Top 100 Steelers of All Time

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy

We have arrived at the century mark for the National Football League. So many great players have had a chance to put their marks on this fine sport, and most have left memorable plays that leave us breathless. In honor of the 100th season, I am going to take a stab at listing the 100 greatest Steelers of all time. I will also throw out a disclaimer here before anyone reads on: this will not be based purely off statistics, but rather total impact on the organization on and off the field as well...So without further ado, here is your Top 100….

#100-91

100. DeAngelo Williams: RB

99. John Fuqua: RB

98. Bennie Cunningham: TE

97. James Conner: RB

96. Marvel Smith: LT

95. Plaxico Burress: WR

94. Larry Foote: LB

93. Kendrell Bell: LB

92. T.J. Watt: OLB

T.J. Watt has exploded onto the pass rushing scene in Pittsburgh. Compiling 20 sacks in his first two seasons has put him on the fast track to etch his name into the all time pass rusher’s conversation in Pittsburgh history, as he currently sits 25th all time. His 7 FF and 22 TFL put him inside the Top 25 on all time franchise records as well. Not only is he a budding superstar, but his work ethic and leadership qualities set him apart from his peers.

91 Earl Holmes: LB

#90-81

90. Antwaan Randle El: WR/RS

89. John Jackson: LT

88. JuJu Smith-Schuster: WR

87. Ramon Foster: LG

86 Charlie Batch: QB

How does a QB who only started 9 games during his tenure with Pittsburgh make the Greatest 100 list? Easy: his off the field presence in the Pittsburgh community speaks for itself. While rostered in Pittsburgh, every fan had peace of mind knowing that he was one of the best backups in the NFL. He was a steadying and calming presence for those in the QB rooms in Pittsburgh, and always seemed to be able to pick up his teammates when pressed into emergency work. He continually works to inspire the upcoming generations in the Pittsburgh area and is a great broadcaster as well.

85. William Gay: CB

84. Yancey Thigpen: WR

83. Dwayne Woodruff: CB

82. Santonio Holmes:WR

81. Max Starks: LT

#80-71

80. Dick Hoak: RB

79. Robin Cole: LB

78. Roy Gerela: K

77. Glen Edwards: FS

76. Kordell Stewart: QB/WR

“Slash”, as the legend Myron Cope called him, is one of the most intriguing players to ever don a Steelers jersey. He burst onto the scene as a Swiss-Army-style playmaker that could contribute as a WR, RB, and QB. He was a vital contributor to the Steelers team that was defeated by the Cowboys in Super XXX. He always teased fans with his skill set as a dynamic dual threat QB, even making the Pro Bowl in 2001, but never seemed to find the consistency he needed to be a great starting caliber QB.

75. Joel Steed: DT

74 Ryan Clark: FS

73. Craig Wolfley: LG

72. Mike Wallace: WR

71. Elbie Nickel: TE

#70-61

70. Larry Brown: RT/TE

69. Bryan Hinkle: LB

68. Barry Foster: RB

67. Carlton Haselrig: RG

Haselrig has one of the uniquest stories in NFL history, and not too many know about it. He never played a down of college football; rather he was a six-time NCAA title winning wrestler, even defeating future NCAA and Olympic champion Kurt Angle. After a decorated career in wrestling, he turned his attention to a sport that was close to his heart: football, which was taken away from him because of a knee injury his first season in college at Lock Haven. Using his heavyweight wrestling background, strength and hustle, Haselrig worked on the scout team his first season as a defensive linemen, and it wasn’t until Chuck Noll switched him to offensive line his second season he began to flash. His career was highlighted with an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 1992.

66. David Little: LB

65. Roy Jefferson: WR

64. Chad Brown: OLB

63. Alejandro Villanueva: LT

62. Buddy Dial: WR

61. Willie Parker: RB

#60-51

60. Gary Anderson: K

59. Jeff Hartings: C

58. Eric Green: TE

Green was a monster TE, who, if he had played in this generation, would have been a superstar. His build is very similar to recently retired Rob Gronkowski, and he was almost equally hard to cover. He had the versatility to play in-line, slot, WR, and RB. He had off the field issues with drug suspensions and issues with maintaining peak playing shape, but he did make two Pro Bowls appearances while with Pittsburgh and would probably have made a few more if not for a contract dispute that ended with him leaving via free agency to the Miami Dolphins.

57. Deshea Townsend: CB

56. Hardy Nickerson: LB

55. Darren Perry: FS

54. Ike Taylor: CB

53. LaMarr Woodley: OLB

52. Keith Willis: DE

51. Lawrence Timmons: LB

#50-41

50. Jon Kolb: LT

49. Merril Hoge: FB

48. Cameron Heyward: DT

47. Mike Wagner: FS

46. Jason Gildon: OLB

45. Brett Keisel: DE

44. Mike Merriweather: LB

43. Bobby Lane: QB

42. Tunch Ilkin: RT

Tunch is a man that has so many unique traits. He is the first Turkish Player to play in the NFL, debuting as a sixth round pick back in 1980. He then went on to play 12 seasons for the Steelers, starting in 143 games. He made the Pro Bowl twice in 1988 and 1989, and was known as one of the best technicians and hand fighters along OL in the league. His techniques are even used by college and NFL teams still, one of which is known as the “Tunch Punch.” He is also is a cherished and loved commentator on gameday in Pittsburgh, and his insights are top-notch!

41. Ryan Shazier: LB

#40-31

40. David DeCastro: RG

39. Levon Kirkland: LB

38. Dwight White: DE

37. Kevin Greene: OLB

After a decorated career with the LA Rams, new Steelers head coach Bill Cowher sought out a pass rushing OLB to utilize in his “Blitzburgh” 3-4 system. Greene inked a three year deal through free agency to come to the ‘Burgh, and he did not disappoint. After the last two seasons in LA being used out of place as a 4-3 DE, Greene simply wreaked havoc on opposing QBs to the tune of 35.5 sacks over the course of his three years in Pittsburgh. He was a two-time Pro Bowler in 1994 and 1995, an All Pro, and the NFL leader in sacks in 1994. He embodied what the city of Pittsburgh stood for, and even has been quoted as saying, “Playing in Pittsburgh was the Time of my Life!” He chose to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Steeler even though only spending three years with the franchise.

36. Rocky Bleier: RB

35. Aaron Smith: DE

34. Louis Lipps: WR/KR

33. Casey Hampton: NT

32. Maurkice Pouncey: C

31. Carnell Lake: S/CB

#30-21

30. Joey Porter: OLB

29. James Farrior: LB

28. Greg Lloyd: OLB

27. Bill Dudley: RB/QB/DB/KR

26. Andy Russell: LB

25. Le’Veon Bell: RB

24. Heath Miller: TE

A former High School QB who transitioned to playing TE while at Virginia, he made the most of his efforts while in college, and ended being named the Mackey Award Winner given to the Nation’s best TE in his final collegiate season. A little bit of luck came the Steelers way in the 2005 Draft, as Miller’s stock took a slight hit due to recovery from a sports hernia put them in a position to draft this talented pass catcher. In his rookie season, he helped the Steelers defeat the Seattle Seahawks for their fifth Super Bowl victory in franchise history. He would go on to capture another Super Bowl ring during his career in 2008 against the Cardinals, also being named to the Pro Bowl twice in 2009 and 2012. His playing demeanor endeared himself to the fanbase with a rugged blocking style and the ability to come down with clutch catches in big moments. You can still hear Heinz Field rocking with the chants of “HEAATTHHH!” every time a Steelers TE comes down with a grab.

23. John Henry Johnson: FB

22. Jack Butler: CB

21. Donnie Shell: SS

Top 20 Greatest Steelers

These 20 individuals are some of the best players at their respective positions not only in Steelers history, but in NFL history as well. We have players that their skill sets made the rulemakers change the game to make it easier for opponents to succeed due to their prowess, along with stoic figures that helped turn around a lowly franchise in the early years to one of the most decorated in NFL history with 6 Super Bowl championships. If there is a name you don’t recognize I urge you to search their history and further your football knowledge!

20. Lynn Swann: WR

19. Alan Faneca: LG

18. L.C. Greenwood: DE

17. John Stallworth: WR

16. Antonio Brown: WR

15. James Harrison: OLB

14. Rod Woodson: CB

13. Dermontti Dawson: C

12. Troy Polamalu: SS

11. Jack Ham: LB

10. Mike Webster: C

9. Franco Harris: RB

8. Jerome Bettis: RB

7. Ben Roethlisberger: QB

6. Terry Bradshaw: QB

5. Hines Ward: WR

4. Mel Blount: CB

3. Jack Lambert: LB

2. Ernie Stautner: DT

1.Joe Greene: DT

Those are my selections for the 100 greatest Steelers of all time, but I also don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to enlighten the football world of some of the other talented and groundbreaking minds that have been a part of this storied franchise, such as:

Art Rooney “The Chief”: Owner/Founder (1933-1988)

Dan Rooney: President/Chairman (1955-2017)

Chuck Noll: Head Coach (1969-1991)

Bill Cowher: Head Coach (1992-2006)

Mike Tomlin: Head Coach (2007-Present)

Myron Cope:

Bill Nunn: Assistant Personnel Director/Scout (1968-2014)

Dick LeBeau: Defensive Backs Coach/Coordinator (1992-1996, 2004-2014)

Tony Dungy: DB (1977-1978)

Defensive Backs Coach/Coordinator (1981-1988)

Mike Munchack: Offensive Line Coach (2014-2018)

Russ Grimm: Offensive Line Coach (2001-2006)

As you can see, the Steelers have been blessed with a dearth of coaches, players, and front office personnel that have led to huge success and six Super Bowl championships. Let me hear what you think of my list, and call me out on any egregious players I have missed!

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