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Steelers News: There will never be another Steelers 1974 NFL Draft class

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Super Bowl XIII - Pittsburgh Steelers vs Dallas Cowboys - January 21, 1979 Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is officially over. After finishing the year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, has another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the 1974 Steelers NFL Draft class will never be duplicated. Ever.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Just imagine if the 1974 Steelers draft class was selected in 2020? What would Mel Kiper Jr. say about the class? Interesting to think, but there is no doubt it is the best class in NFL history.

A draft class like no other

By: Teresa Varley,

January 29, 1974

The greatest NFL Draft class ever was selected

Lynn Swann. Jack Lambert. John Stallworth. Mike Webster.

All four players were selected by the team in the first five rounds of the NFL Draft on this day in 1974.

Four players who will always share a bond. Four players who made up the NFL’s greatest draft class ever. Four players who were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after their careers ended.

On that January day no one could have had an inkling of the success the four Steelers’ legends would have. But as is the case even until today, some tried to give their analysis.

The following was written by a sports columnist in the Jan. 30, 1974 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette following the first five rounds of the 1974 NFL Draft, after the Steelers had picked Swann, Lambert, Stallworth, cornerback Jimmy Allen and Webster:

”The Steelers seem to have come out of the first five rounds of the draft appreciably strengthened at wide receiver but nowhere else. They didn’t get a tight end, and the ones remaining are more suspect than prospect. They didn’t get a punter, although none of the nation’s best collegiate punters went in the first five rounds. They didn’t get an offensive tackle who might’ve shored up what could well become a weakness. What they did get was Swann, who seems to be a sure-pop to help; Lambert, who figures to be the No. 5 linebacker if he pans out; and three question marks.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Taking a look back at some of those preseason predictions.

Grading our 32 NFL preseason bold predictions: Hits, misses and regrets

By: NFL Nation, ESPN

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bold prediction from September: Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster will lead the NFL in receiving yards.

My predecessor, Jeremy Fowler, had some pretty high expectations for Smith-Schuster, and the Steelers’ WR1 wasn’t able to live up to them. Not only did Smith-Schuster play with three different quarterbacks — two inexperienced — he also had the first significant injury of his NFL career (knee), causing him to miss four games. With just 552 receiving yards, Smith-Schuster wasn’t even the leading receiver on the Steelers’ roster. That honor went to rookie Diontae Johnson with 680. — Brooke Pryor

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

Five teams that could be the 49ers of 2020, and all the similarities

By: Bill Barnwell, ESPN

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)

Similarity: Their starting quarterback lasted two games, too. Sense a trend here? Ben Roethlisberger struggled against the Patriots in the season opener, then went to the locker room just before halftime in Week 2 against the Seahawks and never made it back onto the field. He underwent season-ending elbow surgery, and while it’s generally not a good thing for a 37-year-old quarterback to undergo elbow surgery, Roethlisberger had several extra months to heal by virtue of suffering his injury in September as opposed to December or January.

The Steelers are priced into a Roethlisberger return because of his contract structure, so I would expect him to be the starting quarterback in Week 1 of 2020. His presence would be a massive upgrade for the Steelers, who were useless on offense with the combination of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at quarterback. Over the second half of the season, the Steelers averaged just 12.4 points per game on offense, which was last in the NFL by more than three points per contest.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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