The 8 Best And 7 Worst First Round Draft Picks In Pittsburgh Steelers History
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the greatest franchises in sports history. Currently the only NFL team with six Super Bowls, the Steelers have made their mark in the history as a legendary franchise. The greatest franchises often win by drafting, and the Steelers are no different. And in comparison to other teams, the Steelers have one of the best track records of drafting players that go on to become great. Pittsburgh is notorious for their legendary defenses, notably the “Steel Curtain” which is the best example of what great drafting and scouting can do for the legacy of a franchise. That’s not to say that all Steelers picks have become what they thought they would have when drafting them. Pittsburgh has dealt with the frustration of drafting busts as well, which means this list will contain the eight best and seven worst Pittsburgh Steelers first round draft picks.
This list will contain the best first round picks only, so the likes of Jack Lambert, Mike Webster, Mel Blount, etc. will not be included because they weren’t drafted in the first round of their respective drafts. Also, this list will not include the likes of Bill Dudley and Len Dawson who, though they are Hall of Famers drafted by the Steelers, reached their tremendous accomplishments with other teams. This list will also not feature Gabriel Rivera because if it were not for his tragic accident, we don’t know what he would have accomplished on the field.
With that said, here are the eight best and seven worst first round picks in Pittsburgh Steelers history.
15. ALAN FANECA (BEST)
For some teams, a future Hall of Fame lineman could be the best player the team has ever drafted in their franchise’s history. Since the Steelers have a great legacy, a player like Alan Faneca may be overlooked as one of the greatest in the team’s history, but his resume suggests that he is one of the greatest linemen ever. Faneca was drafted 26th overall out of LSU in the 1998 draft, standing out in a draft that featured Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Randy Moss, and Hines Ward, among others. Faneca became a nine-time Pro Bowler, was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team, and has also been named to the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team. Though Faneca would finish his career with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, he will always be remembered as one of the most important pieces of the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL championship team in 2006.
14. MARK MALONE (WORST)
With such high hopes for Arizona State quarterbacks entering the draft and the disappointment Malone brought to Pittsburgh, he is one of the worst first round picks in Steelers history. Luckily for Malone, he ended up having a very successful sportscasting and directing career, winning four Emmys for his sports directing. He also has a radio show with fellow ex-NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb titled Under The Center With Mark Malone.
13. LYNN SWANN (BEST)
Swann made three Pro Bowls, became the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1981 and won four Super Bowls with the Steelers, also winning the Super Bowl X MVP against the Dallas Cowboys. The legendary wideout played his entire career with Pittsburgh, went on to have a political career and became the chairperson of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition until 2005. In 2011, Swann became the co-owner of the AFL (Arena Football League) team Pittsburgh Power. No matter what, the city of Pittsburgh will forever love Lynn Swann.
12. AARON JONES (WORST)
11. TERRY BRADSHAW (BEST)
Ending his career with over 2,000 passing completions and nearly 30,000 passing yards, Bradshaw’s accomplishments are undeniable. After his career with Pittsburgh, Terry Bradshaw pursued a broadcasting career and is currently an analyst for Fox NFL Sunday. Though he often criticizes the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and players like Ben Roethlisberger, Bradshaw is still seen as one of the greatest players to ever play for Pittsburgh.