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Top 10 Greatest Steelers rookie running back seasons

Could the 2021 first round pick one day top this list?

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field.  Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the Steelers taking a running back with their first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, I've decided to take a look back into Steelers history at the ten greatest rushing seasons for Steelers rookies. I’m positive some of the names on this list will bring back some memories, as well as statistically surprise you.

In one years time the hope for any Steelers fan will be for Najee Harris to sit atop this list, and with 17 regular season games ahead of him, Harris has the inside track at doing just that.

Let’s get to the list...

10. Barry Foster

1990, Round 5, Pick 128
203 yards, 1 Touchdown

New York Jets v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

One of the biggest names on this list took some time to get his feet under him. While Foster didn't light the word on fire as a rookie, he would develop into a solid NFL running back and a notable Pittsburgh Steeler.

9. George Jones

1997, Round 5, Pick 155
235 yards, 1 Touchdown

Steelers v Oilers Jones

No, not the country music legend, Jones put up most of his career stats in what would be his lone season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones saw playing time primarily after injuries to Tim Lester.

8. Warren Williams

1988, Round 6, Pick 155
409 yards, 0 Touchdowns

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Jets Photo by T.G. Higgins/Allsport/Getty Images

Believe it or not, Williams was the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie of the year in 1988. He would go on to play five of his six year career in the Steel City.

7. Jaylen Samuels

2018, Round 5, Pick 128
455 Total yards, 3 Touchdowns

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

One of the first surprises of this list, Samuels had piled up some decent stats for himself in his inaugural season. His production has slipped with each passing year, but we will always have that game he dominated the Patriots in 2018.

6. Rich Erenberg

1984, Round 9, Pick 247
405 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Steelers Rich Erenberg Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Erenberg is another name who had his best season as a rookie. He would only play another two seasons, but never come close to his rookie year production.

5. Benny Snell Jr.

2019, Round 4, Pick 122
426 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Mr. Benny and the Jets himself cracks the midway point of the list. Snell piled up some stats after injuries to James Conner knocked him out of considerable playing time in 2019. Snell would take a step back in 2020, but is primed to be the Steelers backup running back this year.

4. Tim Worley

1989, Round 1, Pick 7
770 yards, 5 Touchdowns

Pittsburgh Steelers Tim Worley

Now we are getting into some players with some solid production. But, once again, another player who’s best career season came in his first year. Worley is a Georgia football legend and would play six years in his NFL career.

3. Bam Morris

1994, Round 3, Pick 91
836 yards, 7 Touchdowns


Once again, the very best season of a players career came in his rookie season. Bam Morris led the Steelers in rushing in Super Bowl XXX. He would only play two years in Pittsburgh before off field issues saw him kicked off the team.

2. Le’Veon Bell

2013, Round 2, Pick 48
860 yards, 8 Touchdowns, 399 Receiving yards

NFL: JAN 14 AFC Divisional Playoff Jaguars at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire

The prototype back for today’s NFL, Le’Veon Bell could do it all and was a true offensive weapon. Steelers fans knew they had something special in Bell from the moment he debuted. It may have ended on a sour note, but Bell was special during his Steelers tenure.

1. Franco Harris

1972, Round 1, Pick 13
1,055 yards, 10 Touchdowns

Rams v Steelers Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images

You knew it was coming, Franco Harris still holds every Steelers rookie rushing record. And, oh yeah, he made the franchise’s most iconic play as a rookie in the AFC’s divisional playoff game vs. the Oakland Raiders. Harris would have an iconic career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and to this day is still arguably the team’s greatest ever runner.

But what do you think? Who had the Pittsburgh Steelers greatest rookie rushing season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.