Drafting in Pairs: Since 2005, the Steelers have double dipped at one position or more in every single draft. In 2005, they took two guards in Essex and Kemoatu (round three and six respectively). In 2006, they drafted two receivers in Santonio Holmes and Willie Reid (round one and three respectively). In 2007, they drafted two linebackers in Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley (round one and two respectively). In 2008, they drafted two outside linebackers in Bruce Davis and Mike Humpal (round three and six respectively). In 2009, they drafted two corners in Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett (round three and five respectively). In 2010, they drafted two outside linebackers in Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson (round two and four respectively). They also drafted two receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown (round three and six respectively). In 2011, they drafted two corners in Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen (round three and four respectively). In 2012, they drafted three offensive linemen in David DeCastro, Mike Adams, and Kevin Beachum (rounds one, two, and seven respectively). Clearly, there is a trend that they like too double dip at a position in the draft. This year's possibilities include safety, receiver, and linebacker.
Drafting a junior in the 1st round: - Since 2005, the Steelers have taken just one senior in the first round of the NFL Draft (Evander Hood). Heath Miller was a redshirt junior as was Santonio Holmes. Lawrence Timmons was a true junior along with Mendenhall, and Pouncey. David DeCastro was also a redshirt junior. So, when making a mock draft for the Steelers this year, you should probably slot a junior in as their first round pick.
Rotating offense and defense: While there was no trend on this subject from 2005-2008 (three offensive players drafted, one defense), there has been a clear trend since then. Since the 2008 draft when they took Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers have rotated from offense to defense in each year. In 2009 they took Evander Hood. In 2010, they took Maurkice Pouncey. In 2011, they took Cameron Heyward and in 2012 they took David DeCastro. While some of this is due to value, it could also be translated into a trend. Following this trend, expect the Steelers to select a defensive player in the first round this year.
Ohio State and Florida - The Steelers have taken at least one player from both Ohio State and Florida in each of the last three drafts. Look for prospects like Mike Gillislee, Jon Bostic, Xavier Nixon, and Matt Elam of Florida to be possible Steelers and Johnathan Hankins, Jake Stoneburner, and John Simon of Ohio State to also be on the Steelers radar.
Two Picks from the Big 10 - In every year but 2012 since 2005, the Steelers have taken exactly two prospects from the Big 10 conference. In every year but one (2010), one of those two picks has occurred within the first three rounds. Again, look for guys like Johnathan Hankins, Kawann Short, and Jonathan Cooper to be possible first round picks with guys like Travis Frederick, Montee Ball, and John Simon as some second or third round options.