Steelers Fall Three Spots In ESPN’s Post Draft NFL Power Rankings

What do the NFL experts think about the Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 draft class and offseason moves made? By the looks of their latest power rankings, they’re not too impressed.

Combined, voters John Clayton, Ashley Fox, Dan Graziano, Jamison Hensley, Mike Sando and Kevin Seifert have all spoken and they have the Steelers falling three positions, from 14 to 17. The last set of rankings came out on December 31, 2013.

Here is what is listed in the comments section for the falling Steelers.

Why Ryan Shazier in the first round? Pittsburgh was the fifth team in the past five seasons to allow at least 5.0 yards before contact per rush outside the tackles.

As far as the other teams in the AFC North go in the power rankings, the Cincinnati Bengals fell three spots as well, from 7 to 10. The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, must have really impressed the voters as they jumped up three spots, from 16 to 13.

The Cleveland Browns had the biggest drop of the AFC North teams, however, as they are now in last place, falling four spots, from 28 to 32.

As expected, the defending champion Seattle Seahawks are ranked No. 1 overall and they’re followed by the team they beat in the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos.

  • Dom

    Does anybody really care about these things? I don’t mind power rankings after a few games but they’re even more useless than trying to grade a draft at this stage.

  • Yeah. They are link bait, nothing more.

  • Jeff

    It’s troll heaven when power rankings start coming out..

  • Aric Brown

    I love the power rankings.. especially when we are ranked as low as they are now… say what you will, but over the past 10 years or so the Steelers have not performed well when “expected” to do so

  • Lewis

    What does that comment even mean? Does it mean they need help on the outside, or that they didn’t need help?

  • Dan

    I think any one of these writers would admit rankings today are meaningless. But your boss says write something, you write something.

  • HiVul

    I don’t know what the average across the league is on such a specific stat, but 5.0 yards before contact on average when running outside the tackles sounds terrible. I mean you would hope to allow less yards than that on average AFTER a tackle on any running play. Contact doesn’t even mean the tackle was made so you have to imagine the average after the tackle is even worse, assuming we didn’t make every tackle.

  • Lewis

    They are meaningless and have zero bearing whatsoever, but they are peoples opinions on where these teams fall. It’s good to get outside perspective because I think most people here would put the Steelers at the top of the list, at least these guys are little more realistic.

  • SteelersDepot

    that 90 something run by Pryor was outside the tackle and surely didn’t help that average. It’s a loaded stat.

  • letownia

    Something is clearly off with the 5 yards before contact outside the tackles. Maybe the Oakland game where Terrelle Pryor ran 93 yards factored into that?

    And how is drafting Shazier not going to help with runs outside the tackle? He’s fast enough to help contain those sort of plays..

  • Richard Clinton

    After seeing this. Who cares?

  • Dom

    I’d like to see the person who would put the Steelers 1st, I could see a few put them in top 10 but I think most here would say 10th-18th realistically

  • Lewis

    That’s why I ask. If that’s such a bad stat, wouldn’t drafting a stud LB help that?

  • Paddy

    That’s why I don’t watch espn, they are inept. Really can’t stand that hippie Clayton.

  • stellarsfan

    Frankly, anything Jamison Henley has a say in, I couldn’t respect less. He’s a proud Ravens fan and former Baltimore beat writer so no wonder we fell and they jumped up. Meaningless nonetheless.

  • RMSteeler

    I saw another one today that listed the Steelers as #10 post draft. Like this one, the other means nothing either.

  • letownia

    yeah nfl analysts post so much bullcrap..

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Honestly, this is par for the course. I don’t look at Baltimore’s draft as being awesome even compared to ours. They move up….we move down. We could have had the top 3 picks in the draft and the same thing would have happened.

  • Steve

    Feel the same with Warren Sapp. Was a good player but has nothing good to say about the Steelers.

  • Big Joe

    I believe the comment was referring to our inability to set the edge by the OLBs this past year. No kidding. One was hurt a good portion of the season again and one was a rookie that was not yet strong enough to set the edge – few ever are in their first year. However, the comment – while statistically likely – has little to do with the actual draft in the First Round. there absolutely were no OLBs that were 3-4 OLBs who were experienced in setting the edge; therefore the Steelers had a choice between one of the top CBs, one of the top 4 WRs or Ryan Shazier. Personally, I’ve been watching this young man since October and was hoping he had put on some weight because he was an absolute wonderful sideline to sideline player to watch and fit the Steelers defensive scheme in today’s football perfectly as a Mack ILB. In short, the Steelers have solidified their ILBs for years to come and, at the same time, have added another sub-4.4 playmaker (3 in total) to the middle and back end of their defense. I don’t see this as a terrible thing. I’d like to know what 3-4 scheme OLB they thought was a First Round candidate instead of complaining about stats. This one move allows Polamalu, Thomas or Shazier to be used to roam the middle and outside portions of the defensive line and make those plays closer to the line of scrimmage so, agian, I don’t think this is so bad.

  • Big Joe

    I agree with you. If he had not been deemed a First Round pick, then I was hoping to grab him in the Second at pick 46. The selection of Tuitt also adds run-stopping strenght and technique to the defensive line since Hood was not known for his ability to hold up as a 2-gap DE in a 3-4. He certainly tried but was still more suited for a 4-3. I wish him well in that position.

  • Big Joe

    I agree with you. One other reason for such a stat is that the interior ILB area was in severe flux with the addition of Williams in his first year. Both Timmons and Polamalu were caught out of position several times, as was Williams when filling his hole assignments. Williams was not fast enough to recover to get to where he was supposed to be; hopefully he’s worked on his speed in the off-season so we’ll see what he’s like now. Either way, Shazier is fast enough but he will need to learn the defense just like Williams did – as time goes on through the season.

  • Big Joe

    I think it’s amusing that Kiper and several others gave the Steelers an A- grade on the draft, while others gave B+ grades – worthless as they are too at this time of their development – but yet the team drops 3 places.

  • Big Joe

    I would agree with the 10-18. For whatever the reasons were, two 8-8 seasons make a team – average and middle of the pack. Only time will tell if our draftees can stay healthy and contribute this year. We’ve had other good drafts but injuries and stupidity have derailed their contributions before they even got rolling – look to Spence/DeCastro (injury) and Ta’amu/Rainey and others (immaturity & stupidity). Mike Adams and Gilbert can fill their RT expectations but neither has demonstrated their abilities as a LT which is what the Steelers had hoped for. I think this may be why they put so much due diligence into researching Taylor Lewan before the draft kicked off – they were trying to figure out whether or not they’d be comfortable taking him at 15 if he had actually fallen to them.

  • Big Joe

    Isn’t Clayton a Ravens fan too? Seems like it sometimes when I read a few things from him.

  • Weiss Chad

    I really wish we could have grabbed jaylen Watkins as that would have made this draft. I know my opinion isn’t squat and far from professional but I give this draft a b+.If they hit on anyone five through seven it dramatically changes the grade

  • greeny

    Ravens did have a great draft with their first 3 or 4 picks being instant starters but ESPN’s grades of players were bad. I toggled back and forth between ESPN and NFL Network and it was clear to me that Mike Mayock had more of a clue and his grades were more similar to what the NFL scouts had compared to Mel Kiper et. al. Reality with our time is Ben will have to shoulder it again this year. Our OLBs and CBs are a big time concern. Allen never really turned the corner, Ike is 104 yrs old and if Jarvis Jones shows us nothing again, we are in trouble.

  • Big Joe

    You hit the nail on the head with Sapp. One massive Steeler hater. For all of the reasons that I shouldn’t pay attention to him, each time he gets his facts wrong about the team – more often than not over the last two years – I just can’t see why the network doesn’t require him to make sure his facts are right before he goes spouting off. It not only makes him look stupid, it makes the network look stupid too. There is certainly a piece of the show that is opinion-based, but it should at least be backed up by facts. Sapp just offers his own personal opinion, but he presents it with inaccurate information to the viewing audience, which I personally think needs network correction.

  • Weiss Chad

    Two things scare me about shazier
    1.cowboys wanted to draft him
    2Mel kiper loves the pick.Besides that love the playmaking ability.

  • Big Joe

    I agree. Everyone who looked at the biggest needs of the Ravens pretty much knew that if someone hadn’t taken Zach Martin, he would likely have been the Ravens’ pick. They were high on Moseley too so it was a natural pick. They also needed a TE for depth since their current ones have had problems staying healthy and they needed some depth at a few positions as well. I don’t see their draft as anything spectacular either. In fact, I think we got far better athletes, who could play in year one if they needed to, than the Ravens did.

  • Steve

    ESPN was giving all A’s and B’s for teams drafts. Who did poorly per ESPN – No One. What a Terrible evaluation. Lay it on the line.

  • Steve

    He did say last year our D was old and slow, which was correct. Sapp was dogging Troy and IMHO was our best player last year.

  • Steve

    Hey,, Hey,, our time is very valuable when it comes to the Steelers.

  • scott2443

    you want power rankings ….steelers have 6 superbowls name another team with 6 or more espnnnnnn

  • IckyD

    He made the “old and slow” comment three years ago.

  • IckyD

    NFLN loves everything the cRavens do and almost never even mention the Steelers.

  • Weiss Chad

    I would disagree.i think heyward,Timmons ,and worilds all played better than Polamalu .

  • Chad H


  • Big Joe

    It does seem that way, especially when they couch Flacco as being an elite QB. If San Francisco’s defense hadn’t been so pourous in the secondary that year, I’m still wondering if the Ravens would have won the SB that year. Everything they seem to do is rosy….