The draft hasn't always been seven rounds, and there have been great Steelers born from much later selections.
Rocky Bleier, who worked so hard to return to the field from serious war injuries in Vietnam, coupled with Franco Harris to complete the most devastating backfield duo in Steelers history.
Bleier peaked in 1976 when both backs gained over 1,000 rushing yards. Bleier's 4.7 yards per carry were a career high.
However, his career highlight may have come on a reception. In Super Bowl XIII, a Terry Bradshaw lob into the corner of the endzone found Bleier, who leaped to make the reception. The score gave Pittsburgh a 21-14 halftime lead over the rival Cowboys.
Who would believe that one of the most beloved figures in Steelers history was chosen in the 16th round of the 1969 draft?! Coupled with his war injuries, Bleier's career is nothing short of a study in miracles.
A less heralded running back was chosen in the 10th round of 1987, but he was a hard runner who embodied the blue collar image that fans so revered.
He never eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards or had the flashiest highlight reel, but he was a great dual purpose back. His all-purpose yards almost always took him over the century mark, and the running back could be depended on for approximately 40 catches and 350 yards in any given season. After peaking with 8 rushing touchdowns in 1989, Hoge scored 10 total touchdowns (3 receiving) in 1990, a career high.
His best and most memorable game in the Black and Gold came in the Divisional Playoffs against Denver. Minus a late John Elway rally and an inopportune miscue in the passing game to rookie receiver Mark Stock, it would have been Hoge getting the legendary status of having willed the team to victory.
The 1989 Steelers were Chuck Noll's finest reclamation project, a unit that likely had no business in the NFL playoffs. Yet, like their lunch pail running back, the team came to work each week, rallying from a 4-6 start to make the playoffs.
Hoge's 16 carries for 120 yards combined with eight receptions for 60 yards, totaling nearly half of the team's offense. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh fell to Denver at Mile High Stadium, 24-23, narrowly missing on a trip to the AFC Championship Game.
Saving the best late round selection for last, who would have imagined L.C. Greenwood, whose draft status must be one of the unfair factors keeping him from the Hall of Fame, came to Pittsburgh via the 10th round of the 1969 NFL Draft?
Wouldn't one think that such a projected long shot achieving so much would be a factor working in his favor?
The man would become the Steelers starting left defensive end, an important part of the famed "Steel Curtain."
He made the Pro Bowl six times, twice going All-Pro.
Unofficially, as certain stats weren't kept in those days, the Steelers credit him with leading the club in sacks six times, finishing with 73.5 career sacks. His highest total is accredited as 11 in 1974.
With his bright yellow shoes standing out along the line, he had to play well or lend himself to ridicule. As it always turned out with any member of the Steelers defense, respect was the only option. Hell, the guy sacked Roger Staubach in Super Bowl X...four times!
All one can do is shrug and throw their hands up in exasperation at the notion that Greenwood is not in the Hall of Fame.
One thing is for sure; L. C. Greenwood represents the best draft value the Steelers have ever acquired.