Pittsburgh Steelers all-time NFL Draft classes: No. 3, 1971

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Draft category of 1971 valid to be one of longevity.

Others had some-more notable stars. But in Chuck Noll’s third group of rookies had high-end talent in Frank Lewis and Hall of Famer Jack Ham, yet also abyss in a volume of starters it enclosed and a volume of time they played in a league.

Six Steelers players from a 1971 NFL Draft went on to play 5 or some-more NFL seasons. It’s because that year’s organisation creates it as a third-best in PennLive’s ongoing weekly countdown of a tip Draft classes in authorization history.

Here’s a demeanour behind during a careers, started 45 years ago, that done it so:

Ham has set a customary for Steelers – and Penn State – linebackers given Pittsburgh comparison him with a 34th altogether collect in 1971. Unofficially, he averaged a integrate sacks per deteriorate with a team. His 32 interceptions yet done him a actor distant forward of his time.

He warranted 4 Pro Bowl selections, got 4 Super Bowl rings and became a second-ballot Hall of Famer in 1988.

They don’t issue Ham’s No. 59 in Pittsburgh anymore.

Which Draft prospects a Steelers hosted final Friday

It’s never bad for a group to demeanour behind during a receiver who held 40 touchdowns as a second-best actor in a Draft class. That was Lewis, a eighth altogether collect in 1971. 

Only 16 of those touchdowns catches came with a Steelers as he was traded to a Bills in 1978. Before then, though, he tallied 128 receptions for 2,086 yards and won Super Bowls IX and X.

He played for a Bills by a 1983 season, after that he retired.

Larry Brown came to Pittsburgh as a fifth-round pick, spent scarcely a initial half of his career as a parsimonious end, afterwards changed to tackle in 1977. Before he did, Brown held 48 passes for 636 yards and won dual Super Bowls, that he repetitious as a tackle.

He was starting games for a Steelers good into his final 1984 season.

Pittsburgh’s offseason use dates

With their fourth-round, 104th altogether collect in 1971, Pittsburgh got a reduction heralded square of a Steel Curtain in Dwight White. The defensive finish scored a initial points of Super Bowl IX with an finish section pouch of Fran Tarkenton notwithstanding being hospitalized with pneumonia in a buildup to a game.

White done usually dual Pro Bowl teams yet he was on any of a Steelers’ firs 4 Super Bowl squads. White was a starter in 8 of his 10 years in a joining and usually played for Pittsburgh.

In a same turn as White, a Steelers drafted another starter in descent lineman Gerry Mullins. He played both ensure and tackle for Pittsburgh, environment a theatre for Franco Harris’ exploits in any of a team’s initial 4 Super Bowl-winning seasons.

Mullins was a go-to starter for Pittsburgh in 5 of his 9 seasons, creation 87 starts in 124 games.

All a approach into a 11th turn of a 1971 Draft, a Steelers were still removing Super Bowl-winning talent. With a 268th altogether pick, Mike Wagner, Pittsburgh found a starting reserve for a subsequent 6 seasons.

In 1973 he tied for a joining lead in interceptions with 8 and gathered 36 picks in his nine-year career that enclosed a span of Super Bowl and dual Pro Bowl selections.

The NFL’s miss of defensive stats during a time make Wagner harder to quantify, yet know that he was a cornerstone of a delegate that featured Mel Blount.

Projecting Pittsburgh’s starting lineup on invulnerability in 2016

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