According to several of the major media draftniks, this year’s draft class is deep when it comes to the wide receiver position. With that being said, there still figures to be four or five drafted in the first round come next Thursday night. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers be one of those teams to draft a wide receiver in round one?
Recently, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel polled 17 personnel men with national responsibilities to name their five top wide receivers and as Bob McGinn reports, a first-place vote was worth five points, a second was worth four and so forth. The results below probably aren’t that shocking.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Wide Receiver Poll Results
Judging by those rankings, one would think that there will be at least four wide receivers drafted in round one with Marqise Lee possibly being the fifth. That means there’s likely going to be some decent wide receivers drop to not only the second round, but round three as well.
As you likely noticed, Donte Moncrief, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson and Martavis Bryant unsurprisingly failed to receive any top-five votes and I believe there’s a decent chance that at least of three of those four players stay on the board until round three.
Being as it’s supposedly such a deep class this year, I have a feeling the Steelers will wait to draft a wide receiver until round two or three unless Mike Evans falls. For starters, a rookie wide receiver in Pittsburgh isn’t likely to see much playing time in his first season and on top of that, history really hasn’t been overly kind to the position when comes to finding an All-Pro in round one.
As you can see in the sortable table below, there’s been 38 wide receivers drafted in the first round over the course of the last 10 years and only four of those players have achieved All-Pro status. In reality, that number is only three as Cordarrelle Patterson was honored as a kick returner and not a wide receiver.
Sure, there are a lot of talented former first-rounders listed below, but I think most of you would agree that most of these players never lived up to their expectations as it relates to where they were selected.
Of the 26 wide receivers on this list that were drafted prior to 2010, four never reached the 100 reception mark, while 12 more are still under the 300 reception mark.
Interesting enough, during the Kevin Colbert era, the Steelers have drafted a wide receiver in the first round only two times. In 2006, Santonio Holmes was selected with the 25th overall pick, but was the first wide receiver off the board. In 2000, Plaxico Burress was the 8th overall selection and the second wide receiver off the board. It should also be noted that neither of those two players saw a second contract with the Steelers as Holmes was traded prior to entering his final year of his rookie contract and Burress was allowed to walk off via free agency when his rookie deal expired.
Another interesting note about both Holmes and Burress is the fact that in the nine combined seasons that they played in Pittsburgh, neither cracked the 80 reception barrier in a single regular season and combined, they had a lowly 53% completion ratio.
The Steelers have tried to insulate themselves this offseason when it comes to wide receiver position by signing Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey and while neither player fixes long term issues when it comes to depth at the position, it does help when it comes to the 2014 season. When you factor that into all of the above, it makes sense for the Steelers to stay away from drafting a wide receiver in the first round next week.
2004-2013 First Round Wide Receivers
|2004||1||29||ATL||Michael Jenkins||0||0||130||354||4427||25||Ohio St.||6044||217|
|2004||1||31||SFO||Rashaun Woods||0||0||14||7||160||1||Oklahoma St.||6021||202|
|2005||1||7||MIN||Troy Williamson||0||0||49||87||1131||4||South Carolina||6013||203|
|2006||1||25||PIT||Santonio Holmes||0||0||103||381||5963||36||Ohio St.||5105||188|
|2007||1||2||DET||Calvin Johnson||3||4||106||572||9328||66||Georgia Tech||6050||239|
|2007||1||9||MIA||Ted Ginn||0||0||104||197||2604||11||Ohio St.||5112||178|
|2007||1||32||IND||Anthony Gonzalez||0||0||40||99||1307||7||Ohio St.||6000||193|
|2009||1||29||NYG||Hakeem Nicks||0||0||70||311||4622||27||North Carolina||6006||212|
|2009||1||10||SFO||Michael Crabtree||0||0||63||279||3629||22||Texas Tech||6013||215|
|2010||1||24||DAL||Dez Bryant||0||1||59||293||4104||40||Oklahoma St.||6020||224|
|2010||1||22||DEN||Demaryius Thomas||0||2||53||240||3698||30||Georgia Tech||6032||224|
|2012||1||13||ARI||Michael Floyd||0||0||32||110||1603||7||Notre Dame||6025||220|
|2012||1||5||JAX||Justin Blackmon||0||0||20||93||1280||6||Oklahoma St.||6007||207|
|2013||1||8||STL||Tavon Austin||0||0||13||40||418||4||West Virginia||5084||174|