Draft Trends:AFC North part I
March 28, 2011 Bookmark and Share Print This
Today we resume our Draft Trends series by taking a look at the top two teams from the AFC North: The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Note: This is a team-by-team study based on NFL Draft results from 2001-2010.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-4, first in AFC North)
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (fifth season)
2011 Draft Picks: 7 (first pick is Round 1, Pick 31)
Total Selections Since 2001: 79 (44 on offense, 35 on defense)
The Steelers have been quite balanced in the first round over the last decade, using six of their ten picks on offensive players with the remaining four selections going to the defensive side of the football. Take note that five of the Steelers’ last ten first round picks (Hampton, Polamalu, Roethlisberger, Miller, Pouncey) have been named to at least one Pro Bowl.
What’s even more impressive is that eight of those ten first round picks are still on the roster.
Since 2001, the Steelers have dedicated 15.2% of their total draft picks to the linebacker position (12) and 13.9% of their selections to the wide receiver position (11). For a team that consistently ranks at the top of the league in total defense, Pittsburgh has used only 44.3% of their draft picks on defenders over the last decade (35).
Here’s how the Steelers’ selections break down by position since 2001:
1. With the exception of Maurkice Pouncey (center, 2010), the Steelers have not drafted an offensive lineman within the first two rounds since 2002 (Kendall Simmons, first round).
Rashard MendenhallICONWith the exception of Mendenhall, the Steelers usually target running backs in the later rounds.
2. Since 2001, the Steelers have drafted zero defensive ends within the top 100 picks.
3. Since 2001, 17 of Pittsburgh’s 29 draft picks (58.6%) that have come within the top 100 have been spent on linebackers (6), wide receivers (6) and defensive backs (5).
4. Rashard Mendenhall (first round, 2008) is the only running back in the last ten years that the Steelers have drafted prior to the fifth round.
5. The Steelers have selected at least one wide receiver in eight of the last ten drafts.