Here is a little experiment to pass the time and give us a break from mock drafts. What player do you feel should have worn the black and gold? I'm not talking about the player you think could have necessarily won more games for the Steelers. I'm talking about a player whose playing style, personality, and off the field contributions would best fit in Pittsburgh. For instance, Dan Marino was a great QB, but I don't feel his playing style or personality would have been a good fit for the Steelers.
For this experiment we are not going to consider the consequences of Pittsburgh drafting this player and missing out on a key player of the team. This is strictly a straight forward addition to the team of the time of the player's career. So therefore you have to keep in mind who else is on the team at that time. For example say you pick Roger Staubach (although I don't know why anyone would) then he would be on the team with Terry Bradshaw and one of them would be on the bench.
I know there are numerous options and choosing just one could be very difficult. So we are going to allow 4 to be chosen one in each of the following categories: 1. past defensive player, 2. past offensive player, 3. current defensive player, and 4. current offensive player. We will also limit this to 1980 and forward, besides the 70's Steelers don't need any new additions. This should help out the younger readers with their knowledge and limit us older readers to less choices.
Remember the goal isn't necessarily the player who could help win more games, but that is a bonus. It is the player who fits into your definition of a Pittsburgh Steeler. The player should also fit into the team's game plans, not worrying as much as 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT, but just on the team's philosophy overall. For example, Barry Sanders is probably one of the greatest RBs and NFL personalities of all time, but he never ran well behind a FB so would he have been a good fit for the run pounding Steeler offense of the 90's? No matter there is no right or wrong, just opinions and everyone having fun. So it doesn't matter if the player is a HOFer or the next Charlie Batch, let's just have fun with it.
Here are my choices:
1. Past Defensive Player: S Steve Atwater (1989-1999)--- His hit on Christian Okoye on MNF is the kind of play that would have gotten him a standing ovation from Steeler fans everywhere (if you have never seen this play go to youtube and type in Steve Atwater Christian Okoye it will come up and is worth the couple minutes to watch), and just imagine him lined up beside Woodson and Lake. Overall was a quiet player who left his play on the field speak for him. Off the field he participated in numerous charity events and was active in the community.
2. Past Offensive Player: OT Anthony Munoz (1980-1992)--- Another player who left his play on the field speak for him. Off the field was a recipient of both the Bart Starr Man of the Year (1989) and the Walter Payton Man of the Year (1991) for his numerous charitable contributions.
3. Current Defensive Player: DE J.J. Watt (2011-present)--- His play and style speaks for itself on field and off the field he founded the Justin J. Watt Foundation which provides support to after-school athletic programs in Wisconsin and Texas.
4. Current Offensive Player: WR Larry Fitzgerald (2004-present)--- A class act on the field that contradicts the current prima donna WRs. A tough player who would have never had to leave the Pittsburgh area after college and been lined up beside Hines and then Brown. A caring person off the field who founded the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund that supports kids and their families.