Pittsburgh Steelers Draft: Comparing the AFC North Drafts 2009-2013

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April 26, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones (left) is introduced at the UPMC Sports Complex by Steelers president Art Rooney II after being selected the Steelers number one pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted a graphic of a chart displaying draft profiles for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the other three teams of the AFC North for the past five years:

The intent of the post was to show that stronger drafting has allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to take control of the division over the past couple of seasons, which is true depending on your definition of a strong draft and control of a division.  I wanted to take a closer look at these numbers (as percentages because they are easier to compare) to get a better idea of what is going on in the AFC North.

Pittsburgh Steelers

I will start with our beloved Steelers, of course.  From 2009-2013, out of 44 draft picks 45.5% are still on the roster projected to take up 50% of the starting spots for 2014.  13.6% of them are projected to start for another team, while another 22.7% are on rosters for another team and 18.2% are out of the NFL altogether.  The team got one First-Team All-Pro (Maurkice Pouncey) and three Pro Bowlers (Pouncey, Antonio Brown, and Mike Wallace) from these drafts.

The biggest miss is of course the 2009 draft, from which no players are still currently on the roster.  However, the 2009 draft was a problem for a lot of teams, as Kaboly states in the article that goes along with his graphic, the Steelers are one of eight teams with this same predicament.  That’s 25% of the league.  In my opinion the Steelers draft classes have looked stronger the last couple of years, with injuries being the main problem.  With some health and some development, the players from these classes should continue to make the team better in the near future. 

Baltimore Ravens

Out of 39 draft picks the Ravens have 61.5% still on the roster taking up only 31.8% of their projected starting spots.  5.1% are projected to start on another team, 23.1% will play for another team, but not start and 10.3% are out of the NFL.  Surprisingly, the Ravens have no All-Pros or Pro Bowlers from the last five drafts.

The good news is that as bad as the Steelers’ last five drafts appear to be, the Ravens’ have been worse.  They have retained a higher percentage of their players, but there are no higher caliber players in the group (at least not yet).  That is strange to say considering the amount of praise Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ staff receive for their draft prowess.  It appears that whatever draft slump the Steelers have had has been shared by the Ravens.

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