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Is Steelers 2024 Draft Class Best Since 1974? One Ex-QB Thinks So



Former Steelers center Mike Webster.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Hanratty, who played on two of the Steelers’ Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1970s, gave the Steelers’ 2024 draft class a ringing endorsement. He thinks it might be the best draft haul since the legendary 1974 rookie class that produced five future Hall of Famers.

“I think it might be the best draft they’ve had since 1974. We’ll refresh our fans, the 1974 draft produced five Hall Of Famers. You got [Lynn] Swann, [Jack] Lambert, [John] Stallworth, [Mike] Webster, and Donnie Shell. The first four were selections, Shell was signed as a free agent. Obviously the backbone of our Super Bowl runs,” Hanratty said on his  Hanratty’s Huddle podcast.

The 1974 Steelers draft class is the greatest in the history of professional sports. Five Hall of Famers from a rookie class most likely will never happen again. For Hanratty to even mention this year’s class in the same breath as 1974 should definitely raise some eyebrows. On paper, the Steelers 2024 draft class was certainly impressive, but let’s just see how it plays out first.

The Steelers were one of four teams that received an A+ draft grade from Pro Football Focus in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is the second straight year that PFF has given the Steelers an A+ draft grade.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of four teams who received an A+ draft grade from Pro Football Focus in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is the second straight year that PFF has given the Steelers an A+ draft grade. It’s safe to say that Omar Khan and Andy Weidl know what they’re doing.

The Steelers’ selection of Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu at 20th overall was tabbed as “good” by PFF.

“There have been questions about whether Fautanu will play inside or outside in the NFL, but he may have landed at the most likely spot where he can play left tackle, his natural position. Fautanu ranked 15th on PFF’s final big board and fifth among all FBS tackles this past season in PFF pass-blocking grade (88.2),” they wrote.

Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus named the Steelers, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, New England Patriots quarterback Drake Maye, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson and the New York Giants secondary as Day 2 winners of the draft.

PFF categorized Frazier and Roman Wilson as “elite” picks.

“Frazier was a four-time state high school wrestling champion, and that background has led to great handwork and body control. His 84.6 PFF grade since 2021 ranks third among FBS centers, and he owns just a 2.27% pressure percentage allowed over the same span,” PFF wrote.

“Wilson was projected to be an early second-rounder. He is an effortless separator with great hands, as evidenced by his one drop on 67 targets and 90th-percentile separation percentage. He easily slots in as a replacement for Diontae Johnson to create explosive plays downfield.”

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks Payton Wilson would have been a first-round pick if it wasn’t for a lengthy injury history. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network also revealed that Wilson doesn’t have an ACL in one of his knees.

Despite the durability red flags, PFF thinks labeled Wilson as a “very good” pick.

“The news of Wilson not having an ACL in one knee explains the fall for a first-round talent. If it weren’t for that recent news, this would be an elite grade. Wilson’s grading profile was excellent in 2023, as he put up an 89.9 overall grade and a 90.4 coverage grade. If the lack of an ACL doesn’t prevent him from playing in the NFL, Wilson has everything a team would want in a linebacker: length, intelligence and athleticism. His health is the biggest question mark,” PFF wrote.