1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Class Produced Five Hall of Famers

Published on April 6th, 2024 12:26 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The iconic draft year by Pittsburgh Steelers. There have been some fantastic drafts by individual teams over the years.

There was the Baltimore Ravens draft class that produced two Hall of Famers in Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden.

There was the 2010 draft for the Seattle Seahawks, which produced many of the future members of the Legion of Boom.

The 1974 draft class for the Pittsburgh Steelers, however, will almost certainly never be topped.

In that draft (including one undrafted free agent that the Steelers signed), the Steelers took FIVE future Hall of Famers.


In the first round of the 1974 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected Lynn Swann with the #21 overall pick. Swann was a multiple time All-Pro who finished his career with 5,462 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns. Swann ended up entering the Hall of Fame.

With their pick in the second round, the Steelers selected Jack Lambert, a linebacker from Kent State. Lambert ended up winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1974, and also ended up getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

With their third pick in the 1974 NFL Draft, the Steelers took yet another future Hall of Famer - John Stallworth, a wide receiver from Texas A&M.

In the fifth round, the Steelers selected Mike Webster, a center who would also receive an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Last but certainly not least, the Steelers signed Donnie Shell as an undrafted free agent, and Shell would also go on to make the Hall of Fame.

On top of that, the Steelers drafted another four players in 1974 who would end up making their roster - truly the greatest draft class of all time.


The Steelers had a massive scouting advantage, as Dick Haley and Bill Nunn, Jr. found an unbelievable amount of talent.

Bill Nunn, Jr. looked for talent where other teams were unwilling to go, scouring historical black colleges for overlooked gems.

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