Back on January 29th, 1974, the Pittsburgh Steelers went into the NFL draft coming off a disappointing first round loss in the playoffs to the Oakland Raiders. Despite having one of the highest scoring offenses, and least scored upon defenses in the league, the Steelers only managed to produce 14 points on offense and gave up an astounding 33 points on defense in their divisional matchup with the Raiders. With four draft picks in the first 5 rounds of the ’74 draft, the Steelers would need to add playmakers on both sides of the ball...and that they did.
Already set at the quarterback (Terry Bradshaw) and running back (Franco Harris) positions, the Steelers used their first round pick to draft an All-American wide receiver, Lynn Swann, out of USC. In the second round, the Steelers switched gears from offense to defense and drafted a middle linebacker, Jack Lambert, out of Kent State. With no picks in the 3rd round, the Steelers used their 4th round pick to add depth at wide receiver by drafting John Stallworth out of Alabama A & M University. The teams 5th round pick was Mike Webster, a center out of the University of Wisconsin.
What do these four picks have in common? Well aside from multiple Pro Bowl selections (25 between the four of them), 4 Super Bowl Championship rings each (the first of which came in their rookie season) and having played all, if not most, of their careers as a Pittsburgh Steeler, all four of these players are enshrined in Canton, Ohio in the NFL Hall of Fame.
It’s hard to argue that this wasn’t the greatest draft of all time, but we’ll let you be the judge...