When I first heard that the Steelers drafted Evander “Ziggy” Hood in the first round of the 2009 draft, I was extremely disappointed. I really thought the Steelers should have drafted someone for the offensive line, not someone who would play defensive end. I’m not big on college football, only pro, so I wasn’t very familiar with Ziggy.
I continued my sulking until I read about him days later in my Steelers Digest. Then I knew the Steelers drafted someone special and I was very happy with the pick. Great statistics and great work ethic … perfect for the Steelers. Just perfect. I couldn’t even believe I doubted the Steelers drafting him.
The Steelers have finally signed their first round draft pick. Hood will receive $6.1 million in guaranteed money. In addition, he will get a base salary of $8.7 million per year for five years. If he perform well, his salary could increase to $11.3 million.
Most teams haven’t signed their first round draft picks, although training camp starts very soon. Only three other teams have signed their first-round pick: the Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford), the New York Jets (Mark Sanchez) and the Cleveland Browns (Alex Mack).
Although he was a defensive tackle in college, Hood will move to defensive end. Hood will be a back-up next year, but he will be battling for a starting spot in the 2010 season against veteran Brett Keisel.
"He’s physical enough to play what we call the 5-technique, over the tackle, and he’s physical enough to take on tight ends," Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell said on draft day. "This guy has great feet. I have no qualms about him covering a receiver because he stays on his feet and he runs real well."
The Steelers have already won their six Super Bowls, but with their new draft pick, they are definitely on their way to their seventh championship win.