Joe Greene Drafted Second Overall In NFL All-Time Mock Draft

In Pittsburgh, he’s the greatest of all-time. In football history, he’s right near the top. Joe Greene’s dominant career is one well-known in Western PA and one not lost on football historians. In Sports Illustrated All-Time NFL mock draft, Mean Joe was selected second overall by Ron Wolf.

Wolf, if you remember, served as the Green Bay Packers’ GM for over a decade. The only player selected ahead of Greene was linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

Greene, not that I need to remind you, transformed the Steelers’ franchise, alongside Chuck Noll. Noll took a chaotic, temperamental ball of energy and reined him in, honing his craft and showing consistent, elite level of play for many years. Greene’s career would’ve been even better if not for a nerve issue in his shoulder that sapped him in his later years. With those two, and the many pieces the team would add in the 70s, the Steelers went from lovable losers to a dynasty in less than a decade.

He, of course, was not the only Steeler taken in the 18 round draft. But it wasn’t until the 33rd overall pick when the next Steeler was taken, Jack Lambert by Peter King. Here are the other players – the ones who spent the majority of their career with the Steelers – who were selected.

#39 – Jack Ham
#52 – Terry Bradshaw
#54 – Rod Woodson
#74 – Mel Blount
#97 – Dirt Dawson
#127 – Mike Webster
#129 – Troy Polamalu
#145 – Jack Butler
#198 – Donnie Shell
#205 – Alan Faneca
#225 – Franco Harris
#236 – Ernie Stautner
#252 – John Stallworth
#264 – Gary Anderson

Coaches were taken in the final, 26th round. Noll was the fourth one selected, again by King. Vince Lombardi and Bill Walsh were taken ahead of him (Bill Polian also was weird and got to take co-head coaches, Marv Levy and Tony Dungy).

Other “partial” Steelers, who spent some noticeable chunk of their career with Pittsburgh were:

#161 – John Henry Johnson
#177 – Kevin Greene
#195 – Big Daddy Lipscomb

I was personally happy to see Lipscomb get some notice. Thank you Rick Gosselin, you beautiful person you. “Big Daddy” played his final two years with the Steelers before dying of an alleged herein overdose in May of 1963.

Of the list, I was a bit surprised to see someone like Franco get taken so low, though of course, there are so many good running backs to compete with. Polamalu at 129 also felt a bit low but maybe that’s the Steelers-bias in me. Especially when Ed Reed, the man who he is most often compared to (though that comparison is sorta silly) was taken 29th overall.

Notable Steelers not taken include a couple of receivers: no Lynn Swann or Hines Ward. Ward, I get, but leaving Swann off the list? There’s also no L.C. Greenwood, Dwight White or Andy Russell. All three of those are more understandable.

If you’re curious, here is how the first ten picks shaped up.

#1. Lawrence Taylor
2. Joe Greene
3. Johnny Unitas
4. Ray Guy (lol wut)
5. Anthony Munoz
6. Jim Brown
7. Reggie White
8. Don Hutson
9. Tom Brady
10. Otto Graham

And the Mr. Irrelevant, last pick in the draft went to Steve Van Buren at pick #300.

The entire draft is a run read through and I definitely encourage you to check it out. 

h/t Jeff

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