For those that don’t know, the more successful you are as an organization, the further back you pick in the annual NFL Draft process. So, the more you draft towards the end of every round, the better you are.
The system is built to help the teams who struggle get better talent added to their roster by picking earlier than those who were more successful the prior season. What teams do with those picks, hello Browns, depends on whether they climb out of the basement, or take up residence there.
For the Steelers, since 2001 they have been the model of consistency, and this is evident by where they have drafted since the turn of the new millennium.
This from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
Model of consistency: The Steelers are the NFL’s only team without a top-10 NFL draft pick since 2001. Twenty-nine NFL teams have had multiple top-10 picks. Pittsburgh selected Plaxico Burress with the eighth overall pick in 2000. The Colts and Broncos have had one top-10 pick apiece during that span. (Numbers verified by ESPN Stats and Information).
Those numbers are ridiculous when you think about it. For the Steelers to be the only NFL team to not draft in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft since 2000 is remarkable. A true testament to how consistent the team has been throughout this time.
Now, those who follow the team closely know everything hasn’t always been swell during this stretch of time. In 2003, the Bill Cowher lead team stumbled to a 6-10 season, the dud of a season provided them the 11th overall pick, and some guy named Ben Roethlisberger.
Since that 2003 season, 8-8 has been the worst the team has done.
I think about this and am amazed, proud and realize how lucky we all are to root for a football team who is relevant far more than they aren’t. Sit back and enjoy it Steelers fans...we are spoiled.