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A history of the 24th overall NFL Draft pick

For the fifth time in team history the Steelers will make its selection with the 24th pick

Los Angeles Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be making a first round draft pick for the first time since 2019., and for the fifth time in team history that selection will be the 24th overall pick. The last time the Steelers drafted in this slot was back in 2012 when they took All-Pro guard, David DeCastro. While DeCastro was clearly a home run choice for the Steelers, the selection has quite a bumpy history with the club.

The Steelers drafted cornerback, Chad Scott 24th in 1997. While Scott was a fine player, the team passed on others that would have far more illustrious careers. Players like Tiki and Ronde Barber, Darren Sharper, or even just two cornerback selections later, All-Pro Sam Madison.

However, the worst Steelers pick at this spot would be when they selected one of the biggest busts in team history back in 1989 with their second of two first round draft choices selecting offensive tackle, Tom Ricketts. Ricketts would only last three seasons in Pittsburgh before he split from the organization. In those three seasons, Ricketts would start just 13 games. The Steelers have not made multiple first round picks in a draft since 1989.

The first 24th overall selection in team history was a pretty good one however. In 1973 the Steelers added Pro Bowl Cornerback J.T. Thomas. Thomas was the Yin to Mel Blount’s Yang for the ‘Steel Curtain’ defense. A four time Super Bowl champion and a steady force in the Steelers defensive backfield.

Looking at the 24th overall selection as a whole, you will see a number of All-Pro and Hall of Fame players that immediately jump off the page. Those include: Aaron Rodgers, Ed Reed, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, Dallas Clark and Craig ‘Iron-head’ Heyward. This goes to show that even MVP caliber talent can be found at 24, you just have to make the right pick.

Taking things one step further below is a list of the past ten 24th overall selections:

‘20 Cesar Ruiz, C, Saints
‘19 Josh Jacobs, RB Raiders
‘18 D.J. Moore, WR Panthers
‘17 Gareon Conley, CB Raiders
‘16 William Jackson III, CB Bengals
‘15 D. J. Humphries, OT Cardinals
‘14 Darqueze Dennard, CB Bengals
‘13 Björn Werner, DE Colts
‘12 David DeCastro, RG Steelers
‘11 Cameron Jordan, DE Saints

Since the Steelers drafted DeCastro in 2012 the 24th overall selection has been a bit of a mess, outside of Josh Jacobs. My biggest takeaway from looking up these names up were teams clearly drafted out of need and didn't go with the best player available. Which, considering some of the big time flops of the above names may prove the best player available approach is the best choice the Steelers could make.

But what do you think? Who should the Steelers drafted 24th overall? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.