Shazier will add speed to a defense that desperately needs it.
The only draft picks the Steelers have left to sign are second-rounder Stephon Tuitt, third-rounder Dri Archer and fourth-rounder Martavis Bryant