While this Draft and these selections were by no means flashy at the time, you could make a strong case that this was the deepest Draft in terms of talent that the Steelers put together during the 2000’s. In terms of the amount of starters acquired (6) and the volume of impact players, 2002 is somewhat of a looked-over gem in terms of recent Steelers Draft.
Heck, I almost included 5th round RB/FB Verron Haynes on this list. For those of you that remember, Haynes did a lot of dirty work on 3rd Downs and chipped in here and there as a runner for the Steelers. But since Haynes had nowhere near the impact as most the other six I mentioned before, and didn’t start at any point during his career in Pittsburgh, I didn’t include him on my list of starters from ’02, but his contribution to the Steelers should be noted. (2002’s 6th Round selection WR Lee Mays (11 catches) and other 7th Round selection CB Lavar Glover (Didn’t Make Team) made minimal to zero contributions to even warrant their inclusion on this list.)
Anyways, I’m you could argue that none of these guys from 2002 will be headed to Canton when their careers are over. (Maybe Harrison, but he started his career late and will likely be blackballed due to his salty nature with the press and those in the Commissioners’ Office). But you know what the ’02 Draft class had that many other Draft classes nowadays don’t? ’02’s Prospects gave the Steelers a solid mix of “glue” guys and impact players which have time and time again proved their worth and come up big during their tenures with the Black and Gold. Furthermore, the ’02 class a testament to the Coaching Staff of the Steelers over the years which has helped to develop these guys into solid professional players.
Will 2012’s Draft bring the Steelers 6 more future starters? Only time will ultimately tell. But in the mean time, let’s bask in the wonderment that is known as Kevin Colbert and the rest of the Steelers’ Front Office. There are few franchises which are as good as Pittsburgh in terms of working the Draft, and every April we need to tip our caps to the job these guys do year in an year out for our favorite football team.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/)
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