The Steelers drafted a Running Back in the first round of the 1982 draft who never had a thousand-yard season
I realize that 1,000 yard rushing seasons are not the ‘be-all and end-all’ of being a RB in the NFL, but, in 1982, the Steelers were still very much a run-oriented team. When we selected a RB with the 12th pick in the 1982 draft, I can only assume that the Steelers assumed that he would be more productive than he was.
With that 12th pick, we selected Walter Abercrombie, RB out of Baylor. It should be noted that with the 10th pick, the then Loss Angeles Raiders selected Marcus Allen, who would go on to have a Hall of Fame career. I don’t know about you but I would have opted for Allen, even if it meant trading a future draft pick.
Obviously, I was not present in the ‘war room’ on draft day, so I have no idea whether or not the Steelers tried to trade up, but it’s neither here nor there now. For his six-year Steelers career, Abercrombie started 64 out of 79 games in which he played, had 842 rushing attempts for 3,343 yards, scored 22 rushing TDs, caught 138 passes for 1,353 yards and added 7 receiving TDs.
What’s disappointing here is the fact that a RB who ostensibly was drafted to replace Franco Harris was never able to muster a 1,000-yard rushing season. As I stated earlier, the Steelers in 1982 were still a ‘run-first’ team. For a starting RB to not have a single 1,000-yard season is dubious at best.
Let’s continue our discussion.