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Steelers Have Drafted Most Pro Bowlers in Rounds 2-3 Since 2000

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Steelers WR Diontae Johnson

The Pittsburgh Steelers have drafted more pro bowlers in rounds two and three since 2000 than any other team in the NFL according to Daniel Valente of The Score. According to him, the Steelers have drafted 11 pro bowlers while the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals follow closely behind with 10 pro bowlers drafted.

Linebackers and wide receivers are the two positions that stand out in terms of success drafting that the Steelers have had in the second and third round. Three of the 11 players that Valente refers to are wide receivers in Mike Wallace (Pro Bowl – 2011), Juju Smith-Schuster (Pro Bowl -2018) and Diontae Johnson (Pro Bowl – 2021). Wallace and Johnson were both third-round picks in 2009 and 2019 while Smith-Schuster was a second-round pick in 2017.

As for linebackers, perhaps the most notable one is Lamar Woodley who was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Steelers and was among the Pro Bowlers in 2009. That season, he had a career-high 13.5 sacks and led the NFL with 20 tackles for loss en route to a Super Bowl victory with the Steelers.

Running back is another position of success for the Steelers in these rounds as they have two Pro Bowlers, both taken within the last ten years, from that position that were drafted on day two. 2013 second-round pick Le’Veon Bell made three Pro Bowls with the Steelers in 2014, 2016 and 2017 while 2017 third-round pick James Conner made the Pro Bowl when he replaced Bell during the 2018 NFL season.

Not considered by Valente, but almost making his cut-off were linebackers Jason Gildon and Joey Porter. Gildon was a third-round pick of the Steelers in 1993 and spent 10 years in Pittsburgh. He peaked towards the end of his career when he made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2000-03. Porter was a third-round pick in 2000 and made four Pro Bowls in his career. He was a Pro Bowler with the Steelers in 2002, 2004 and 2005. He later made the 2008 Pro Bowl with the Miami Dolphins.

The Steelers are hoping to replicate that type of success with, at least, the wide receiver position in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Steelers are still in need of wide receiver help after losing Smith-Schuster, Ray-Ray McCloud and former second round pick James Washington in free agency.

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