Elbie Nickel | Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers.com

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PERSONAL INFORMATION
Position Tight End
College Cincinnati
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CAREER HISTORY
1947 - 1957 Tight End, Pittsburgh Steelers
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CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Pro Bowl 1952, 1953, 1956
Hall of Honor 2019

It wasn’t called tight end when he played it, but Elbie Nickel still played tight end better than anybody in Steelers’ history not named Heath Miller. Nickel, drafted in the 15th round in 1947, finished his career with 329 receptions for 5,131 yards, both of which still are seventh on the team’s all-time lists. He also hauled in 37 career touchdowns, which is the eighth-highest total in team history. Nickel led the NFL in yards per catch with a 24.3 average in 1949, but his best season was in 1952 when he posted 55 receptions for 884 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which were Steelers’ records at the time. In that 1952 season, the Steelers as a team completed 167 passes for 2,504 yards and 21 touchdowns, which means Nickel caught 32.9 percent of the passes for 35 percent of the receiving yards for 42.9 percent of the receiving touchdowns. Nickel finished in the top 10 in the NFL in receptions in both 1952 (second) and 1953 (third); in the top 10 in the NFL in receiving yards in 1949 (eighth), 1952 (sixth), and 1953 (seventh); and in the top 10 in the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 1952 (fourth) and 1956 (seventh).