Another in a series examining the best of 81 seasons worth of Steelers’ draft picks, designated by round. Today’s installment looks at the history of Round 6:
1948 – JERRY SHIPKEY: A case can be made that Shipkey began the franchise’s legacy of great linebacker play, because he was a two-time first-team All-Pro and was voted to play in the first three Pro Bowls, and he also played fullback on offense. In his four Steelers seasons, Shipkey scored 16 touchdowns on offense and accounted for 22 takeaways – 13 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries – on defense.
1976 – GARY DUNN: By the time the Steelers picked Gary Dunn, the original Steel Curtain was showing signs of rust, what with Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood both being seven-year veterans. Dunn, a defensive tackle and then a nose tackle when the Steelers switched to a 3-4, led the team in sacks in 1981 and tied for the lead in 1982, and he finished his career with 35.5. Two Super Bowl rings.
1980 – TUNCH ILKIN: A center when he was drafted out of Indiana State, Ilkin became a tackle because of the presence of Mike Webster in the starting lineup. A full-time starter by 1983, Ilkin played both left tackle and right tackle, and he finished with 143 starts during his 13 seasons with the Steelers. A two-time Pro Bowl selection.
1982 – BRYAN HINKLE: Just because he never made the Pro Bowl, don’t let that taint what was a very good 12-year career as an outside linebacker with the Steelers. In the eight-season span from 1984-91, Hinkle started 113 games and contributed 21.5 sacks and 26 takeaways – 15 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries – while scoring three defensive touchdowns.
1988 – GREG LLOYD: In the course of franchise history, there have been players who personified the attitude that is Steelers football. Greg Lloyd was one of those players. During his career here as an outside linebacker, Lloyd played in 131 games and started 125, and in those he recorded 53.5 sacks and 25 takeaways – 10 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries. He was voted to five Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro three times.
2010 – ANTONIO BROWN: Still in the infancy of his career, Brown already has established himself as the team’s No. 1 receiver. Brown has two 1,000-yard receiving seasons, and one of his two trips to the Pro Bowl has been because of his return abilities. In his four seasons to date, Brown has 261 catches for 3,561 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also has two touchdowns on punt returns and another on kickoff returns.
In the accompanying video, Bob Labriola and Mike Prisuta each make a case for their top player from this particular group. Labriola picks Lloyd, while Prisuta gives the nod to Brown.
NEXT: Round 5