Steelers Sign First-Round Draft Pick Rashard Mendenhall

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Steelers Sign First-Round Draft Pick Rashard Mendenhall

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers have reached an agreement with their first-round pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, running back Rashard Mendenhall, the team announced today. This year is the fourth consecutive season the Steelers have signed their number one draft pick in time for the start of training camp.

Mendenhall (5-10, 225), who played at Illinois, signed a five-year contract with the team. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mendenhall was the first running back drafted by the Steelers in the first round in 19 seasons (Tim Worley, 1989).

Mendenhall rushed for 2,539 yards (6.5 avg.) and 22 touchdowns, and he caught 59 passes for 564 yards (9.6 avg.) and five scores in three seasons with the Fighting Illini. Mendenhall became the first Illinois player drafted by the Steelers since safety Bobby Dawson was selected in the 11th round of the 1988 NFL Draft.

Named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2007, Mendenhall was a Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award semifinalist. Last year, he set school records for rushing yards (1,681) and touchdowns (17).

All Steelers are scheduled to report for training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., on Sunday, July 27. The first scheduled practice is set for Monday, July 28.

Following is a list of the Steelers' first-round draft selections since 1987 and their signing dates:

Year          First-round Pick       Date Signed    Reporting Date

2008           Rashard Mendenhall   July 25             July 27

2007           Lawrence Timmons     July 23            July 23

2006           Santonio Holmes        July 28            July 28

2005           Heath Miller                July 31           July 31

2004           Ben Roethlisberger     Aug. 3            July 30

2003           Troy Polamalu            July 28           July 25

 2002          Kendall Simmons        July 25           July 24

2001           Casey Hampton          July 21          July 19

2000           Plaxico Burress           July 20          July 16

1999           Troy Edwards              July 22          July 29

1998           Alan Faneca                July 29          July 20

1997           Chad Scott                  July 15          July 14

1996           Jamain Stephens          July 17         July 15

1995           Mark Bruener               July 23         July 17

1994           Charles Johnson          July 21         July 15

1993           Deon Figures               July 20         July 16

1992           Leon Searcy                Aug. 3          July 17

1991           Huey Richardson         July 15          July 10

1990           Eric Green                  Sept. 8          July 18

1989           Tim Worley                 Aug. 20         July 19

                   Tom Ricketts             July 19          July 19

1988            Aaron Jones              July 15           July 17
      1987            Rod Woodson           Oct. 28            July 26

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