After consulting my crystal ball, I've seen the future and know exactly how the Steelers' draft will turn out. And it will be a great one.
With their first-round pick, they select Ndamukong Suh. I know that he is supposed to be the best player in the draft, but on the day of the draft, the shocking fact that nobody named Suh, or Ndamukong for that matter, has ever succeeded in the NFL is leaked to reporters, causing him to slide to the Steelers at No. 18.
It is also noticed that the first two letters of his first name is the abbreviation for Notre Dame, who just isn’t very good. That connection also inexplicably gives some teams pause.
With their second-round pick, the Steelers select Joe Haden, cornerback of Florida. While Haden was expected to be the first corner selected, a late revelation that he listens to the Carpenters and Barry Manilow cause NFL teams to question his aggressiveness, causing his draft stock to slide precipitously.
The Steelers are all too happy to draft him in the second round despite his odd taste in music.
With their third-round pick, the Steelers draft Safety Eric Berry. While he certainly looked like one of the best players in the draft, NFL teams were scared off by the fact that his last name sounds eerily like a fruit, which can’t be a good thing.
The Steelers draft him to be their free safety of the future to play alongside Troy Polamalu. Now, wouldn't that be a thing of beauty?
With their fourth-round pick, the Steelers select Bryan Bulaga. While it was believed that he was already drafted by the Raiders in the first round, Al Davis actually drafted a player by the name of Brian Baluga, who apparently doesn’t exist.
The pick is invalidated when the Steelers are on the clock in the fourth round, and they are only too happy to take him.
With their first pick in the fifth round, the Steelers select Mike Iupati. So, what’s he still doing on the board? As with Bulaga, Iupati becomes available when it is ruled that the Browns actually drafted a player named Lupati, as they confused the capital “I” for a lower case “L.”
Unfortunately for the Browns, turns out there really is a a Mike Lupati, an unknown third string kicker for Nowhere State. His acquisition immediately improves the Browns’ roster.
But, the Steelers are happy to scoop up the real Iupati to improve their interior line. With their two compensatory picks in the fifth round, the Steelers select Jason Pierre-Paul and Terrence Cody.
What are they doing on the board? Well, Cody enters a wet tee-shirt contest a week before the draft, causing teams to have serious doubts about his judgment and causing them to question whether they can find a uniform big enough to fit him.
As for Jason Pierre-Paul, teams decide you just can’t trust someone with two first names, let alone three first names. And what's with that hypen, anyway? These character flaws cause both players to slide to the very bottom of the fifth round. Go figure.
With their sixth-round pick, the Steelers select Michigan quarterback Tom Brady. Oh, wait. Guess we are a bit late for that one. Oh well. Better fix that crystal ball.
With the extra compensatory pick and their seventh round pick, the Steelers add C.J. Spiller and Rolando McClain to round out what appears to be a very strong draft class for the black and gold.
So, what are these guys doing at the bottom of the draft? No idea, but since we’ve thrown reality out the window, let’s just assume that every team goes temporarily insane and they fall to the bottom of the draft.
Here is the kicker and the closest thing to a point in this article: Even if the Steelers had this true fantasy draft and could pick the 10 players they wanted with no competition from other teams, it would almost certainly not be their best ever draft.
At least a few of these guys will probably never develop into the stars they are being projected to become.
Out of those listed above, are there four future Hall of Famers with a five-time pro bowler thrown in for good measure? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess no.
But, that’s what the Steelers drafted in 1974 with what will always be the best single draft by a team of all-time. The Steelers drafted Lynn Swann in the first round, Jack Lambert in the second round, John Stallworth in the fourth round, and Mike Webster in the fifth round.
That draft produced five Hall of Famers, and four of them were Steelers.
If that wasn’t enough, they also added undrafted rookie Donnie Shell, who would later go to five pro bowls and anchor their secondary. He was almost the fifth Steelers’ Hall of Famer in that class.
So, in one rookie class, the Steelers added two weapons to their offense, the anchor to their offensive line, one of the best and meanest linebackers to ever play the game and a safety who probably would be in the Hall of Fame if there weren’t so many of his teammates there already.
That kind of draft success is almost unfathomable, and probably could not happen today with the improved scouting. The odds of the shiny haired one (aka Mel Kiper), whose draft board is somewhat reflective of how teams will actually draft, somehow missing three Hall of Fame caliber players who were all overlooked in the first round is about a billion to one. When it comes to the draft, Kiper is like Yoda, but with weird hair.
Even teams who have a lousy scouting department can still use Mel's board as a sanity check.
The Steelers built their run to four Super Bowl championships in the 70's largely through that rookie class.
Teams that have a run of Super Bowls frequently have a monster draft somewhere along the line. The Cowboys' 1991 draft propelled the Cowboys to future stardom. The 1986 draft propelled the 49ers to excellence. And so it goes.
The bottom line is that nothing is more important than the draft to ensuring the future success of a team. So, this month, let’s hope the Steelers draft like its 1974. Well, let’s cut them a little slack. I’d settle for just two Hall of Famers.