The Steelers found some late-round ‘gems’ at Defensive Tackle and at Free Safety
Arguably the best 8th round pick in Steelers history was Ernie Holmes, the ‘other’ DT on the famed Steel Curtain defense. Drafted in 1971 out of Texas Southern, Holmes was a 2-time Super Bowl champ and an invaluable member of the aforementioned Super Bowl teams. To me, Holmes did not get the recognition he deserved.
Another late-round ‘steal’ was Darren Perry, a FS drafted in the 8th round of the 1992 draft. Perry played in 110 games for the Steelers and started every one of them. Think about that for a minute. Perry started every game in which he played for us. That’s incredible. Perry had 32 INTs, 8 fumble recoveries, and 2.5 sacks. Not too bad for an 8th round pick.
The 9th round of the NFL draft was not too kind to the Steelers, in my opinion. We seemed to have better luck before and after the 9th round, but there were a couple of players of note who were drafted in that round.
Rich Erenberg, a RB drafted out of Colgate in the 1984 draft, played 3 seasons for us, starting in 9 out of 46 games. Erenberg gained 642 yards on 174 rush attempts. He also scored 3 rushing TDs. In the receiving department, Erenberg had 98 receptions for 901 yards and added 7 receiving TDs.
Gary Jones, a DB drafted in the 1990 draft out of Texas A&M, played 4 seasons for us. Jones played in 52 games, starting 4 of them and nabbed 4 INTs in his Steelers career.
Let’s wrap up this particular discussion.