Everyone is Mocking again as the NFL news cycle has slowed down to a crawl and the draft is still 3 months away. There will be a lot of analysis and speculation we will all have to deal with the coming months so placing much stock in the ever changing mocks is just plain silly, especially before the combine. Kind of like getting excited about a high schools player’s verbal commitment to a college a year before “Letter of Intent Day”.
However, i still feel the need to put stock in what teams need and where they will be drafting along with the history of each team in the p[revious drafts. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be drafting at number 15th and their history tells us that they should at least wind up with a very good player.
Outside of the 2009 draft, where the Steelers felt like stopping at nothing to get a number 1 receiver reaching for Troy Edwards, a draft position of 18 or lower has proven to be very successful for the Steeler organization (In terms of finding a pro-bowl caliber player).
The 2000 Steeler draft had them picking at 8th after a disastrous 6-10 season and they held to their plans and picked Plaxico Burress. Three years later a trade occurred (Chiefs) and the Steelers moved up from 27th to 16th and took Troy Polamalu, seems like it was worth the third and sixth round picks the Steelers parted with.
The next year, and another sub par season, Pittsburgh found themselves selecting at the 11th and got their Super Bowl quarterback Ben Rothlisberger. Any team that has such good drafts back to back should go to a couple of Super Bowls.
Three years later, Mike Tomlin finds himself a draft virgin as the head coach of the Steelers, he selects linebacker Lawrence Timmons and after a slow start to his career , he has become one of the best all around players in the Steeler defense.
Three seasons after that, the Steelers have the 18th pick overall in 2010 and Maurkice Pouncey becomes the center. He quicky became the team’s best offensive lineman and a pro bowler in his first year.
Just last season, the Steelers, again had the 18th pick and selected Jarvis Jones. The jury is still out on him but he can certainly evolve in a great all around player and maybe even the next great pass rushing linebacker that the Steelers have been known for at that position through out history.
So now comes this years draft, a 16-16 record the past two seasons has brought the Steelers a 15th pick selection position so what to they do? Is the next Casey Hampton there, an heir apparent to Polamalu, a prototypical number one wide receiver or maybe even another offensive lineman? hard to say for sure, especially this early, but if history proves correct, the Steelers will most likely land a premiere contributor to help them get back to their winning ways.