An interesting statistical piece, it shows a good range, but when the rubber meets the road, the top sack producers are drafted in the top 13. The good news is there seems to be a fairly even split between defensive ends and outside linebackers, but perhaps the younger guys are beating the older guys overall. - nc
The Steelers needed more QB pressure last year--that was the number one shortcoming in an otherwise very good defense. Not enough pressure, and hence not enough turnovers.
I see a lot of discussion about how the Steelers can wait until later rounds to draft a pass rusher, that we need Safety or WR or OL or NT in the first round.
However, if the Steelers think they can wait to get a pass rusher for good value in a later pick, they are facing long odds.
I did a quick analysis of the top 20 sackers in the game in the 2003-2012 time period, as determined by sacks/game, with a minimum 20 sacks to weed out small sample sizes. I also included the draft position of each player.
I will grant that sacks/game is a crude metric, but it is a pretty good crude metric, even though it might not really correctly identify the best pass rushers of the period.
Not counting Cameron Wake, the undrafted anomaly in this list, the mean draft position of the other 19 gentlemen was was 37.7, and the median (half drafted higher, half lower) draft position was only 13.
By the way, notice the presence of Lamarr Woodley on this list and stop telling me we need to cut him. For those who are interested, James Harrison comes in at 43rd with .49 sacks/game, and Joey Porter at 35th with .54 sacks/game.
So, my preference is Ansah/Mingo in Round 1.