In the spirit of the offseason, Alex Kozora and I are undertaking the daunting task of ranking the top 100 Pittsburgh Steelers players in the history of the franchise. And we mean the complete history – 1933 to today. Alex and I first came up with our own lists and then worked together to come up with one “master” group. So you’ll see that one reflected below each player ranking, with a quick side note of where each player was at in our personal rankings. That way, you all have something to be outraged over.
If you missed our previous posts in this series, you can find them at the links below:
69. Dan Kreider/FB (2000-2007) – Signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2000, Kreider was ultimately named the team’s Rookie of the Year that season. As a bruising fullback and special teams player, Kreider wound up playing 8 seasons in Pittsburgh that included him carving out numerous holes for Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis. Kreider managed to register 615 total yards from scrimmage and 4 touchdowns when he touched the football in Pittsburgh and was part of the 2005 Super Bowl championship team. He played in 113 total regular season games as a member of the Steelers.
Dave’s Rank: N/R
Alex’s Rank: 64th
68. Frank Varrichione/T (1955-1960) – Varrichione was selected by the Steelers in the first round, 6th overall, in the 1955 NFL Draft and was the first offensive lineman taken that year. He was named a Pro Bowl player four times during his career in Pittsburgh and played in 72 total games mostly at right tackle.
Dave’s Rank: N/R
Alex’s Rank: 63rd
67. Gary Dunn/DT/NT – (1976–1987) – Dunn, who played defensive tackle for 12 seasons for the Steelers, was orginally drafted by Pittsburgh in the sixth-round of the 1976 NFL Draft out of Miami. He played in 146 total games and started 105 times during his long career. He was credited with 18 total sacks during his time in Pittsburgh but likely had many more than that as it was not an official stat until 1982.
Dave’s Rank: 66th
Alex’s Rank: 82nd
66. Ray Mathews/HB/E – (1951-1959) – Drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round (81st overall) of the 1951 NFL Draft, Mathews was mostly a backup to running back Fran Rogel until he was switched to wide receiver in 1956. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1952 and 1955 and registered a total of 4,976 total yards from scrimmage and 39 touchdowns during his 9 years in Pittsburgh. His 3,919 total receiving yards currently has him ranked 11th on the team’s all-time leaders list. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 86.
Dave’s Rank: 76th
Alex’s Rank: 59th
65. Brett Keisel/DE – (2002-2014) – Originally drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of BYU, Keisel played sparingly until becoming a full-time starter in 2006. “The Beard” would go on to register 30 total sacks and 408 total tackles during his 13 seasons in Pittsburgh. He was part of two Super Bowl championship teams and made the Pro Bowl in 2010.
Dave’s Rank: 67th
Alex’s Rank: 50th
64. Le’Veon Bell/RB – (2013-) – Originally drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Bell is currently regarded as one of the top running backs in the NFL. In the 35 total games that he has played in so far during his career, Bell has already rushed for 2,777 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s also managed to register 152 receptions for another 1,389 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2014, Bell set the single-season team records for yards from scrimmage (2,215) and receptions (83) and receiving yards (854) by a running back.
Dave’s Rank: N/R
Alex’s Rank: 32nd
63. Joel Steed/NT – (1992-1999) – Steed, who was drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd round of the 1992 NFL Draft out Colorado, started at nose tackle for the team throughout the 1990s. He recorded 9.5 sacks during his long career in Pittsburgh and is currently ranked 30th overall on the team’s all-time list when it comes to tackles.
Dave’s Rank: 64th
Alex’s Rank: 65th
62. Ernie Holmes/DT – (1972-1977) – Holmes, who was originally selected by Steelers in the eighth round of the 1971 NFL Draft, was part of the legendary Steel Curtain defense of the 70s along with fellow defensive linemen Joe Greene, Dwight White, and L. C. Greenwood. Holmes played in 81 games while with the Steelers and was part of two Super Bowl championship teams. He was part of the 1976 Steelers defense which is considered to be one of the best in NFL history. That defense shut out five opponents — three in a row — during a nine-game, season-ending winning streak in which they allowed only 28 points. Holmes passed away in car accident in 2008 at the age of 59.
Dave’s Rank: 55th
Alex’s Rank: 66th
61. Willie Parker/RB – (2004-2009) – Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004, Parker found himself on the Steelers 53-man roster during his rookie season. While he only dressed for 8 games that season, he made a good enough impression during his limited play to warrant keeping around. Due to injuries at the running back position, “Fast Willie” was the team’s starter to open the 2005 season and he did not disappoint as he rushed for 161 and a touchdown in the win over the Tennessee Titans. He would go on to help lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl championship in 2005 and his 75 yard run for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks still stands as a record. During his 6 years in Pittsburgh, Parker rushed for 5,378 yards and he currently sits in third place on team’s all-time rushing leaders list as a result.
Dave’s Rank: 59th
Alex’s Rank: 62nd
60. LaMarr Woodley/OLB – (2007-2013) – Woodley, who was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Michigan, recorded 57 total sacks and 299 total tackles during his seven seasons in Pittsburgh. He also recorded 5 interceptions and forced 9 fumbles in the 94 games that he played in. Woodley is currently in fifth place on the Steelers all-time sacks list and will likely remain in that spot for some time. While he missed quite a few games late in his Steelers career, Woodley was once regarded as one of the top pass rushing outside linebackers in the league during his prime.
Dave’s Rank: 65th
Alex’s Rank: 55th