Bill Cowher had some excellent draft picks. His successor, who has the same Super Bowl record in far fewer seasons, has had some great ones, himself. This is my take on what would be the best 22-player starting lineup made entirely of Mike Tomlin's draft picks.
Quarterback: Dennis Dixon (2008, 5:156)
Dixon didn't see the field often, but when he did, he flashed the athleticism that drew the eyes of the front office. He was, however, never more than a backup.
Running Back: Le'Veon Bell (2014, 2:48)
In just two seasons, Bell has already broken team records. He has already earned a Pro Bowl berth and an All-Pro selection, four annual league awards and two team awards. He was the 2014 AFC Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
Fullback: Will Johnson (2012, UDFA)
Tomlin's offensive coordinators don't often use a fullback, but when they do, Johnson rewards them. He is also a capable receiver.
Wide Receiver (2): Antonio Brown (2010, 6:195), Mike Wallace (2009, 3:84)
Little needs to be said about Brown. In five seasons he has been a two-time team MVP, a three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time All-Pro and was the 2014 AFC Co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Bell. He led the NFL in receptions and yards in 2014.
Wallace was emerging before he and the team could not agree on a contract. He left the team after four years, but his best years came in Pittsburgh in 20011-12. He has been selected to a Pro Bowl.
Tight End: Matt Spaeth (2007, 3:77)
Spaeth has been unspectactular as a receiver, but he does his job. He is, however, a very good blocker, which is what the team asks of him most.
Center: Maurkice Pouncey (2010, 1:18)
Pouncey was a fan favorite from his first snap. He was named a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro four times each, including his rookie year.
Guard (2): David DeCastro (2012, 1:24), Ramon Foster (2009, UDFA)
DeCastro fell behind the curve a little when an injury nearly wiped out his entire rookie season. He has come back and become a very good guard, bordering on excellent.
Foster went from undrafted to starter after the departures of Chris Kemoeatu and Doug Legursky, and has performed admirably well.
Tackle (2): Kelvin Beachum (2012, 7:248), Marcus Gilbert (2011, 2:63)
Beachum went from nearly undrafted to one of the top half of all starting left tackles in a two-year period. While far from prototypical for the position, he is exceptionally intelligent and technically sound.
Gilbert hasn't been great, but he's been above average. That's been enough.
Nose Tackle: Steve McLendon (UDFA, 2009)
Big Mac is a different type of player than Casey Hampton, who he replaced in 2013. "Different" doesn't mean "worse." He plays a different style, and does it well. That's okay, Big Snack fans.
Defensive End (2): Cameron Heyward (2011, 1:31), Stephon Tuitt (2014, 2:46)
Heyward has emerged as the defacto leader of the defense and a complete terror on the field. Tuitt is just getting his feet wet, but looks promising.
Outside Linebacker (2): LaMarr Woodley (2007, 2:46), Jason Worilds (2010, 2:52)
Woodley far outplayed his first contract, but injuries ended his time in Pittsburgh after signing an extension. Worilds was never great, but always seemed to be on the cusp of breaking through.
Inside Linebacker (2): Lawrence Timmons (2007, 1:15), Vince Williams (2013, 6:206)
Timmons was one of the two best inside linebackers for several years along with former 49er Patrick Willis. He seems to get better every year and finally made the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team in 2014.
Williams has competition in Sean Spence and Ryan Shazier, but right now Williams is the second-best inside 'backer drafted by Tomlin. He started 11 games in place of Larry Foote in 2013 and twice for Shazier in 2014.
Cornerback: (2): William Gay (2007, 5:170), Keenan Lewis (2009. 3:96)
Gay has quietly become the Steelers' best corner. He returned all three of his 2014 interceptions for touchdowns.
Lewis didn't emerge until 2012, his final year in Pittsburgh. But he was very good that year, and has gone on to play well in New Orleans.
Safety (2): Ryan Mundy (6:194), Shamarko Thomas (2013, 4:111)
These guys are here largely by default, because Tomlin has only drafted two safeties. There have been some UDFAs -- Robert Golden shows promise. But Mundy was solid if unspectacular for several years, filling in well as needed. Thomas is a very good special teams player who has not yet started -- but that's a hard thing to do when you are behind future Hall-of-Famer Troy Polamalu on the depth chart. Thomas has been penciled in as the starting strong safety for 2015.