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Longevity & How The Steelers Draft.

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If there are three words that describe continuity, these are them! The Pittsburgh Steelers!

Chuck Noll's 23 years is partially to blame for that, and this study doesn't even include those years! Just 3 HC's in the last 43 years. That is how amazing the continuity, the consistency and the familiarity is for the players who play in Pittsburgh.

Kevin Colbert has been the Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations since 2000, and has been in charge of the team's draft since that time. His predecessor, Tom Donahoe, (1991-1999) held the same title, and no front office manager has held the GM title in the Pittsburgh Steelers history, until now.

.......................................................................Kevin-colbert_medium

via www.1043thefan.com Pittsburgh Steelers GM, Kevin Colbert

For the first time ever, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a general manager, and Kevin Colbert is the man. Apparently they got tired of guys like Scott Pioli being named GM of the year when they feel that their top guy is so much better, but without the title...

The team has had a pretty good history of picking players who contribute long term, and the above two men have been a big reason for that. You cannot discount the input from the coaching staff either. Without that group getting the maximum out of the players the GM may lose his job.

The Steelers have been fortunate to have greatness in both of those areas for quite some time. Since 1994, which is where all of these studies begin, the Pittsburgh Steelers have only had two FO guys and two HC's. Talk about continuity!

Since I don't like these guys any more than I do our other opponents, I will be giving you all the no frills version of these reports. First off, a quick recap on how this longevity grading system works.

This is not a grade on the drafts based upon the stellar performance of the player. Many of the players who have long careers, and exceed the league averages for longevity, are starters at their positions, but there are also many players who have long careers in predominantly a back up role. The long career is the issue here. If I'm going to spend the money then...

Below is the 1st round list of positions. The top position in each round changes some what, but is generally held by the punter and kicker group. The only exceptions are the second, fifth and seventh rounds, which are held by the QB's (2nd), D-line (5th) and O-line (7th). Rarely are P/K's selected in the first or second rounds, (only once each) and so an A 2 selection in the first is about as good as it gets.

Since drafts vary for the number of picks per team, we must total the numbers and then divide by the number of players selected. With this system, the lower the final #, the better the draft was based upon the leagues average tenures.

The best possible grade would be an A 1, and the worst would be a B 10. As we grade each round we can easily show if the position selected in that round was an above (A) the AVGY pick for the round, or below (B). The numbers 1 - 10 will always be 1, the longest tenured, & 10 the players cut in camp who never played in the NFL. Example:1st Round

Above AVGY
P/K.................01....12.0 years A 1
O-line..............41....7.85 years A 2
LB's................40....7.73 years A 3
QB's...............32....7.72 years A 4
RB's...............25....7.64 years A 5
DB's...............65....7.58 years A 6
D-Line............76....7.51 years A 7
Below AVGY (AVGY = 7.48)
TE's...............18....7.16 years B 8
WR's..............47....6.51 years B 9
CUT's......................................B 10

We'll begin with the Steelers 1994 draft year and proceed to 2012. I will include a few observations here and there that may interest you.

Cowher sure knows how to pick players. Who is the GM? Oh, they don't have one. I'll guarentee U though, Tom Donahoe was important!

1994 Steelers Draft (18 years ago) 10 players

1 Charles Johnson...WR.. 2002 09y B 9
2 Brentson Buckner..DT.. 2005 12y B 5
3 Jason Gildon.........LB... 2004 11y A 3
3 Bam Morris............RB.. 1999 06y B 7
4 Ta'ase Faumui.......DE. 1995 02y A 6
5 Myron Bell.............DB.. 2001 08y B 6
5 Gary L. Brown.......T.....1996 03y A 4
6 Jim Miller...............QB.. 2002 09y B 5
6 Eric Ravotti...........LB ..1996 03y A 3
7 Brice Abrams.........RB. CUT...B 10 (B 7)
Total.................................................B 5.80
Final AVGY..............................63/10 = 6.30

Look at how high the selections actually are (5.8), and to get a 6 .3 AVGY is most excellent. It certainly shows how just 5 selections (50%) can affect the totals. If you are an excellent talent evaluator then you can throw the book out. The problem is that it is easy to get fooled into thinking you're good.

1995 Steelers Draft (17 years ago) 10 players

1 Mark Bruener.........TE.. 2008 14y B 8
2 Kordell Stewart......QB.. 2005 11y A 1
3 Brenden Stai.........G.... 2002 08y A 2
4 Oliver Gibson........DT.. 2003 09y A 6
4 Donta Jones......... LB.. 2000 06y A 3
5 Lee Flowers..........DB.. 2002 08y B 6
5 Lance Brown.........DB.. 2001 07y B 6
6 Barron Miles..........DB.. CUT B 10 ( A 2)
7 Henry Bailey..........WR .1996 02y B 9
7 Cole Ford .............K .....1998 04y A 2
Total.................................................A 5.30
Final AVGY..............................69/10 = 6.90

5.3 vs. 5.8 is an improvement, and so is the AVGY which came up to 6.9

1996 Steelers Draft (16 years ago) 9 players

1 Jamain Stephens...T..... 2001 06y A 2
3 Steve Conley.........LB.. 1998 03y A 3
3 Jon Witman...........RB ..2001 06y B 7
4 Earl Holmes...........LB ..2005 10y A 3
4 Jahine Arnold........WR..1999 04y B 7
5 Israel Raybon........DE ..1997 02y A 1
6 Orpheus Roye.......DT.. 2008 13y A 4
6 Spence Fischer.....QB.. CUT B 10
7 Carlos Emmons.....LB.. 2006 11y A 4
Total.................................................A 4.56
Final AVGY..............................55/09 = 6.11

With an improvement to 4.56, you would think that the AVGY would be in the 7 category!

1997 Steelers Draft (15 years ago) 8 players

1 Chad Scott............DB.. 2006 10y A 6
2 Will Blackwell........WR.. 2001 05y B 6
3 Paul Wiggins.........T.... 1998 02y A 2
3 Mike Vrabel...........LB.. 2010 14y A 3
5 George Jones.......RB.. 1999 03y A 2
6 Daryl Porter...........DB.. 2001 05y A 2
6 Rod Manuel...........DE.. 1998 02y A 4
7 Mike Adams...........WR.. 1997 03y B 9
Total.................................................A 4.25
Final AVGY..............................44/08 = 5.50

This may be the greatest under performing group of all time, and yet they still beat the NFL longevity averages!

1998 Steelers Draft (14 years ago) 10 players

1 Alan Faneca..........G 2010 13y A 2
2 Jeremy Staat........ DE 2003 06y B 5
3 Chris Conrad.........T 1999 02y A 2
3 Hines Ward...........WR 2011 14y B 8
4 Deshea Townsend.DB 2010 13y A 5
4 Carlos King...........RB 1998 01y B 8
5 Jason Simmons.... DB 2007 10y B 6
6 Chris F-Ma'afala... RB 2004 07y B 8
6 Ryan Olson...........LB CUT B 10 (A 3)
7 Angel Rubio...........DE 1999 02y A 3
Total.................................................A 5.70
AVGY to date..........................68/10 = 6.80*

Look at the difference just one year makes. A 4.25/5.5 goes to a 5.7/6.8! Someone is certainly paying attention to last years debacle, but who fell asleep last year? It was a great draft last year based upon where to draft what, but the player selection really sucked! The truth is that at the beginning of the draft this year, no one even knew that they blew it last year! They actually thought it was a great year, and it was just slightly better than average.

1999 Steelers Draft (13 years ago) 11 players

1 Troy Edwards........WR.. 2005 07y B 9
2 Scott Shields.........DB... 2000 02y A 3
3 Joey Porter...........LB... 2011* 13y A 3
3 Kris Farris.............T..... 2001 03y A 2
3 Amos Zereoue.......RB.. 2005 07y B 7
4 Aaron Smith...........DE.. 2011* 13y A 6
5 Jerame Tuman.......TE.. 2008 10y B 9
5 Malcolm Johnson...WR.. 2000 02y B 7
7 Antonio Dingle.......DT ..1999 01y A 3
7 Chad Kelsay..........LB ...1999 01y A 4
7 Kris Brown............K 2010 12y A 2
Total.................................................A 5.00
AVGY to date..........................51/11 = 4.64**

It isn't over until the last player retires.

2000 Steelers Draft (12 years ago) 9 players. Kevin Colbert takes over as the director of football operations.

1 Plaxico Burress..... WR... 2011 12y B 9
2 Marvel Smith......... T...... 2008 09y A 2
3 Kendrick Clancy.... DT... 2009 10y A 4
3 Hank Poteat.......... DB... 2009 10y A 5
4 Danny Farmer....... WR.. 2002 03y B 7
5 Clark Haggans....... LB... 2011 12y A 5
5 Tee Martin............. QB... 2003 04y B 8
6 Chris Combs.......... DE... 2002 03y A 4
6 Jason Gavadza...... TE... CUT B 10 (B 7)
Total.................................................A 6.00
AVGY to date..........................64/09 = 7.11**

I give up! a 6/7.11? This draft defies all the odds. Picking PB in the first round was the worst thing you could do statistically, but, when it is a top ten pick all bets are off. The first 15 - 20 picks in the first round need to defy the odds. They better be good no matter what position they play. These are the guys who had better make a immediate difference!

2001 Steelers Draft (11 years ago) 7 players

1 Casey Hampton........ NT... 2011 11y A 2
2 Kendrell Bell............. LB... 2007 07y B 7
4 Mathias Nkwenti....... T...... 2003 03y A 4
5 Chukky Okobi.......... C...... 2007 07y A 4
6 Rodney Bailey.......... DE... 2007 07y A 4
6 Roger Knight........... LB.... 2004 04y A 3
7 Chris Taylor............ WR... CUT B 10
Total.................................................A 4.85
AVGY to date..........................39/07 = 5.57*

2002 Steelers Draft (10 years ago) 8 players

1 Kendall Simmons.... G..... 2009 08y A 2
2 A. Randle El........... WR.. 2010 09y B 6
3 Chris Hope............. DB... 2011 10y A 5
4 Larry Foote............ LB... 2011 10y A 3
5 Verron Haynes....... RB... 2009 08y A 2
6 Lee Mays............... WR ..2006 05y B 9
7 LaVar Glover......... DB ...2002 01y B 5
7 Brett Keisel............ DE ...2011 10y A 3
Total.................................................A 4.38
AVGY to date..........................61/08 = 7.63***

Two great draft stats in a row, and the AVGY this year is fantastic, especially with 3 players still playing. Zero cuts always helps.

2003 Steelers Draft (9 years ago) 5 players

1 Troy Polamalu........ DB... 2011 09y A 6
2 Alonzo Jackson...... LB.... 2005 03y B 7
4 Ike Taylor............... DB... 2011 09y A 5
5 Brian St. Pierre.......QB... 2010 08y B 8
7 J.T. Wall..................RB... CUT B 10 (B 7)
Total.................................................B 7.20
AVGY......................................29/05 = 5.80**

Wow, B 7.2 and still beat the NFL odds.

2004 Steelers Draft (8 years ago) 8 players

1 B. Roethlisberger...... QB.. 2011 08y A 4
2 Ricardo Colclough..... DB.. 2009 06y A 3
3 Max Starks................. T.... 2011 08y A 2
5 Nathaniel Adibi.......... DE.. CUT B 10 (A 1)
6 Bo Lacy..................... T.... CUT B 10 (B 6)
6 Matt Kranchick.......... TE.. 2005 02y B 6
6 Drew Caylor............... C.... CUT B 10 (B 6)
7 Eric Taylor................. DT.. 2005 02y A 3
Total.................................................B 6.00
AVGY......................................26/08 = 3.25**

Oh well, you can't win them all! Stop grabbing players who will never make the team and that may help! Who screwed up here, everyone? A B 6, and a 3.25, with two left on the roster? Some one should answer for that!

2005 Steelers Draft (7 years ago) 8 players

1 Heath Miller.............TE... 2011* 07y B 8
2 Bryant McFadden... DB.. 2011* 07y A 3
3 Trai Essex............... T.... 2011* 07y A 2
4 Fred Gibson........... WR.. CUT B 10 (B 7)
5 Rian Wallace........... LB.. 2006 02y A 5
6 Chris Kemoeatu....... G... 2011* 07y B 6
7 Shaun Nua.............. DE...CUT B 10 (A 3)
7 Noah Herron............ RB ..2006 02y B 7
Total.................................................B 6.35
AVGY......................................36/08 = 4.50****

It sure is a good thing that 4 guys are hangin tough.!

2006 Steelers Draft (6 years ago) 9 players

1 Santonio Holmes.... WR... 2011* 06y B 9
3 Anthony Smith........ DB... 2011* 06y A 5
3 Willie Reid.............. WR... 2007 02y B 8
4 Willie Colon............ G...... 2011* 06y A 4
4 Orien Harris........... DT.... 2009 04y A 4
5 Omar Jacobs.......... QB... CUT B 10
5 Charles Davis .........TE... CUT B 10
6 Marvin Philip........... C..... CUT B 10
7 Cedric Humes......... RB... CUT B 10
Total.................................................B 7.89
AVGY......................................24/09 = 2.67***

What a disaster, Right? Santonio Holmes, Anthony Smith & Willie Colon could care less, because their careers are on going, and that's all that really matters to them! The fact that Holms was picked where he was ( B 9/ Worst spot in the draft For The First Round) means nothing at all to him! Holmes was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIII, and his career is just 6y's old! I would guess that he could care less about the averages more than anyone else in the freekin business. That 2.67 won't last long with these three guys still active! Hey Willie. Where is Hofstra University? About 25 miles (40 km) east of New York City? Ya, you could care less about the stats, right man?

2007 Steelers Draft (5 years ago) 8 players. Tomlin's is now the HC. Kevin Colbert is still the director of football operations.

1 L. Timmons............ LB.. 2011* 5y A 3
2 LaMarr Woodley.... DE.. 2011* 5y B 5
3 Matt Spaeth.......... TE... 2011* 5y B 9
4 Daniel Sepulveda.. P.... 2011* 5y A 1
4 Ryan McBean........ DT.. 2011* 5y A 6
5 Cam Stephenson... G ...CUT B 10 (A 4)
5 William Gay........... DB ..2011* 5y B 6
7 Dallas Baker......... WR.. 2008 2y B 9
Total.................................................B 6.13
AVGY......................................32/08 = 4.0******

6 out of 8 remain so this looks like it could beat the odds. 6.13 is rather high though.

2007 was

2008 Steelers Draft (4 years ago) 7 players

1 R. Mendenhall.......... RB... 2011* 4y A 5
2 Limas Sweed........... WR... 2009 2y B 6
3 Bruce Davis............. LB.... 2011* 4y A 3
4 Tony Hills................. T...... CUT 0y B 10 (A 4)
5 Dennis Dixon........... QB.... 2011* 4y B 8
6 Mike Humpal............ LB.... CUT 0y B 10 (A 3)
6 Ryan Mundy............ DB.... 2011* 4y A 2
Total.................................................B 6.28

It will get a lot worse befor it gets better.

2009 Steelers Draft (3 years ago) 9 players

1 Evander Hood.......... DE.. 2011* 3y A 7
3 Kraig Urbik............... T..... CUT 0y B 10 (A 2)
3 Mike Wallace........... WR.. 2011* 3y B 8
3 Keenan Lewis.......... DB.. 2011* 3y A 5
5 Joe Burnett.............. DB.. 2009 1y B 6
5 Frank Summers....... RB.. 2011* 3y A 2
6 RaShon Harris........ DT ...2011* 3y A 4
7 A.Q. Shipley............ C .....CUT 0y B 10 (A 1)
7 David Johnson........ TE ...2011* 3y B 8
Total.................................................B 6.67

2010 Steelers Draft (2 years ago) 10 players

1 Maurkice Pouncey.. C.... 2011* A 2
2 Jason Worilds......... DE.. 2011* B 5
3 E. Sanders............. WR. 2011* B 8
4 Thaddeus Gibson.. DE.. CUT 0y B 10 (A 6)
5 Chris Scott............. G.... CUT 0y B 10 (A 4)
5 Crezdon Butler....... DB.. 2011* B 6
5 Steven Sylvester..... LB ..2011* A 5
6 Jonathan Dwyer...... RB.. CUT 0y B 10 (B 8)
6 Antonio Brown........ WR.. 2011* B 9
7 Doug Worthington.. DT ...CUT 0y B 10 (A 3)
Total.................................................B 7.5

40% cut in camp...not to good.

2011 Steelers Draft (1 year ago) 7 players

1 Cam Heyward DT 2011 1y A 7
2 Marcus Gilbert OL 2011 1y A 2
3 Curtis Brown DB 2011 1y A 5
4 Cortez Allen DB 2011 1y A 5
5 Chris Carter DL 2011 1y A 1
6 Keith Williams OL 2011 1y B 6
7 Baron Batch RB 2011 1y B 7
Total.................................................A 4.7

Finally, no cuts and a big turn around from last year.

2012 Steelers Draft (0 years ago) 9 players

1 David DeCastro...... G.... 2012 A 2
2 Mike Adams............ OT.. 2012 A 2
3 Sean Spence.......... LB ...2012 A 3
4 Alameda Ta'amu..... DT.. 2012 A 6
5 Chris Rainey........... RB.. 2012 A 2
7 Toney Clemons...... WR.. 2012 B 9
7 David Paulson........ TE ...2012 B 8
7 T. Frederick........... CB... 2012 B 5
7 Kelvin Beachum..... T ......2012 A 1
Total.................................................A 4.0

Apparently they are begining to pay more attention to the NFL's study last year. Or maybe it was just two lucky years in a row, or perhaps they did their own study. It's still early this year and there could be players that get cut in camp, so the jury is still out on this years crop.

Cowher & Tom Donahoe's results are a A 5.10 average.
Cowher & Kevin Colbert's results are a A 6.09
Tomlin & Kevin Colbert's results are a B 5.88 average.

Apparently Colbert hasn't had as good a success rate as Tom Donahoe and yet Pitt fans feel like he has.

Here is how the Broncos compared.

Fox/Elway Average = A 4.02
Shanahan Average = B 5.79
McDaniels Average = B 6.61

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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