View Full Version : Zierlein explains how Steelers form their draft board

tony hipchest
04-03-2012, 06:38 PM
Lance, teh son of former steelers OL coach, is a radio show host, writer that mainly covers the texans but has a website devoted to scouting and the draft. this article he wrote is extremely insightful and well researched.


"The Steelers Project" Part 1: The Steeler Way

The Steeler Way

There are few teams in football more respected on draft day than the Pittsburgh Steelers. What makes the Steelers so revered is not just the fact that they have a track record of finding good football players, but they’ve also created a mindset of “Steeler football” and they stay true to that mindset/philosophy.

What makes the Steelers so revered is they've created a mindset of "Steeler Football" and they stay true to it.

My dad coached the offensive line for the Steelers from 2007-2009 and despite what most people think, I rarely got inside information from him while he was there. In fact, he was always so jammed up with work that our discussions usually centered on offensive line play during the season and how his grandchildren were doing. During the draft process, I would ask questions about some offensive line prospects from time to time, but that was the extent of it.

Recently, over Tex-Mex, he began telling me about how the Steelers go about the draft process and I found it to be fascinating. In Pittsburgh, Kevin Colbert runs the draft but has Mike Tomlin helping to make decisions. There is a balance between the scouting department and position coaches.

The Steelers pecking order isn’t what fascinated me, but rather, the manner in which they put together their draft board is what caught my attention.

Stacking The Board

After all the player readings are finished and the evaluations are complete, the Steelers will stack their draft board. While other teams try and predict what teams ahead of them will do, the Steelers decided that was a waste of time. I will keep the nuts and bolts about how the Steelers draft process works to me, but I love their overall approach. The Steelers only care about what they can control: their own draft board.

The Steelers create their draft board based on a mock draft where only the Steelers pick. They make picks 1 through 32 in the first round based on their philosophies on both sides of the ball. While every team stacks their draft board based on draft grades with players in all positions, the Steelers are able to put together a true “big board” based on their judgments of talent, fit to the system, need and character.

see link for rest of the article and part 2 where lance attempts to predict what the steelers board will look like.

04-04-2012, 01:20 PM
Good post Ironman!

04-04-2012, 02:01 PM
Very interesting indeed... thanks for the post.