Very good article on how bad our drafts have been compared to other teams. Depressing reality is that the Ravens have been drafting better than us for a while now.
Part II: Comparing Tomlin's Drafts to the League
By PaVaSteeler on Oct 13, 11:46p
In Part I, we discussed the Cowher-ites, those citizen of Steeler Nation who, for whatever reason, long for the days of Cowher quality drafted players. While it is understandable to a degree, given that Cowherís defenses epitomized what we all hold in our hearts as what Steeler Defenses should be, they are sadly mistaken in their presumption that, at least in Cowherís first 5 years, his draft picks performed better than the draft picks Mike Tomlin has used to forge his version of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Part II: The Villagers
In this Part II, we examine the claims of "The Villagers", so named from a snippet in Billy52ís FanPost currently receiving well deserved attention. These Villagers are PostRoaches, creatures who are never heard from until thereís a crumb of discontent, then they all come scurrying out to feed, posting all sorts of filth and spreading acrimony, only to disappear again in the bright lights of a subsequent victory.
As Billy52 describes them, " villagers [who] become an unruly mob screaming for the heads of every player, coach and water boy in Rooneyville. "This shall not stand," we bray in unison as we light our torches, bidding to hasten a swift return to our previous state of beer- and glory-sated bliss" . But they got me to thinking, in between posting virtual equivalents of rolled up newspaper swats to send them scurrying, about their claims.
With the delayed ascension of players such as Jason Worilds, Ziggy Hood, Emmanual Sanders; the unfortunate busts of Limas Sweed, Thaddeus Gibson, Joe Burnett; the disappointing failure to fulfill expectations of William Gay, Matt Spaeth, Bruce Davis, these Villagers have begun denouncing Tomlinís draft picks, despite such obvious successes as LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncy.
And the data shows, they may be right.
If you look at Tomlinís draft picks, and consider who he could have taken instead of the players he selected, you will find a rather disturbing fact: The Steelers, under Mike Tomlin, rank near the bottom of the NFL in terms of performance of their players, as measured by PFRís CarAV rating system.
I have downloaded every draft pick by every team from 2007 (Tomlinís first year as HC) through 2011. I sorted out Tomlinís picks, then re-sorted those players still available at the time the Steelers picked, and sorted by the top 10 players in terms of CarAV. The results are not pretty.
Assuming for arguments sake that all teams drafted on the basis of (from their perspective) Best Player Available ("BPA") and not for a specific need, then Tomlinís Steelers may be re-loading with blanks as compared to the rest of the League with a CarAV ranking of 29 (except for Seattle, Denver and Washington, who ranked 30 thru 32 respectively over all).
Letís look at Tomlinís 2011 First Round Pick, Cam Heyward. Selected with the 31st pick, as befitting a Super Bowl runner-up. Cam was a bit of a "legacy pick", given his father, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward has such strong ties to the Pittsburgh community, being the 3rd all-time rusher at Pitt.
As part of the (perceived) "re-loading" of the defense, Heyward was drafted to eventually replace Brett Keisel on the Steelers Defensive line. In 2011 he played in 16 games (starting none), had one sack, 13 tackles, and 2 assists. His PFR CarAV (inclusive of the 2012 season to date) is 2.
Other Defensive Linemen available at the time the Steelers selected Heyward include: Jurrell Casey, selected by Tennessee Titans and Jabaal Sheard selected by the Cleveland Browns. In the spirit of BPA, the top non- defensive line players available include: Akeem Ayers, LB, Tennesse Titans, Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore, and DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas.
Granted, different positions are given CarAV ratings based on differing criteria. But on the basis of BPA, look at how the names I just referenced compare: