Brian Billick Ranks Steelers 19th Overall In Post Draft Power Rankings

Former Baltimore Ravens head coach, and current Fox Sports analyst, Brian Billick released his 2013 post draft NFL power rankings on Tuesday and he ranked the Pittsburgh Steelers, 19th overall and third of the four AFC North teams.

Here is what Billick wrote about the Steelers:

Just like the Ravens, the Steelers have had their roster depleted with cap casualties and free agency departures, but unlike the Ravens, the Steelers have done little to fill the voids and plan for the future. It could be a long year in Pittsburgh.

While every man is entitled to his own opinion, Billick\’s reasoning for ranking the Steelers 19th overall is pretty weak. Evidently he forgot how the Steelers organization operates since being fired from the Ravens following the 2007 season.

Billick points to the Steelers roster being depleted by cap casualties as one of the reasons why he ranked them so low, but in reality they only had two cap casualties in linebacker James Harrison, who is clearly on the backside of his career at 35 years of age, and guard Willie Colon, who managed to play in just 12 regular season games over the course of the last three seasons due to injuries.

Sure, the Steelers lost wide receiver Mike Wallace, running back Rashard Mendenhall, cornerback Keenan Lewis, safety Will Allen and safety Ryan Mundy this offseason via free agency, but they also addressed all three of those positions in the draft like they always do as opposed to going the free agent signing route. A few of those free agent losses should produce future compensatory picks as well.

The few players that the Steelers did sign via free agency such as quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, cornerback William Gay, tight end Matt Spaeth and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, was done to address the few holes on the roster that needed to be filled. Does Billick not consider that filling of voids?

As far as planning for the future goes, the Steelers signed guard Ramon Foster, linebacker Larry Foote and nose tackle Steve McLendon, all free agents this offseason, to three-year contracts. In addition, they also matched the offer sheet given to free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders by the New England Patriots and a contract extension for him later on in the offseason is not yet totally out of the question.

Also, isn\’t the draft part of planning for the future?

Did the Steelers have turnover on their roster this offseason? Sure, and so did the Ravens as Billick smartly points out. In fact, the Ravens lost nine players this offseason via free agency or retirement that started for them in Super Bowl XLVII. Nine out of 22.

Had Billick instead come right out and said that he thinks the Steelers should be ranked that low because of lack of talent on their starting roster, that would be one thing, but he didn\’t. Instead, he pointed to cap casualties and the Steelers lack of spending money on high priced free agents players this offseason as his reason as to why he ranked them so low.

Perhaps Billick forgot what the Steelers did following the 2004 season. That offseason, if you remember, was quite similar to this offseason and the results of that offseason culminated in the Steelers capturing their fifth Lombardi Trophy.

Like I have stated many times in the past, I despise power rankings and I despise them even more when not a lot of thought are put into them, much like Billick failed to put into his.

  • steeltown

    Haha I agree Bryan…. its crazy how so many fans, analysts and so called “experts” place so much stock into Free Agency and FA spending… you would think people would start to get used to how Teams like the Steelers, Packers and Patriots go about their business

  • Cody Younkin

    I think we will be better than last year if the injuries are kept to a minimum. However I dont not believe we are a superbowl team just yet. One more good draft and a year of experience for the young guns on the team will help us turn the corner next year. I know i will get shit for this but, thats just what I believe cause im realistic. I’d love to be wrong though.

  • zyzak

    Yes but do these guys ever have to account for their predictions? No just like the weatherman. BS

  • Ahmad

    The Steelers do best with their backs against the wall so I’m not concerned about his comments.

  • Typical Billick…move along, nothing to see or learn here.

  • Except the end of last season, lol.

  • Pete

    I don’t think you can compare 2004 to this offseason. If James Harrison is so over-the-hill, why did the Steelers try to negotiate him staying as a starter while Worilds would continue on the bench for a 4th season? Aaron Smith knew it was time, as it was for Ward. McFadden and Battle lost their starter roles. A lot of leadership is just gone.

    Harrison is gone. Worilds is a question mark. McLendon will have to prove he can stuff the run and occupy more than one blocker like Hampton. If McLendon is the answer, why didn’t he overtake Hampton last season? Adams and Gilbert are the tackles. The OL still has to show what it can do and there are NO veteran O linemen (guys with 7 years experience or more). Wheaton and Bell haven’t seen a snap yet and have yet to claim a spot. Jarvis won’t see the field much this season. Neither will Thomas. Honestly, I’d say right now Billick isn’t too far off. I have the Steelers 3rd in their division this season. I really hope I’m wrong.

  • rizzo29

    Who cares what Billick has to say,Hey Billick go out and buy yourself a set of lips, sick of seeing his face on t.v

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I put us in the 10-15 best teams. They will not be great this year IMO but will still be very competitive. Next year we will be SB contenders

  • george

    I agree Billick is the guy who stuck with Kyle Boller as his franchise qb and stated on national tv the ravens were the dominant team in the afc north in 2004

  • rizzo29

    Never hear his name come up with coaching vacancy,probably because he doesn’t have a clue and he rambles on trying to sound intelligent.Plus look at the guy,s face he has no lips.

  • r4kolb

    First let me make this clear….I am a Steeler Fan… I’m also a realistic Steelers fan. Dave, and I say this with all due respect, what have they really done to make you think after they stunk up the league to an 8-8 record have they done to rank higher? Do you think they are going to be better then the Ravens or Bengals? Do you think Woirlds is going to be better then Harrison? Do you think Sanders will be better then Wallace? Do you think whoever takes over for Sanders will be a better #3? What about Keenan Lewis? I think you thought pretty highly of him? Gay? They didn’t think enough of him to keep him here before, now he’s going to make a difference? Foote will just be a step slower this year and he couldn’t cover that well last year.
    Stephens-Howling? Really? How many wins do you think he will add? Like I said I am as big a Steelers fan as anyone but I’m also a realist. Listen maybe you or someone can make your case otherwise but, I think I’ve made some valid points myself.

  • r4kolb

    I agree whole heartedly with everything the O line comment. Our O line always sucks. Name the last time we’ve had a good O line? I can I think the centers name was Webster.

  • Pete

    Yeah Webster played on a dominating O line. I’d say the line Ben came into the league with in 2004/5 was pretty good. Marvel Smith, Alan Faneca, Jeff Hartings, Keydrick Vincent, and Oliver Ross. In 2005 the last 2 guys were replaced by Kendall Simmons and Max Starks. That was probably the best line of recent times. This O line will grow and become good but I’m not so sure this season will be it. It’s going to take time. But yeah, it’s been frustrating when they start a guy like Jonathan Scott.

  • Bill Bob

    yes that was a nice OL Who was the head coach then.

  • mokhkw

    Yep, The Cowboys and Redskins sure have won a lot of SBs lately by getting the most FA headlines in the Off Season….

  • steeltown

    Haha,same with the Buccaneers, Jets and Eagles

  • Michael Mazanowski

    This is one reason Billick doesn’t coach anymore! He doesn’t pay attention to detail! He must have had really good assistant coaches around him when he coached!!