The Pittsburgh Steelers have had many great players in their history. When looking specifically at draft picks, there are many who have made a huge impact on the team. Some of those players, although selected in various rounds, were not picks of the Pittsburgh Steelers but we’re acquired either by trade or through free agency.
After looking at the best players to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers as first-round draft picks that were selected by another franchise, it was requested to keep going into other rounds. For this reason, it’s time to now look at the second round. The following are the top five players since the 1970 merger based on their time with Pittsburgh even though they were a second-round pick of another team. Rather than rely completely on my own personal opinion, I took into consideration Pro Football Reference’s approximate value (AV) along Super Bowl victories from their time with the Steelers. (Note: None of the players were selected to the Pro Bowl or All-Pro)
5. Mike Logan
Draft: Pick 50 in 1997 (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Years with Steelers: 2001-2006
Super Bowls: 1
After spending his first four seasons in Jacksonville as their second-round pick in 1997, strong safety Michael Logan came home to his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers as he was a graduate of McKeesport Area High School and played collegiately for West Virginia. Although he played six years in Pittsburgh, it was mainly his 2003 season which put him on the list where he had 94 tackles, 1.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and five passes defensed. The 2004 season saw Troy Polamalu moving into the starting lineup and Logan only appeared in three games before going on IR. No longer a regular starter, Logan appeared in 24 games over his final two seasons with one start and 38 tackles.
4. Courtney Hawkins
Draft: Pick 44 in 1992 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Years with Steelers: 1997-2000
Super Bowls: 0
After five seasons in Tampa Bay, Courtney Hawkins signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last four seasons of his NFL career. Appearing in 54 games with 33 starts, Hawkins had 160 receptions on 275 targets for 1,829 yards and five touchdowns while with the Steelers. Hawkins best season in terms of touchdowns came in his first year in Pittsburgh where he had three touchdowns but his best yardage season came the next year in 1998 where he had 751 yards and was targeted over 100 times. Hawkins is currently the wide receivers coach at Michigan State University.
3. Mike Mitchell
Draft: Pick 47 in 2009 (Oakland Raiders)
Years with Steelers: 2014-2017
Super Bowls: 0
A very much a “love him or hate him” player, Mike Mitchell landed in Pittsburgh in 2014 after four seasons in Oakland and one in Carolina. Starting all 61 games in which he appeared, Mitchell had 281 tackles, four forced fumbles, four interceptions, and 23 passes defensed while in Pittsburgh.
2. Donald Evans
Draft: Pick 47 in 1987 (Los Angeles Rams)
Years with Steelers: 1990-1993
Super Bowls: 0
The highest player ever drafted out of Winston Salem State, Donald Evans had a very interesting career path. After being drafted by the Rams in the second round as a running back, Evans only appeared in one game where he had three attempts for 10 yards. The next season saw Evans on the defensive line of the Philadelphia Eagles where he appeared in five games with no statistics. With the Steelers in the 1990 season, Evan started all 16 games and had 26 tackles and three fumble recoveries as well as 3.0 sacks. In his four seasons in Pittsburgh, Evans appeared in all 64 games with 62 starts, 233 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and six fumble recoveries.
1. Ray Mansfield
Draft: Pick 18 in 1963 (Philadelphia Eagles)
Years with Steelers: 1964-1976
Super Bowls: 2
I don’t know if this is against the rules or not, but there’s no way I was leaving Ray Mansfield off of this list. Yes, he was drafted before 1970, but Mansfield‘s contributions with the Steelers just from 1970 on landed him with a 43 AV and the easy choice for the top of the list. But playing with the Steelers starting in 1964, Mansfield’s AV during his 13 years in Pittsburgh was 74. Mansfield only played one season with the Eagles before being traded to the Steelers for cash in a year where Philadelphia was purging all kinds of talent due to having a new head coach. Playing his first two seasons on the defensive line, Mansfield switched to center in 1966 and never looked back. A two-time Super Bowl champion as the Steelers starting center before Mike Webster, Mansfield appeared in 182 games with 152 starts.
Those are the top five players for the Steelers who were drafted in the second round of the NFL draft but were selected by another team and acquired later by Pittsburgh. So how does the list look? Were the players placed in the proper order? Was there anyone else who should have been on the list? Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below.