Team Struggles to Find, Develop WR Talent
Throughout his years as an owner, Steve Bisciotti has made it clear that he respects and admires the Pittsburgh Steelers organization – so much so that the Ravens try to emulate The Rooney family’s prized possession in some ways.
For the most part since Super Bowl XXXV, the Ravens have gone toe-to-toe with the Steelers. That is why the rivalry between the AFC North divisional foes developed and still flourishes. But clearly, one area in which the Ravens fall way short of the Steelers, is in the way they draft and develop wide receivers.
Since the Ravens inception in 1996 both clubs have drafted 25 wide receivers. On average the Ravens pick a receiver with the 136th pick in the draft. The Steelers target a wide out on average with the draft’s 124th pick. So one could conclude that the Steelers value the position slightly more.
Here’s a look at how the 25 picks made by each team since 1996, shake out by round:
Some other interesting notes uncovered during this analysis…
• Six of the 25 receivers drafted by the Ravens (24%) never caught a single pass during their respective careers. The Steelers have drafted 3 such players.
• Seven Ravens receivers have eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in career receiving yards compared to 10 Steelers’ receivers.
• Only 1 receiver drafted by the Ravens (Brandon Stokley) has more than 5,000 career receiving yards. The Steelers boast 6 such players (24%).
• Five Ravens receivers have 10 or more career touchdowns compared to 9 Steelers receivers.
• Three Ravens receivers have 20+ career TD’s v. 6 for the Steelers.
• The 25 receivers the Ravens have drafted have career averages of 75 catches for 1,021 yards and 6 touchdowns. Comparatively, the Steelers 25 drafted receivers since 1996 have career averages of 177 catches for 2,396 yards and 15 TD’s.
• Only 5 receivers drafted by the Ravens (20%) have more catches (177+) than the average of all Steelers receivers drafted since 1996.
• The top 5 Ravens receivers as it relates to career receiving yards, have averaged 4,121 yards. The top 5 Steelers have averaged 8,463 yards.
These stats span 21 NFL Drafts.
Maybe Steve Bisciotti should have his scouts conduct a thorough study of the types of receivers the Steelers draft and then borrow Bill Belichick’s spy cam to exam what the Steelers do to develop their receivers during practice.
[Note: These stats are the career statistics of all receivers drafted by both the Ravens and the Steelers since 1996. The stats also include those achieved as players moved on to other teams, such as Steelers original draft pick Mike Wallace and Ravens original draft pick Torrey Smith.]