Steelers: great QB vs. great receivers

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Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have had a history of drafting outstanding wide receivers. Especially in later rounds of the NFL draft. The tradition has continued at least as recently as the 2014 draft.

Are the receivers really that good or are they aided by the excellence of their quarterback?

This consideration comes two weeks after Antonio Brown set several Steeler records against the Raiders, and a week after Martavis Bryant had a career day against the Browns.

Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Brown, and Bryant are the recent wide receivers that have enjoyed success in the Steelers’ offense.

Of those listed above, only Santonio Holmes was drafted in the first round. All but Ward displayed premier athleticism in pre-draft scouting. While Ward was an all-around athlete, he was never characterized by raw speed or deft quickness.

Ward, Sanders, and Wallace were chosen in the third round, Bryant in the fourth, and Brown in the sixth.

So why are these late-round receivers having so much success with the Steelers? In a time when high round picks like Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones dominate the conversation of best receiver, the Steelers have had success in the late rounds finding productive and, at times, dominant receivers.

So, what gives? Is the Steelers front office just that good at drafting wide receivers? The case of Mike Wallace might be an indication, one way or the other.

Next: The cases of Mike Wallace and Santonio Holmes