draft_category-logo_horizontal_180x24

Those who shined in the second round

When it comes to the NFL Draft, there is no doubt the first round is the one everyone gets the most excited about, everyone expects the biggest splash from.

But by no means do the stars only emerge in Round 1. Not by a longshot. There are stars throughout the NFL Draft, and for the Steelers, the second round has been one where gems have come fast and furious.

Throughout the team's history there are five second-round draft picks who have emerged as Pro Football Hall of Famers, including Ernie Stautner, John Henry Johnson, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Dermontti Dawson.

They aren't the only ones, though, who have shined as second-round picks, as this breakdown of some of the best throughout the years highlights.

Ernie Stautner – Stautner, who was selected in 1950, was the first of the second-round picks who made an impact. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1969. Stautner was the first Steelers player to have his jersey retired when his No. 70 was retired by the team in 1964. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and was a first-team All-Pro selection once, and second team four times.

John Henry Johnson – Johnson, who was drafted in 1953, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1987. He began his career in the Canadian Football League before ending up with the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions, before returning to the Steelers in 1960. He finished his Steelers days with 4,381 yards and three Pro Bowl selections.

Roy Jefferson – Jefferson was selected in 1965, the only pick the Steelers had in the first six rounds after Coach Buddy Parker traded away five of the top six selections. Jefferson spent five seasons with the Steelers, catching 199 passes for 3,671 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was named first-team All-Pro in 1969 but was traded to Baltimore the following year.

draft history 2nd rd thumb

Jack Ham – Ham, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1988, was selected in 1971 and spent his entire 12-year career in the black and gold. Ham was named the Football News Defensive Player of the Year in 1975 and was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls. He was named All-Pro six times and All-AFC seven times. The intelligent linebacker had 32 interceptions and 21 fumble recoveries and played on four Super Bowl teams.

Jack Lambert – Lambert was the second-round pick in the legendary 1974 Draft that brought four Hall of Famers to the Steelers. Lambert was one of the most intimidating players in the NFL from Day 1 and earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1974 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976. During his career he had 45 takeaways, including 28 interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries, while the four-time Super Bowl champ was a six-time first-team All-Pro selection and nine-time Pro Bowl selection.

Gerald Williams – Taken in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft, Williams spent seven seasons as the Steelers starting nose tackle. He was a steady force on the line, finishing his career with 24.5 sacks, including a single season high of six sacks in 1990.

Dermontti Dawson – Dawson, who was selected in the 1988 NFL Draft, is the fifth of the five Hall of Famers taken in the second round. Dawson, who was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012, was drafted as a potential replacement for fellow Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. And what a replacement he was. Dawson was named first-team All-Pro six times, was voted to seven Pro Bowls and started 181 games for the Steelers, 176 of them at center.

Carnell Lake – Lake, who was selected in the 1989 NFL Draft, was a safety who actually moved to cornerback later in his career when the Steelers needed help in the secondary. Lake played 10 seasons with the Steelers, finishing with 21.5 sacks, 16 interceptions, 15 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries. Lake was named first-team All-Pro in 1997 and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Levon Kirkland – Kirkland, who was selected in the 1992 NFL Draft, moved into the starting lineup in 1993 at linebacker and didn't miss a start from 1995-2000. He finished his career with 18.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions, and eight fumble recoveries. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1997 and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

Marvel Smith – Taken in the 2000 NFL Draft, Smith started nine games his rookie season at right tackle and pretty much stayed on the field his entire career. Smith started 108 games, playing both left and right tackle, during his nine seasons and was a member of two Super Bowl teams.

Antwaan Randle El – Selected in 2002, Randle El became a highlight reel for the Steelers as a big-play receiver, who also had the ability to be an option quarterback in the offense. And it didn't stop there as he was a key for the Steelers special teams return game. He played four seasons for the black and gold, from 2002-05 and then returned for the 2010 season. His most memorable moment came in Super Bowl XL when he threw a touchdown pass to Hines Ward to clinch the win.

LaMarr Woodley – Woodley was selected in the 2007 NFL Draft and spent seven seasons with the Steelers. He started 81 of the 94 games he played during the regular season as well as seven of eight postseason games. Woodley was named to the Pro Bowl and selected second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press in 2009. Woodley recorded 355 tackles, five interceptions, nine forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 57 sacks. Woodley registered 36 tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the postseason. His most well-known sack came in Super Bowl XLIII when he had a strip-sack that Brett Keisel recovered to seal the win.

Le'Veon Bell - Bell, taken in the 2013 NFL Draft, carried the ground game after he arrived in Pittsburgh. In five seasons he rushed for 5,336 yards, with 36 touchdowns, and caught 312 passes for 2,660 yards and seven touchdowns. Bell eclipsed the 1,200-yard rushing mark for the third time in his career in 2017, and for the second consecutive year. He is the third Steelers running back to record 1,200 rushing yards in consecutive seasons, joining Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis with that distinction. He also surpassed 1,800 yards from scrimmage twice, the first player in team history to do so in consecutive seasons.

JuJu Smith-Schuster – Taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster has been a bright spot for the receiving game from the time he put the black and gold on. He received the "Joe Greene Great Performance Award," given annually to the Steelers top rookie. He played in 14 games, starting seven, and finished the season with 58 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. He took it to the next level his second season, winning the Steelers Most Valuable Player Award, voted on by his teammates.

Related Content

Advertising