Are you annoyed by all the ridiculous mock drafts on the internet & airwaves these days? Mock drafts are a mockery, an exercise in futility, with less likelihood of being accurate than 99.99% of NCAA bracket predictions...and that's a legitimate stat!
How did everyone become such an expert at evaluating potential NFL talent? Is every blogger on the internet privy to the information circulating in all 32 NFL teams' war rooms? Wow, aren't you impressed with their informative, expert advice? Like you, I can't wait to see all of those mock drafts come true, all of them. That's totally possible. Totally. However, my expertise exceeds theirs! This post predicts draft facts with 100% accuracy...NO, make that 100% accuracy and 110% effort!
I boldly predict that no mock draft will be even remotely accurate, and you can bank on that! Don't waste your time with mock drafts. These mockeries, analyses and opinions are largely just that: opinions. They're opinions based on other reports & blogs, which in turn were based solely on other opinions rather than actual experience, knowledge and film study. Oh sure, there are experts and there are writers (bloggers included) who actually cover the NFL, who not only know what they're talking about but can also communicate that knowledge eloquently and effectively. Even so, it's still a crapshoot.
So instead of a crapshoot, base your predictions on these five phenomenal facts:
FACT 1:There is a 0.00% chance the Pittsburgh Steelers will move (up or down) in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. You read it here first. You can quote me on that. Tell all your friends. Better yet, stop what you're doing right now and go to the bank, withdraw your entire life savings and book a flight to Las Vegas. NOW. Right now! Go!!! Well, read the rest of my blog first, then get your Behind (the Steel Curtain) to Vegas with my money-back guarantee. That's right, if you don't win that bet in Vegas by the time the Stillers make or trade their first pick, I'll refund every penny you pay me for this advice (minus a 100% handling fee, of course). At the very least, you'll come away from this fanpost richer in knowledge - not just about the NFL, but also about the world!
Here's why: The Steelers don't often trade their draft choices, especially not their first round selection. In 21 seasons beginning with Bill Cowher's first draft in 1992, the Steelers have traded spots in the 1st round just three times. Casey Hampton was the product of the first of those three trades in 2001 when they traded down from 16th to 19th with the New York Jets. Then the Steelers traded up with the Kansas City Chiefs to 16th from 27th for the right to select Troy Polamalu in 2003. Pittsburgh danced with New York once again in 2006 (the Giants this time), swapping the 32nd spot for NY's 25th spot, landing Santonio Holmes. The Steelers just don't move in the first round very often, and they won't do it this year either. Count on it!
FACT 2:It takes two to tango! Even if the Steelers want to trade down this season, they need a willing partner - a partner desperate enough to give up more than a trifle to draft at the Steelers' spot. That team would have to believe a player is not only worth the trade in terms of team needs and player abilities, but is also at great risk of being snatched from their clutches by a team drafting between them and the Steelers. The same applies vice versa to moving up. You may want to dance, but nobody wants to dance with you. Don't feel bad, it happens to me all the time (break out the violins).
Here's why: If no teams wish to move, if the Steelers' asking price is too high, if the other team offers too little, or if the other team finds a better partner, then the Steelers don't dance. Maybe you're thinking of a handful of other reasons why the trigger doesn't get pulled on a draft-day trade, but the point is, if the stars aren't properly aligned, the team doesn't dance.
FACT 3:The Steelers have no positions of need in this draft. Whoa! Hold your horses! NO NEEDS??? (Is this guy crazy?) Nope, they have none. Nada. Wala (that's Tagalog for my non-Pinoy readers - see, educational as promised). Yep, that was no misprint, and that was definitely NOT a typo. The Steelers have no immediate needs that can be filled by the 2013 NFL draft! Print that!
Here's why: The Steelers have veteran starters at every position. They may wish to upgrade at some point, or perhaps add depth for the future, but Art Rooney II, Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company are wise enough to know they won't likely find a starter this year from this year's draft. The same holds true every season. More likely, they HOPE TO GOD they never have to start any rookie, no matter how that player was acquired. They'll hope for a contributor, but they'll want veteran starters.
At the end of this fanpost, I'll list of all the players I anticipate at this point will start for the Steelers this season on offense and defense (but not special teams). You can feel free to rake me over the coals for those predictions and identify which prospective draftees will oust the veterans from their starting positions this season. Send in your comments today, then mark your calendars for September so you can tell me, "I told you so," on opening day...unless, of course, you're afraid that if you comment today, I'll say I told you so on opening day.
FACT 4:Kevin Colbert won't trade down more spots than the # of players remaining that he values as 1st-rounders. It's true!
Here's why: I read it in a comment on BTSC, so it must be true! Actually, it probably is true and I'm not trying to call out my fellow Steelers faithful (my sincere apologies if any offense was taken). Let's suppose it can be proven that Kevin Colbert did say such things, or at least said something to that effect. Ultimately, the point is this: the Steelers will be taking a big risk, one they won't take without meticulous calculation. After such calculation, the Steelers' front office will surely realize the risk is too high and won't be worth the gamble. That's why they don't take that risk very often. Colbert isn't the only one making the decisions though, which makes it even more unlikely that 5 (or more) accomplished NFL experts with healthy egos can all agree on whether to make a questionable trade. There must be a reason compelling enough to get everyone's blessing. Otherwise, it's not gonna happen, period.
Trading up isn't any safer. Deals such as Troy Polamalu being available for a 1st, 3rd & 6th round pick don't happen very often. What's more likely to happen is the Steelers give up their 1st, 3rd and 4th pick to move up 7 spots for a guy like Santonio Holmes. Holmes's heroic Super Bowl haul aside, who's to say the Steelers wouldn't have drafted better players with those picks (including Holmes at 32) or even won more championships had they not made that deal? You are, so go ahead and comment on that! While you're at it, check out the initial 2006 draft review by BTSC's very own Neal Coolong. I wonder if he still feels the same now as he did back then.
One other trade to note, although not a first rounder, was Jerome Bettis plus a 3rd round pick for the Steelers' 2nd & 4th round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. That was also a compelling case where the stakes were high and the risk was well calculated.
FACT 5:Believe it or not, 31 other teams' decisions will affect the Steelers' options. That's the fact Jack!
Here's why: Oh, come on...really? Does that really require an explanation? If you insist. The Steelers aren't completely in control of their own draft day destiny. With the 2013 NFL draft quickly approaching (commencing at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, April 25 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City), and the free agency picture becoming only slightly clearer than it was on March 1st (there still are quality free agents available), there's still no way to predict how the Steelers will draft, much less how other teams' choices will affect the Steelers' options.
Mock This:I can tell you the team will certainly draft a running back in the first round, and I wouldn't be lying. But they also need a quality backup quarterback; depth at safety; a big, fat bully at nose tackle to anchor the defense for years to come; a young, relentless pass rushing outside linebacker; a blocking tight end with great hands; a speedy wide receiver who can block as well as catch; a few big bodies for insurance on the offensive line; a few tenacious special teams coverage players; a kick/punt returner; perhaps a tall, speedy cornerback or two; some young legs to rotate in at defensive end; and at least one younger playmaker at inside linebacker. They'll pick up an undrafted free agent out of New Hampshire to play fullback, so no need to draft one.
With so many needs, and simultaneously none at all considering their starting lineup is set with veterans, the Steelers can draft any position in any round, and simply take the best players available. They just need to be smart. They'll stay put and get the player they always wanted.
And now for the starting 22, the players who will bring that 7th ring to the Steelers:
QB: Big Ben Roethlisberger (for 10 games, then Bruce "the Great" Gradkowski for the final six, plus 2 home playoff games and the Super Bowl championship after Ben goes down with another injury).
RB: Jonathan Dwyer
FB: Dan Kreider, Jr.
WR: Plaxico Burress (who, after having a monster camp, will beat out Emmanuel Sanders only to be derailed by a lawsuit seeking remuneration for the unpaid medical bills stemming from shooting himself in the foot, then Manny Sanders gets the start on opening day before giving way to Burress again in week three after Plex serves his 14-day jail sentence and returns in the best shape of his life)
WR: "Touchdown" Antonio Brown
LT: Mike Adams
LG: Ramon Foster
C: Maurkice "BMS" Pouncey
RG: David DeCastro
RT: Marcus Gilbert
TE: Matt "Say It Ain't So" Spaeth (until Heath Miller returns after 3 weeks on the PUP list)
LDE: Ziggy Hood
NT: Casey "Da Gut" Hampton (who ingeniously waits until AFTER the running test to sign a 1-year contract)
RDE: Brett "Da Beard" Keisel
LOLB: LaMarr Woodley
LILB: Larry Foote
RILB: Lawrence Timmons
ROLB: Jason "Worild's Greatest"
LCB: Keenan "Ivory" Lewis, oops, no, that's Cortez "Woody" Allen
RCB: Ike "Swaggin" Taylor
SS: Troy ('nuff said)
FS: Ryan "Mr. Consistency" Clark