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Looking back at the best combine results of Steelers draft picks

After seeing the numbers put up at last week’s NFL Scouting Combine, how do they compare to previous Steelers draft picks?

Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books. With a plethora of numbers from various positions and drills being thrown out there, sometimes it’s difficult to gauge exactly how great a performance is for a given drill.

In order to help put any numbers in perspective, which Steelers fans could come across in the coming days, here is a reminder of the best combine results from players drafted by the Steelers since the year 2000. While this puts all of these draft choices in the Kevin Colbert era, the biggest reason it is the cut off date is because it is as far back the data from Pro Football Reference goes.

While some might have preferred to have this information before the scouting combine began, others don’t pay attention to the numbers until all the information has been gathered. Therefore, here it is in case you were curious.

Here are the top five performances by players drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in each of the six drills, as reported by Pro Football Reference. Included with each player will be the year they were drafted and which round they were selected by the Steelers.

40-yard Dash

Dri Archer (2014, 3rd round) 4.26 sec
Mike Wallace (2009, 3rd round) 4.33 sec
Willie Reid (2006, 3rd round) 4.34 sec
Santonio Holmes (2006, 1st round) 4.35 sec
Chris Rainey (2012, 5th round) 4.36 sec

Vertical Jump

Bud Dupree (2015, 1st round) 42.0 in.
Ryan Shazier (2014, 1st round) 42.0 in.
Terrell Edmunds (2018, 1st round) 41.5 in.
Sammie Coates (2015, 3rd round) 41.0 in.
Anthony Smith (2006, 3rd round) 41.0 in.

Bench Press

Almeda Ta’amu (2012, 4th round) 35 reps
David DeCastro (2012, 1st round) 34 reps
Ziggy Hood (2009, 1st round) 34 reps
Cameron Stevenson (2007, 5th round) 34 reps
Casey Hampton (2001, 1st round) 34 reps

Broad Jump

Bud Dupree (2015, 1st round) 138 in.
Justin Layne (2019, 3rd round) 134 in.
Terrell Edmunds (2018, 1st round) 134 in.
Shamarko Thomas (2014, 4th round) 133 in.
Sammie Coates (2015, 3rd round) 131 in.

3-Cone Drill

Chris Rainey (2012, 5th round) 6.50 sec
Curtis Brown (2011, 3rd round) 6.59 sec
Terrence Frederick (2012, 7th round) 6.59 sec
Emmanuel Sanders (2010, 3rd round) 6.64 sec
Sean Davis (2016, 2nd round) 6.64 sec
Brian Allen (2017, 5th round) 6.64 sec

20-yard Shuttle

Chris Rainey (2012, 5th round) 3.93 sec
Chris Taylor (2001, 7th round) 3.93 sec
Rian Wallace (2005, 5th round) 3.94 sec
Noah Herron (2005, 7th round) 3.97 sec
Sean Davis (2016, 2nd round) 3.97 sec

So there are the numbers for the players drafted by the Steelers and how they did in the combine. As you can see, the careers of these players are all over the place. For many of the top-round players who did well in the NFL, their good combine numbers seem to back up where they were drafted. As for the middle round players, they were very hit or miss as to whether or not they were able to stick in the NFL with most of them not having a significant careers with the Steelers. As for the late round draft picks, it’s no surprise they were taken on a flyer based on putting up some impressive numbers.

The player who appeared the most on this list was 2012 5th Round draft pick Chris Rainey. Landing in the top five in 40-yard dash time, Rainey has the best time in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle of any Steelers player drafted in the last 20 years. In case you don’t recall Rainey’s NFL career, he lasted one unimpressive NFL season before legal troubles had him released by the Steelers. Picked up for two games by the Indianapolis Colts, Rainey’s entire career spanned 18 games and less than 400 snaps.

So while the NFL Scouting Combine does tell us certain things about players, there’s only so much in which the numbers can say. For the most part, the combine results help to affirm thoughts already held on a player. But now with the combine is finished, seeing the top scores of Steelers players since 2000 simply helps put the 2022 Scouting Combine in perspective.