Packers and Steelers Shaped by the Draft

The big day has finally arrived and while this day brings a lot of us feelings of disappointment we can't help but watch, because its football!  At Mocking the Draft we focus on and love the NFL Draft so the majority of our material will have that direction. 

So as the Super Bowl teams were set and my team was not one of them I started looking over the rosters to see the impact of the draft.  Every NFL team is significantly impacted by the results of their draft strategy and success.After the Jump I give my take on some of the important draft decisions of both the Packers and Steelers. 

This is a great topic to discuss so lets hear your thoughts and don't be shy about bringing some other teams into the discussion.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Looking up and down this entire roster you see the types of draft decisions that makes a team competitive for long stretches.  Since the 2000 NFL Draft the Steelers have hit on every single one of their first round selections which include the likes of Polamalu and Roethlisberger.  So many franchises are haunted by the failed success of their top choices but the Steelers have gotten production out of those players.  Many might focus on the success they had in the later rounds but I put a lot of stock in their 1st round success.  For example the best move they might have made was selecting Rashard Mendenhall with the 23rd pick in the 2008 draft.  As many Steelers fans will recall this was a controversial pick because of the presence of Willie Parker.  However, that selection has proven that the Steelers are operating with a long term plan. 

Green Bay Packers

Obviously the biggest draft decision the Packers made was to select Aaron Rodgers and allow him to learn under Brett Favre.  Going back to that draft, Rodgers was in competition with Alex Smith to become the 1st overall selection and we all know how that turned out.  It was a bold move to say the least which has set the Packers up for years to come.  While the Rodgers move was significant I have to argue the 2009 draft has had equal impact.  That draft brought both BJ Raji and Clay Matthews Jr in to the fold.  Both Matthews and Raji are major difference makers on the defensive side of the football.  While quarterback play is a major piece to the Super Bowl puzzle success relies on a balanced football team.

This piece was designed to start the conversation and show that sometimes you need to go against the grain in order to be successful.  Both the selections of Rodgers and Mendenhall came with some criticism but in the long run paid dividends.  Every year we get caught up in sleeper picks and steals but the success of your top selections have the biggest impact on your football team.

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