I'm going to hold myself accountable this year.
Past predictions are usually washed away with the rolling waves of daily updates on web sites, but I've always been in support of holding the opinions of the past to light in order to see how they turned out.
I've been wrong about many things, and I will be wrong about many more things. We all will, obviously, and as a writer, what I'm more interested in is how that opinion is formulated as opposed to who's right and wrong.
One of our draft writers, Steel34D, recently reminded me I chided him for comparing the play and physical ability of linebacker Arthur Brown to Ray Lewis. He's giving an honest evaluation based on what he's seeing, and is trying to provide a comparison for readers to get a feel for a player. That's perfectly within his province.
I think the comparison of players who have NFL experience with those who do not to be silly. Clearly, Thirty Four is not saying he's going to be Ray Lewis, but rather, the way he plays is reminiscent to the first-ballot Hall of Famer.
This isn't so much an argument as it is a preference; one in which I'm sure people would find themselves in one camp or another. The point is I'm not going to taunt Thirty Four if Brown is not a first-ballot Hall of Fame player, but at the same time, he's making a valid opinion and can support why he feels that way through observation and knowledge of the game. I won't argue with the structure of someone's argument, provided it's logical and well-reasoned.
But it's the kind of prediction that will eventually get lost - unless, of course, he is the next coming of Ray Lewis.
Just like last year, in the SB Nation Community Mock Draft, when we were able to deal the Steelers' 2013 second round pick and a 2012 second and third for the Patriots' first in 2012. The Steelers had Dont'a Hightower and Dontari Poe, and while the lack of those picks will get some (Thirty Four being one of them) thinking it wasn't a good move, we got two players whose rookie years showed their ceilings are high. Plus, I think we were more bored than anything else, and were looking to liven things up a bit.
As for other predictions, my track record of predicting the Steelers' first round pick is probably around average.
It's lame, I know, but you'll have to trust me on this, these were the guys I thought the Steelers would pick from 2007.
My pick: CB Darrelle Revis
Actual pick: LB Lawrence Timmons
My pick: OT Duane Brown
Actual pick: RB Rashard Mendenhall
My pick: DE Ziggy Hood
Actual pick: Hood
My pick: C Maurkice Pouncey
Actual pick: Pouncey
My pick: DT Muhammad Wilkerson
Actual pick: DE Cam Heyward
My pick: LB Dont'a Hightower
Actual pick: OG David DeCastro
Oddly, considering how poor of a draft it was for the Steelers overall, 2008 is the only year where I was incorrect and chose a player who was on the board when the Steelers selected. While urban legend has it the Steelers were prepared to take Revis with the 15th overall pick in 2007, before the Jets traded up with Carolina to take him, it seems to have an even mix of picking a player who's had more success to date (Wilkerson over Heyward, Brown over Mendenhall) and picking it correctly - although I don't want to have said they should have taken someone else who turned out to be better in any year in which the Steelers took someone else.