NFL Draft

Steelers 1st Round Pick Candidate Exercise Using Brandt’s Rankings

I recently posted about the success rate that NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt had last year when it came to his top 100 ranked players and today I want to take my research for you a bit farther in an effort to help narrow down who the Pittsburgh Steelers first round selection will potentially be Thursday in Philadelphia.

First, this research started mostly as being centered around Brandt’s success at ultimately identifying first round players in his annual top 50 rankings dating back to the 2012 NFL Draft.

Over the course of the last five years, Brandt has correctly identified at least 29 of the players who were ultimately selected in the first round in each of his final top 50 player rankings. In fact, last year he only failed to have two first rounders in his top 50 ranked players and they were cornerback Artie Burns and guard Joshua Garnett.

Now, when you look at Brandt’s top 64 ranked players in each year dating back to 2012, he only missed a total of four players who were ultimately drafted within the first 32 selections (160 total picks) and they were Burns (2016), Marcus Smith (2014), A.J. Jenkins (2012) and Datone Jones (2013). In short, Brandt is probably good for just one miss a year when it comes to identifying the first 32 selections in any given draft in his top 64 ranked players.

So, you probably already seeing where I’m going with this. Basically, if we look at Brandt’s top 64 ranked players this year, the Steelers first round selection will likely be included in it. Shocking, right? After all, most draft analyst should have nearly all 32 first round selections within their top 64 ranked players as that’s twice the number. At least we have Brandt’s easily accessible history on our side to work with and that’s why I chose his rankings as the subject matter for this exercise.

Now, below is Brandt’s top 64 ranked players as of his most recent post and we can begin trimming it down from there while at the same time assuming the Steelers first-round pick will remain included in it.

As we trim down the list, I think most of you agree that the final list of players should have had their pro day attended by Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert (that we know of). Using that criteria, however, we are still left with a huge list of players.

I’m going to assume the Steelers won’t be drafting an offensive lineman, quarterback or running back in the first round and I don’t think many of you will argue with that notion (apologies to the fans of Mahomes). I’m also going to assume that the Steelers have no shot at drafting any of Brandt’s top 15 players.

After applying the known Colbert pro day visits and removing all aforementioned offensive positions, we are left with a list of 15 players. I’m going to go ahead and also remove Tim Williams and Jourdan Lewis from the list as both have enough character concerns to warrant doing so. Davon Godchaux would also be a huge surprise being as he’s a defensive tackle, so I’ll remove him from the list as well.

As you can see below, we are now left with a list of 12 players as a result of this exercise and all are presumable fits for the Steelers. With that said and while not a huge deal, only two on the remaining list of 12 players have had reported pre-draft visits to Pittsburgh and they are Jarrad Davis and Marlon Humphrey.

Now that I have trimmed the Steelers list of potential first-round draft pick candidates down to 12 players, I want you to help me trim a few more names off it in the comments below. Also, do you believe the Steelers first round selection will ultimately be one of these 12 players? Are there any others in Brandt’s top 64 that I eliminated throughout the process who you believe need to be added back to the list? Let me know who they are and a good reason why if so.

Do you buy and like what I’m selling in this exercise as a whole?

Final 12

16. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
20. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
21. Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
27. Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
29. David Njoku, TE, Miami
30. Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
42. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
43. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
44. Marcus Maye, S, Florida
48. Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan
49. Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
60. T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin

Brandt’s top 64 for 2017

1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
3. Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
4. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
5. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6. Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
7. Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
8. Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
9. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
10. John Ross, WR, Washington
11. Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
12. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
13. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
14. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
15. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
16. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
17. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
18. Parick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
19. Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
20. Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
21. Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
22. Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
23. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
24. Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
25. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
26. Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
27. Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
28. Kevin King, CB, Washington
29. David Njoku, TE, Miami
30. Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
31. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
32, Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
33. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
34. Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
35. Curtis Samuel, RB, Ohio State
36. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
37. Haason Reddick, DE, Temple
38. Marcus Williams, S, Utah
39. Josh Jones, S, North Carolina State
40. Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
41. Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
42. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
43. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
44. Marcus Maye, S, Florida
45. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
46. Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
47. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama
48. Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan
49. Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
50. Dan Feeney, OL
51. Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
52. Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
53. Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
54. Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
55. Budda Baker, S, Washington
56. Dorian Johnson, OL, Pittsburgh
57. Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M
58. Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU
59. Tedric Thompson, S, Colorado
60. T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
61. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
62. Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
63. Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
64. Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

Comments
To Top