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 third round. The following are the top five players since the 1970 merger based on their time with Pittsburgh even though they were a third-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: Only the players were selected to the Pro Bowl or All-Pro will have it listed.)
After two lists that didn’t set the world on fire, the forth rounders see a significant jump.
5. Mewelde Moore
Draft: Pick 119 in 2004 (Minnesota Vikings)
Years with Steelers: 2008-2010
Super Bowls: 1
In his first season with the Steelers in 2008 after signing as a free agent, Mewelde Moore had the opportunity to start four games after injuries to Rashard Mendenhall and Willie Parker. Rushing for 588 yards on 140 carries with five touchdowns his first season, Moore did not see these totals over the next three seasons combined. In his four seasons in Pittsburgh, Moore had 230 rushing attempts for 962 yards and five touchdowns as well as 98 receptions for 782 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Moore also had a touchdown pass during the 2009 season.
4. Will Allen
Draft: Pick 111 in 2004 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Years with Steelers: 2010-2015
Super Bowls: 0
After playing six seasons in Tampa Bay where he was a special teams captain, Will Allen signed with the Steelers in 2010 where he played three seasons. Signing with the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, Allen was released in October after five games but landed back with the Steelers for the final 12 games of the season. Allen played two more years in Pittsburgh for six total seasons. In Pittsburgh, Allen had 172 tackles, 4.0 sacks, five forced fumbles, 12 passes defensed, and two interceptions.
3. Tyrone Carter
Draft: Pick 118 in 2000 (Minnesota Vikings)
Years with Steelers: 2004-2009
Super Bowls: 2
After four years with the Vikings and one with the New York Jets, Tyrone Carter was a salary cap casualty and was not with a team to start the 2004 season. Carter signed with the Steelers in October 2004 and appeared in nine games. In six seasons and Pittsburgh, Carter started 22 regular season games of the 89 in which he appeared. Carter had 227 tackles, seven forced fumbles, 16 passes defensed, and six interceptions with two of them being returned for touchdowns. Carter started 12 games his final season in Pittsburgh in 2009 and both interceptions that season came in Denver when he filled in for Ryan Clark who was withheld from the game for medical reasons. Carter earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Broncos.
2. Roy Gerela
Draft: Pick 96 in 1969 (Houston Oilers)
Years with Steelers: 1971-1978
Pro Bowls: 2
Super Bowls: 3
After kicking two years for the Houston Oilers. Roy Gerela joined the Steelers in 1971. Gerela had Pro Bowl seasons in 1972 and 1974 where he was also second team All-Pro in both years. Kicking in three Super Bowls for the Steelers, Gerela appeared in 114 regular season games where he converted 293 of 306 extra points and 146 of 227 field goals. Kicking a different age in the NFL, Gerela did not connect on any of his eight field goal attempts of more than 50 yards and was 26 of 57 from the 40–49-yard range during the regular season.
1. Yancy Thigpen
Draft: Pick 90 in 1991 (San Diego Chargers)
Years with Steelers: 1992-1997
Pro Bowls: 2
Super Bowls: 0
Selected by the Chargers in the fourth round out of Winston-Salem State, Nancy Thigpen only appeared in four games his rookie year with no targets as he spent some of the season on the practice squad. Landing in Pittsburgh in 1992, Thigpen only had one reception for 2 yards his first season in Pittsburgh which increased to nine receptions for 154 yards and three touchdowns in 1993. Thigpen was more utilized in 94, but had a breakout year in 1995 where he started every game and had 1,307 yards on 85 receptions and five touchdowns and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Thigpen’s other 1,000-yard receiving season came in the other year he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1997 where he had 1,398 receiving yards on 79 receptions and seven touchdowns. Thigpen took this big season and turned it into a huge contract with the Tennessee Oilers but never reached the same level he had in Pittsburgh. In his six seasons with the Steelers, Thigpen appeared in 77 games with 39 starts where he had 222 receptions for 3,651 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns.
Those are the top five players for the Steelers who were drafted in the fourth 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.