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Steelers sign 4, cut 7

Posted Jun 15, 2010

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers signed four draft picks today from this year’s NFL Draft, including wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, running back Jonathan Dwyer and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Financial terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Sanders (5-11, 180), out of SMU, was the Steelers’ third round pick (82nd overall) in the Draft and finished as the Mustangs’ career leader in receptions (235), touchdown receptions (34) and receiving yards (3,791). He was a first-team all-Conference USA selection last year as a senior after posting 98 catches for 1,339 yards and seven touchdowns. Sanders ranked sixth in the NCAA with 103 receiving yards per game in 2009.

One of three linebackers selected in this year’s Draft by the Steelers, Sylvester (6-2, 231) was the team’s third of three selections in the fifth round (166th overall). A first-team all-MWC selection for Utah, he was a two-year captain and the defensive MVP of the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl. Sylvester started all 13 games last year and finished with a team-best 81 tackles.

Dwyer (5-11, 229) was the Steelers first of two sixth-round picks (188th overall) in this year’s NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech. A first-team all-ACC selection his final two seasons, he earned the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award as a sophomore in 2008 after leading the team with 1,395 rushing yards on 200 carries while earning All-America status. Last year as a junior, he matched his rushing total from the previous year with 1,395 yards on 235 attempts, the fourth-best rushing total in school history. Dwyer added 14 touchdowns in 2009.

Brown (5-10, 186) was Pittsburgh’s second of two sixth-round selections (195th overall) in this year’s Draft. He finished his career as Central Michigan’s all-time leader in receptions (305), which ranked second in MAC history. As a junior in 2009, Brown was named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year for the second straight season and earned first-team all-MAC honors as both a receiver and punt returner. He caught a school-record 110 passes for 1,198 yards and nine touchdowns last year.

With today’s signings, the Steelers now have six of their 10 draft picks under contract. Linebacker Thaddeus Gibson and defensive tackle Doug Worthington signed last week.

The Steelers made additional roster moves by releasing seven free agents, including wide receiver Jason Chery, kicker Piotr Czech, linebacker Derrick Doggett, punter Adam Graessle, nose tackle Cordarrow Thompson, center Bradley Vierling and cornerback Trae Williams.

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