The Pittsburgh Steelers were awarded a seventh-round compensatory pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on Monday and that makes the 30th such selection the franchise has been given dating back to 1995. Now is the perfect time to look at the Steelers history when it comes to compensatory draft picks and it’s easy to pick out which player was the most successful of the previous 29 selections.
In 1998, the Steelers drafted wide receiver Hines Ward out of Georgia in the third round with the 92nd overall selection, which was a compensatory pick. Ward went on to catch 1,000 regular season passes for 12,083 yards over a span of 14 seasons with the Steelers.
Ward wasn’t the only productive player that the Steelers drafted with a compensatory selection, however, as former linebacker Mike Vrabel was picked in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Vrabel played four seasons in Pittsburgh before going on to have an even better career with the New England Patriots.
Former tackle Willie Colon and current cornerback William Gay came to the Steelers courtesy of compensatory picks in 2006 and 2007 respectively and both are still going strong.
As far as productive seventh-round compensatory draft picks go, tackle Kelvin Beachum is proof that diamonds can still be had very late in the draft. Beachum has been the Steelers starting left tackle for nearly two full seasons now and he’ll likely get a contract extension later this summer.
Current Steelers Dri Archer, Daniel McCullers and Vince Williams are all former compensatory draft picks as well.
|2014||3||97||Dri Archer||RB||Kent State|
|2013||6||206||Vince Williams||ILB||Florida State|
|2012||7||246||Terrence Frederick||CB||Texas A&M|
|2012||7||248||Kelvin Beachum||T||Southern Methodist|
|2010||7||242||Doug Worthington||DE||Ohio State|
|2009||5||169||Frank Summers||RB||Nevada-Las Vegas|
|2007||4||132||Ryan McBean||DE||Oklahoma State|
|2006||4||133||Orien Harris||DT||Miami (Fla.)|
|2000||6||204||Jason Gavadza||TE||Kent State|
|1999||3||95||Amos Zereoue||RB||West Virginia|
|1999||5||166||Malcolm Johnson||WR||Notre Dame|
|1998||4||123||Carlos King||RB||North Carolina State|
|1998||7||221||Angel Rubio||DE||Southeast Missouri State|
|1997||3||91||Mike Vrabel||DE||Ohio State|
|1996||4||132||Jahine Arnold||WR||Fresno State|