Today it’s our ninth installment of ranking the current Steelers 1 through 50. If you want to check out numbers 14 through 10, check it out HERE. Today we give you 9 through 5.
9. Rashard Mendenhall Running Back
You may not agree with the way that Mednenhall uses twitter, but there’s no denying he’s been worth the first round pick that the Steelers spent on him a few years back. His running style fits the team, and in 2010 it was his best year, going for 1273 yards and 13 touchdowns. His big run against the Falcons in OT won the opener, and he also went for a big 121 against the Jets in the AFC Title game. He should have his best season in 2011 with the way he played in 2010.
8. Heath Miller Tight End
Maybe the most undervauled member of the team, but for fans that watch him week in and week out, you know that Miller is a big reason why the Steelers are year in and year out in the hunt. Last season was somewhat of a down year in the numbers department for Miller, catching 42 catches for 512 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also one of the best blocking TE’s in the game, another reason why Mendenhall went over 1200 yards rushing in 2011. Clearly there’s a drop off when Miller isn’t in the lineup.
7. Mike Wallace Wide Receiver
Maybe the fastest split end in the league, Wallace is a star in the making, coming off a season in which he caught 60 passes for 1257 yards and 10 scores. He averaged an amazing 21 yards per catch, and when a huge play had to be made in the pass game, Wallace was the guy. With a QB that can throw it deep, Wallace is again in line for a huge season, one in which he says he’d like to go over 2000 total yards. Aim high Mike, if 2010 is any indication, don’t count him out of being able to do it.
6. LaMarr Woodley Outside Linebacker
39 career sacks, and they always seem to come at the right time, like in the final minute of the win over the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. Woodley is becoming as good as his fellow OLB – James Harrison, and this season the two should be back to make QB’s lives a living you know what. Woodley also showed his hands with a pick six vs the Bengals, and also picking up a fumble and rumbling into the red zone vs the Ravens in the key December win. There’s a reason he’s the teams franchise player.
5. Maurkice Pouncey Center
The Steelers couldn’t have been any happier with the way Pouncey jumped right in as the starter for the 2010 season, allowing the team to release veteran Justin Hartwig. All Pouncey did was round into a Pro Bowl player, helping Rashard Mendenhall to again go over 1000 yards, and also he did a good job helping protect Ben Roethlisberger up the middle. Losing Pouncey for the Super Bowl was a huge blow, but he’s back for 2011 and he could move up on this list a year from now into the top 2-3.
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