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3 biggest draft busts in Pittsburgh Steelers history


SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 21: Head coach Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Richard Stagg/Getty Images)

The club has won more games than any other team in the NFL since the merger. Still, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had their share of drafting disasters.

The history of the Pittsburgh Steelers is well known. A franchise that was born in 1933 (and originally named the Pirates) played in only one postseason game (1947) in its first 39 years of existence and lost.

The team finally won a playoff contest in 1972 thanks to Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception. During the 1970s the Black and Gold came up with four Super Bowl victories in a six-year span. The Steelers remain the only club in NFL annals to repeat as Super Bowl champions twice.

Since 1970, no team in the league has won more regular-season games. The Steelers were the first franchise to win six Super Bowls, a feat since matched by the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh has had three head coaches over that span in Pro Football Hall of Famers Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher and current sideline leader Mike Tomlin. All own at least one Lombardi Trophy.

There was the legendary draft class of 1974 when the team added future Hall of Famers Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. With the good comes the bad, hence this list that notes three disappointments during the common draft era.

Biggest NFL draft busts in Pittsburgh Steelers franchise history:

3. T Mike Taylor

In 1968, the Steelers were looking to take advantage of the available talent on the offensive front. With the first overall pick, the Vikings grabbed Southern Cal tackle Ron Yary, who wound up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Three selections later, the Chargers took massive Russ Washington. He spent 15 seasons with the club, mostly at tackle. He played in 200 games and made 196 starts.

The Steelers had the 10th pick and took another tackle from Southern Cal in Mike Taylor. Over the course of a season and a half, he played in 24 games and made only a dozen starts. He wound up with the Saints later in 1969 and bounced around the league for a few years, including stints with Washington and the Cardinals.