Between the 2010 and 2020 NFL drafts the Pittsburgh Steelers have selected ten players. Of those names the Steelers acquired five Pro Bowlers, and four first team All-Pros. They have also acquired some quality starters and a couple of busts, you can't win ‘em all! Today I'm going to rank the Steelers last ten first round draft picks.
*Note. I’m only considering the picks that were actually made so you’re not going to find Minkah Fitzpatrick on this list.
10. Jarvis Jones
17th overall in 2013
Kicking things off with who was supposed to be the heir apparent to Lamar Woodley/Jason Worilds. Jarvis Jones game never translated to the NFL, and he quickly found himself out of the league. In four seasons in Pittsburgh Jones only mustered six sacks, and was replaced by the formerly retired James Harrison. Jones career ended mere months after signing with the Arizona Cardinals on an injury settlement.
9. Artie Burns
25th overall in 2016
The only thing keeping Artie Burns from the tenth spot was that he had a pretty successful rookie season that actually saw him land on the All-Rookie team. Unfortunately for Burns/Steelers fans it was all down hill from there. Burns would lose his starting job in 2018 and never got it back. Burns would sign a deal with the Chicago Bears in 2020 but tore his ACL in training camp.
8. Terrell Edmunds
28th overall in 2018
The jury is still out on Edmunds, just two seasons into the young safeties career and he’s flashed both moments of brilliance and at times ineptitude. Edmunds was considered a reach when he was drafted, on top of that 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson was drafted just four selections later. The 2020 season is a huge year for Edmunds, it could go a long way in determining his future in Pittsburgh. Time will tell.
7. Devin Bush
10th overall in 2019
The Steelers most recent first round pick finds himself modestly ranked on this list. By all accounts Devin Bush will be the centrepiece of the Steelers defence for years to come, and will find himself more favorably ranked in future incarnations of this list. It will be fun to see what Bush can do in his second professional season.
6. Ryan Shazier
15th overall in 2014
I found Shazier’s placement on this list to be quite the challenge. Before his tragic injury, Shazier was dominant, and was starting to be ranked amongst the leagues best players. A true sideline to sideline linebacker Shazier’s impact was large. If it wasn't for his injury i’m sure Shazier would have been near the top of this list.
5. Bud Dupree
22nd overall in 2015
In 2019, Bud Dupree finally got it. In his fifth year option Dupree was a force in run defense and got home to the quarterback 11.5 times. The Kentucky product has developed into one of the key pieces on one of the NFL’s best defensive units. Dupree earned a franchise tender and will potentially earn a mega del when his contract expires in 2021.
4. Maurkice Pouncey
18th overall in 2010
Pouncey has been a vocal leader in the Steelers locker room for the better part of the decade. He’s also been one of the best centers in football over that same stretch. Pouncey carries the lineage of centers Mike Webster, Dermonti Dawson, and Jeff Hartings at the most consistently great position in franchise history.
3. Cameron Heyward
31st overall in 2011
Heyward is the leader of the defence, the NFL’s best defensive tackle not named Aaron Donald, and one of the best players of the 2010’s. Heyward’s career started slow but he developed into one of the best pass rushing interior defensive lineman in football today. With a few more seasons of dominance Heyward could one day earn himself a place in Canton, Ohio.
2. David DeCastro
24th overall in 2012
Arguably the best guard in football since he’s entered the league in 2012. DeCastro has been dominant in every phase of the game, and is consistent as they come. DeCastro won the Pro Football Focus award for the NFL’s top offensive lineman in 2018. The Tacoma, Washington native is one or two years of All-Pro play away from cementing himself a spot in the NFL hall of fame. DeCastro very nearly sat atop this list however a young buck stole the spot away from him.
1. T.J. Watt
30th overall in 2017
The youngest Watt brother takes the top spot on this list. What separated T.J. from the others was simple, his output from his draft spot value is absolutely off the charts. Just think Pouncey and DeCastro were viewed as the top player at their position during there draft year but inexplicably fell. Watt was the eight pass rusher/linebacker taken off the board but made an instant impact on the NFL. 34.5 sacks and 15 forced fumble in three seasons AND, Watt is on pace to be THE BEST defensive player in football in 2020. T.J. is king, and he will be for a long time to come.
What do you think? how would you order this list? Let us know down in the comments below.