The Steelers struck gold with both a linebacker drafted in the second round and with a center drafted in the first round
In the second round of the 2001 draft, the Steelers selected an athletic linebacker out of Georgia. That linebacker, Kendrell Bell, would not only start in his rookie season, he started every game en route to not only a Pro Bowl season but a Defensive Rookie of the Year season.
Bell recorded 9 sacks and 23 TFLs (tackles for loss) in his rookie campaign. It was looking good for the Steelers in terms of solidifying the ILB position. Unfortunately, Bell was never able to replicate his spectacular rookie season.
Over the next three seasons, Bell would play all 16 games only once. He played in 3 games in his final season as a Steeler. Had Bell been able to maintain the production that garnered him the Defensive Rookie of the Year, he may have gone down as one of the best linebackers in Steelers history.
Next up on the list is Maurkice Pouncey, who was drafted out of Florida in the first round of the 2010 draft. Like Bell, Pouncey started every game in his rookie season and was named to the Pro Bowl. Unlike Bell, Pouncey has been able to replicate his Pro Bowl-caliber rookie season.
Pouncey has been named to 8 Pro Bowls, 5 of them consecutively, and has been voted All-Pro twice. He has played in 121 games for the Steelers, starting in all of them. He anchors what is, in my opinion, one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. If Pouncey can maintain the pace of Pro Bowl nominations, he may find himself joining two other Hall of Fame centers who played for us.
Let’s take a look at the player who landed at the second spot on this list.