Archive for category Draft

Draft Prediction Winner for 2018

Posted by on Sunday, 29 April, 2018


Well it was a bizarre draft with punishing results for our 5th annual draft predictions contest.

Perhaps the most bizarre outcome is that our most vocally unhappy participant, mwalsh26, was also the most accurate predictor by a wide margin, and thus is our winner for 2018.

Our champion correctly predicted a S in round 1 and a WR in round 2, while nailing Joshua Frazier in round 7, giving him a total of 4 points.

In second place, we have a tie at 2 points between abennihana and estimatedprophet. Abennihana actually had 3 points but I’m docking him one for using a verbal vomit format that required me to retype his submission for scoring analysis. I can do that because I have a massive ego and dictatorial powers.

Honorable Mention goes to malsor, who correctly predicted 1st round selection Terrell Edmunds, though he was off by two rounds.

By contrast, your judge achieved zero points.

Way to go Mr. Walsh. Let’s see if you can keep up your winning streak with our next contest.

2018 Draft Predictions

Posted by on Thursday, 5 April, 2018

Here we go, Steelers, here we go! Time for your draft predictions, 2018 edition. With the draft coming up in just three weeks, there’s no time to waste.

  1. You will be granted one point for each pick correctly identified by name, regardless of when they are picked. For example, if you predict that John Doe will be picked in round 1 but he is actually picked in round 2, you will still get one point.
  2. You will be granted one point for each correct position/round combination. The specific player need not be correct, and in fact need not be specified at all. For example, if you said the first round pick would be safety John Doe (or just safety), and the actual first round pick is safety D’Long Johnson, this would be one point. Note that if the first round pick is John Doe you will have two points, one for the correct name, and one for the correct position/round combo. If you select a multi-position player (such as S/OLB) where you did not pick the correct name you will gain a half point if the actual selection matches one of the positions of your guessed player but only if you identify both positions in the pick. For example if your pick is a DE that you project as playing OLB, then you should identify the position as OLB. If the Steelers then select a different player who is a true OLB you will get full credit. If you identify DE/OLB you will get half credit in that instance.
  3. You may specify up to three UDFA picks.
  4. You will gain a bonus point if you correctly predict a trade up or down.
  5. In the event of a tie, the participant who entered his submission earlier will be the winner based on the time/date of submission.
  6. You may revise your submission up to midnight before draft day, however such edits will change your submission time/date which could hurt you in a tie break situation.

Suggested format for submission is as follows:

  • Round 1, D’Long Johnson, LS
  • Round 2, George Cantu, P
  • Round 3, Laquan Church, K
  • Round 5-1, Demetri Jones, OT
  • Round 5-2, Ethan Noonan, QB
  • Round 7-1, Dra’Michael’La’Trillium Jenkins, WR
  • Round 7-2, Nick Lavergne, RB
  • UDFA, Antonio Morgan, CB
  • UDFA, Ian March, TE
  • UDFA, Irving Briggs, OLB

For full points potential, all of the above information types are needed (round #, name, position).

Good luck!

2016 Draft Predictions Winner

Posted by on Saturday, 30 April, 2016

As our members appear to be losing their guts to go for the glory, we had only 9 entries from 6 members this year. Here are the results, and it ain’t pretty.

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Mock on the Clock

Posted by on Thursday, 10 March, 2016

Ah, spring is in the air. The NFL year has begun, free agents are prostituting themselves to the highest bidding johns, and our thoughts turn to our virginal loves in the upcoming draft. That means it’s time for Steel Ballers to put on their thinking caps, gaze into their steel balls, and dive headfirst into the thrills and humiliations of guessing the Steelers’ picks for 2016. Read on for rules and to submit your entry. Read the rest of this entry »

An open note of thanks to our Ratbird friends

Posted by on Monday, 4 May, 2015


The Steelers owe thanks to the Ravens. Click the link and I’ll explain why.

There was a fair amount of fan hand wringing and consternation following the dramatic events of 2015 Draft Day #2, when Ravens GM extraordinaire Ozzie Newsome pole vaulted over the Steelers to nab tight end Maxx Williams in the second round. Many fans had been counting on the Steelers selecting Williams and were inconsolable following the Ravens action, and even more freaked out upon learning the Steelers’ selection of cornerback Senquez Golson. Maybe the Steelers panicked, maybe the Ravens panicked, but it says here that it’s most likely the fans panicked. In any case, Steelers fans owe a debt of thanks to the Wizard of Oz.

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And the Winner of the Daft or Draft Contest Is….

Posted by on Saturday, 2 May, 2015

Well, humility really prevents me from bragging too much, so I’ll just have to say the winner is Steelers Nation for what appears to be an excellent haul from the college ranks.

To recap the results of the contest, I made three correct guesses in my alternate mock that began with an OLB selection. I had guessed Eli Harold on the assumption that Dupree would never make it to the 22nd pick, but I am happy to be wrong on that one because things broke the Steelers way.

In that mock, I predicted the Steelers would choose an OLB, two CBs, a WR, and a TE in the first five picks and indeed that’s how it worked out. In terms of names, I correctly predicted Golson, Coates, and James, but missed on Dupree and Grant (having instead guessed at Harold and Rowe). Still, for me this is not only a personal best but almost ridiculous good luck.

I have been waiting by my phone for hours, but for some reason the FO has not yet called to invite me to join the scouting department. Maybe Colbert is afraid of being upstaged.

The runner up was Abennihana, who correctly predicted Jesse James and Gerod Holliman, and as a bonus also identified UDFA Cameron Clear.

Draft or Daft? Gaze into your Steel Ball.

Posted by on Monday, 27 April, 2015

ScreenShot1198Steel Balls exists because way back in the day the P-G chat regulars were looking for a place to post their prognostications so that everyone could revel in their brilliance. It seems that every fan has a memory of being right about pretty much everything in Steelers history, unlike the always flawed coaching staff, front office, as well as local and national media.

Turns out that maybe our memories are a little inaccurate and that we don’t guess correctly nearly as often as we seem to recall. Once those predictions are posted for all the world to see and review, it becomes more difficult to be so omniscient as we might wish.

So here is your chance to put your brilliance on display. We’ve all enjoyed reviewing various draft options and mock after mock for the past couple of months. Now that the draft is upon us, let us record for posterity our best prognostications, after which we can know who shall own the bragging rights for best Steelers insight.

As usual, I will consider myself successful if I get even one pick right, but I know the rest of you aspire to better accuracy than that.

Here are the rules:

  1. We are only interested in Steelers pick predictions. This is fitting in that only the Steelers matter.
  2. Remember you are predicting who you think the Steelers WILL pick, not who you think they SHOULD pick. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to drone on about the drafting incompetence of Colbert and Tomlin as the year progresses. Our purpose here today is to predict what they will do, “stupid” or not.
  3. You must provide a projected pick for each round including comp picks.
  4. You can provide as many as two lists. We all know that missing the first pick, particularly if the position selection is wrong, will immediately kill the rest of your predictions. As such, you get a mulligan in that you can have two completely different lists.
  5. Whoever gets the most correct picks in a single mock list will be declared the winner. Correct picks are correct names, not necessarily correct rounds. The first tiebreaker is the quantity of correct names AND rounds. The second tiebreaker is the number of correct picks in both lists (assuming you submit two different lists).
  6. Ravens suck.

Have at it ladies and gents!

2015 Mock, Beta Test

Posted by on Wednesday, 28 January, 2015

Let me be the first out the door with a quickie mock draft. As always, I expect to be 100% wrong (although last year I got one pick right and at least one other where I was way more right than the Steelers). I post this anticipating humiliation and without the benefit of a lot of inside info, without any idea of what might happen in free agency, or, let’s be honest, without much in the way of football knowledge.

It’s easy to say the Steelers need to pick a cornerback high in the draft, but I and most fans have been saying that for three years. It’s even more true now, what with Cortez Allen’s failure to launch and the ineffective season offered by aging Ike Taylor. Yet, the Steelers are in big trouble at outside linebacker with Worilds not exactly posting Hall of Fame results and perhaps pricing himself beyond his proven value in free agency, and with Jarvis Jones yet to prove he can hold down the position and remain healthy. They also need to resign Arthur Moats who can provide solid depth and rotation. If the Steelers fail to sign Worilds, OLB will certainly be an even higher priority and will almost certainly result in some kind of free agent signing.

Although tight end is not an emergency need, the Steelers do need to begin developing a replacement for Heath Miller. The emergence of a legitimate backfield receiving threat in Le’Veon Bell along with the development of a great receiving corps has reduced the pressure to have a first round caliber receiving tight end. Still, they should look for a strong prospect with solid hands and good blocking potential in the mid rounds.

Mike Mitchell hopefully will improve at free safety, but even so there is a need for depth at the position and an eventual replacement. An additional option at running back would be welcome, to supplement Josh Harris and Dri Archer in the backup role. Some competition would be welcome at punter, although the Steelers rarely spend a draft pick on a kicking position. Offensive line depth is always welcome as well.

I am going with the following positional choices (w/ updates 3/22):

  1. CB
  2. OLB
  3. CB
  4. TE
  5. OT
  6. RB
    • 6c – OLB
  7. P

The Steelers should also get a late round compensatory pick, but for the purposes of Mock Beta I will ignore that.

Here are my specific player choices (w/ updates 3/22):

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Our 6th Rounder From Central Michigan

Posted by on Friday, 31 October, 2014

I remember thinking in 2010, “They took another wide receiver?” Why? They already have Hines, Mike Wallace and just signed Cotchery, who is pretty good. On top of that they took Sanders in the 3rd.”

What a mistake it would have been not taking this kid. And what if he had stayed in school for one more year and not come out until 2011? Would he be a Steeler today? I have to believe he would have gone higher and likely not been taken by Pittsburgh.

AB 62 games

Best, Worst, and Ordinary Draft Classes

Posted by on Saturday, 30 August, 2014

As we get ready for the launching of the 2014 draft class next weekend, a class that has promise of being a good one, let’s take a look at draft history for context. It’s pretty much universally agreed that the best draft class in Steelers history, and indeed in all NFL history, is 1974. That draft class delivered an astonishing four Hall of Famers in the first five picks, a feat unlikely to be matched in our lifetimes. But what were the other top classes? And what about the worst? The sortable table below helps to reveal the answers. (Before you object, this kind of analysis is of course very limited. For one thing, the numbers follow the players rather than the team. The data reveals something about the value of Steelers draft selections regardless of whether the players played for Pittsburgh or for other teams.)

In this chart, we are looking at all draft classes from 1969 to 2008. The “modern era” can be considered to have begun for the Steelers with the drafting of Joe Greene in 1969, so that sets the start of the evaluation. Because recent draft classes are still writing their stories, we can’t look at them. Classes that are less than about five or six years are still largely active in the NFL so their full numbers will not be known for awhile. On the other hand, we know that the story of the 2008 class is now complete because none of the draftees remain active in the NFL. Not only does this hint at some of the answers to come, but it also provides a good ending point for the evaluation. It is true that there are a smattering of active players from previous years, but not too many. Seasons prior to 2000 are officially “in the books” as there are no longer active players, but years from 2000-2007 are still incomplete, and in the cases of 2004 and 2007, significantly incomplete. But, we have to start and stop somewhere.

The chart shows the following results for each year: HOF players, total games played by draftees, total all-pro player-years, total pro-bowl player-years, total player-years as primary starters, and total game starts. If we look by HOF players, there is no doubt that 1974 wins easily so we need look no further. Total games played (G) is not necessarily an indicator of the greatness of individual players, but it does tell us something about the overall net impact of the class on the team and therefore is a good indicator of the quality of the draft. By this measure, ’87, ’71, and ’93 were the best, with over 1000 total games played each. On the other end of the scale, the very worst draft class is 2008 which produced only 201 games played. At 285, the 2006 class was not much better.

The results for all pro (AP) and pro bowl (PB) are consistent with each other. The best are ’74 and ’87 by a significant margin. Similarly, years as primary starters (PS) and total game starts (GS) are consistent. 1987 produced the most primary starters and game starts, followed by ’71 and ’74. On the flip side, 1983 and 2008 tied for the most anemic starters by a wide margin, with only 5 player-years as primary starters from each of those classes. The 1983 years would have been somewhat better had the Steelers selected Dan Marino, but instead the most significant player from that class was a punter. Total game starts reveals an additional bad year, 1978. That class produced only 75 total game starts, consistent with the beginning of the end of the Dynasty. To be fair, it must have been hard to break into the extant starting lineup. 2008 provided only 81 game starts, while 1985 produced 87 and 1983 produced 89, delivering the doldrums of the Steelers Lost Decade. It’s easy to see how one or two bad drafts can result in several years of mediocrity. Given the 2008 class, there is little room for error in 2014.

Click below to see and sort the table.

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