April 22, 2009
By Donald Starver
With only 3 days remaining until the 2009 NFL draft, fans are searching for any final clues that may help them determine who their favorite team is going to draft. Traffic at mock draft websites is at an all-time high this time of year. Fans seem to think that mock drafts may have some insight that will tell them who their team is going to select (they don’t).
With that in mind, I’ve decided to make your lives a lot easier. Rather than allow you to spend countless hours scouring the millions of mock drafts that are out there, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. I’ve studied every mock draft in the HailRedskins mock draft database and the Walter Football mock draft database. If you haven’t visited these excellent sites, I recommend that you do so.
There is a lot of overlap in the websites that are listed. However, Walter Football’s database contains 250 mock drafts while Hail Redskins only has 228. Therefore, I chose Walter Football’s mock draft database as the data source for this analysis.
I have cumulated the results of all of the mock drafts listed in Walter Football’s mock draft database, and am reporting the results for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some of the mock drafts in the database were eliminated because they were too old to be considered valid. I immediately eliminated any mock drafts that were done prior to the Super Bowl. Afterall, how good could a mock draft be if it didn’t even reflect the correct draft order? Additionally, I eliminated all of the mock drafts that had broken links. Lastly, Walter Football’s database includes several mock drafts that are clearly intended to be jokes. Those were also eliminated from my analysis.
Once I had eliminated all of the mock drafts that I considered to be invalid, I was left with 189 mock drafts. Those 189 mock drafts were the basis for this analysis. It was a lot of work compiling 189 mock drafts, so I stopped at the 1st round. Here is what the mock drafts think the Steelers are going to do in the 1st round of Saturday’s draft.
By far, offensive line was the position that the mock drafts thought the Steelers were going to select in the first round of the draft. 126 mock drafts (66.7%) had the Steelers taking an offensive lineman in the first round. Defensive back got the next highest number of votes with 33 mock drafts (17.5%) predicting that the Steelers would take a DB.
Here is the breakdown by position:
Position/# of votes/% of votes
Four of the top 5 vote getters were offensive linemen. This should come as no surprise, given the problems the Steelers’ offensive line had this past year. The top vote-getters were as follows:
Name/position/# of votes/% of votes
While 2 mock drafts had the Steelers taking a running back in the first round, I just can’t see that happening. Rashard Mendenhall was drafted in the first round last year, and the Steelers are very solid at running back with Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, and Mewelde Moore.
In my opinion, all of the other positions that received votes are a possibility. We all know that the Steelers aren’t going to draft a quarterback or tight end in the first round, regardless of who is available. We also know that they aren’t going to draft a special teams player (unless it is a wide receiver who also returns kicks or punts). Beyond this, nobody knows what the Steelers will do.
I have learned over the years that trying to predict who the Steelers are going to draft is nearly impossible. They play their cards very close to the vest, and they almost never do what fans expect them to do. Nevertheless, I hope that this analysis may have added some insight into what we are likely to see on Saturday.
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