10 all-time greatest Pittsburgh Steelers second-round picks in the NFL Draft

Oct 1, 1961; Los Angeles, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Ernie Stautner (70)
Oct 1, 1961; Los Angeles, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Ernie Stautner (70) / David Boss-USA TODAY Sports
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#3 Ernie Stautner, DT/DE

Believe it or not, Ernie Stautner was a 2nd round pick between 1950 and played 14 seasons until 1963, and was one the first Steelers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the only Steelers player to have his Jersy number retired until they finally retired Joe Greene’s number.

Stautner played in 173 games for the Steelers, starting in 143. He played three positions, something unheard of in the modern NFL; he played defensive tackle and defensive end and, in 1955, spent the season playing right guard. It’s hard to give you a perspective of how good he was as most defensive stats to help you gauge that were not official stats in his playing days. He did have two interceptions, 23 fumble recoveries, and scored 3 safeties over his career. Plus, he had 15.5 sacks that we know of. His playmaking ability earned him a trip to nine pro bowls, and he was a one-time all-pro.

He is certainly a legend of a bygone era, which most of us can only read about now, but he is still one of the true greats in Steelers History.  

#2 Jack Ham, OLB

In Chuck Noll’s third draft, he was looking for additional pieces to build a dominant defense. In the 2nd round, he drafted a clean polished young kid from Penn State linebacker Jack Ham. When drafted, he immediately impacted the team, helping propel them to the 1972 AFC championship game. When his career ended, he was considered one of the greatest outside linebackers to ever play the game.

He finished his career with 32 interceptions for 218 yards, 21 fumble recoveries, and 25.5 sacks. He played in eight pro bowls and was a six-time all-pro, and, in the span of six seasons, he helped the Steelers win four championships, and almost everything said about Jack Ham’s ability has been said by almost everyone out there. Leaving little else to be said here.