Our second draft study into recent Pittsburgh Steelers draft trends. Yesterday, we looked how often the team went outside the Combine to select a player. Today, we’ll go in a different direction with a very simple premise: what has been the ratio of defensive to offensive players drafted under Mike Tomlin? The last couple years at least, it’s felt like more defense than offense for the obvious fact that the defense was being rebuilt. But what do the numbers say? We’ll go year-by-year, noting the number of players on each side of the ball taken. Nothing too fancy but it’s good to be able to put a number to it.
Defense: 48 (52.7%)
Offense: 41 (45.1%)
Specialist: 2 (2.2%)
Defense: 25 (61%)
Offense: 15 (36.6%)
Specialist: 1 (2.4%)
The numbers here aren’t very surprising. Over a bigger period of time, the difference is minimal. But over the past five, they’ve been defensive dominated. More players on defense has been drafted on offense in every class over the last five years and seven of the past eight. Only three times has offense been taken more than defense: 2008, 2009, and 2012. With a defensive-minded coach, maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise either.
With the defense still lagging behind its offensive counterpart, I’d expect that trend to continue after 2018. Four defensive picks and three on offense would be about the norm for them in this class.