It was on this day, April 24, 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a decision that would change the course of the franchise for the next two decades. It was a decision many could argue will go down as the second best decision in the history of the franchise, likely only behind the drafting of “Mean” Joe Greene.
On April 24th, 2004, the Steelers drafted Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Roethlisberger was drafted after Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, who both also embarked on successful NFL careers that may wind up with them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Big Ben was a Miami of Ohio product coming off college, but a relative unknown quarterback to a national audience due to playing in the Mid-American Conference. His size and arm strength were what made scouts believe he was worth a top 15 pick.
Roethlisberger, who is slated to return for his 18th NFL season, has a résumé that ranks him, not only a lock for Canton, but in the conversation among some of the best to ever play. While Roethlisberger may be overshadowed in his era by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, there’s a legitimate debate that he stands as the greatest quarterback in Steelers history. Yes, even over Terry Bradshaw.
Statistically, Roethlisberger currently has thrown for 60,348 career passing yards, 396 touchdown passes, owns a completion percentage of 64% and has 201 interceptions. More importantly in the eyes of most fans, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XL and XLIII.
Where does the draft pick of Ben Roethlisberger rank among some other all-time great Steelers picks?