CBS Sports: Steelers Find Boomin' Business in Their Best Draft Class Since 2000
For a team that is built primarily from draft picks and not free agent signings, picking the best draft class over the last 20 years is no simple task.
Like all challenges, though, someone had to pick and CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo did so by choosing the best draft since 2000 for all 32 NFL teams. And with the Steelers pick, he chose one that brought some boomin' business to Pittsburgh.
The selection for the Steelers' best draft class over the last 20 years was 2010. A year when the team selected Maurkice Pouncey with their first-round pick and found Antonio Brown in the sixth-round, Pittsburgh walked away with three Pro Bowlers and a linebacker that had plenty left in the tank when he walked away.
2010 Draft Class:
- First-Round, Pick 18: Maurkice Pouncey, C
- Second-Round, Pick 52: Jason Worilds, Edge
- Third-Round, Pick 82: Emmanuel Sanders, WR
- Fourth-Round, Pick 116: Thaddeus Gibson, DE
- Fifth-Round, Pick 151: Chris Scott, G
- Fifth-Round, Pick 164: Crezdon Butler, DB
- Fifth-Round, Pick 166: Stevenson Sylvester, LB
- Sixth-Round, Pick 188: Jonathan Dwyer, RB
- Sixth-Round, Pick 195: Antonio Brown, WR
- Seventh-Round, Pick 242: Doug Washington, DT
DeArdo wrote that the Steelers' draft class not only added two potential Hall of Famers, but there were four players that did, or could have, made a healthy career for themselves.
Pittsburgh's 2010 draft produced two potential Hall of Fame talents, a two-time Pro Bowler and a solid defender. Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers' first-round pick that spring, is an eight-time Pro Bowler and member of the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team. Seventh-round pick Antonio Brown, a fellow member of the 2010 All-Decade Team, led all NFL receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns from 2013-18.
Third-round pick Emmanuel Sanders blossomed into a Pro Bowl level player for the Broncos, while second-round pick Jason Worilds recorded 25.5 sacks in five seasons before calling it quits after the 2014 season.
Pouncey has earned eight Pro Bowls, two First-Team All-Pros, and three Second-Team All-Pros while being selected for the NFL's 2010 All-Decade team.
Sanders is a two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro, 2013 Second-Team All-Pro, is also a member of the 2010 All-Decade team, and has led the NFL in receiving yard and receptions twice, and receiving touchdowns once.
Worilds didn't start a full season until his final year in the league in 2014. During his last two years before retirement, he added 15.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss to his resume.
He retired after five seasons after choosing to pursue other interests instead of signing a new deal in free agency.