When it comes to football it’s always the quarterbacks that get the headlines. Well, here we pay tribute to the best wide receivers in Steelers history because, quite frankly, what would a quarterback be without a top-quality wide receiver to hit?
Number 5. Buddy Dial
We kick off our look at the best wide receivers in Steelers history with Buddy Dial. Dial is far from the most glamorous name we could have picked for fifth spot; the Steelers became the dominant franchise a decade after Dial moved on, which is largely why he’s often overlooked. What he offered to the team though was moments of pure joy in a period of underachievement.
He was with the Steelers for five years and led the team on receiving yard last for the final four years of his time in Pittsburgh. His relationship with Bobby Layne was particularly impressive. Was Dial one of the best wide receivers in NFL history? No. He was pretty damn good though. All in all, Dial recorded 4,723 yards, 219 receptions and 42 touchdowns for the team.
Number 4. Louis Lipps
Next up is Louis Lipps. Lipps joined the Steelers as a round one pick back in the 1984 draft; he became a mainstay of the side for eight years despite lacking a lasting relationship with a quarterback from the top drawer. Even with that, the numbers Lipps posted couldn’t be questioned.
He was named as the Offensive Rookie of the Year for his performances in his inaugural season and earned Pro-Bowl and All-Star honors in his first two seasons in the league. By the time he joined the New Orleans Saints in 1992 he’d gone over 6,000 yards.
Number 3. John Stallworth
Now we’re getting into the real big hitters. John Stallworth wasn’t drafted to the Steelers until the fourth round in 1974 but he’d go on to prove one of the best picks in their history. The Alabama graduate experienced Super Bowl glory in his first two seasons on the team playing a respectable 13 and 11 games respectively. He’d remain with the franchise for the entirety of his career; that saw him collect a further two Super Bowl rings along with three Pro-Bowl nods.
Despite his decorated 14 year association and his presence in the Hall of Fame it’s hard not to see Stallworth as underrated. We guess that’s what happens when you just deliver what is expected game after game; Mr Consistency was also named Comeback Man of the Year in 1984 after missing most of the prior season through injury.
Number 2. Lynn Swann
Next up in our list of the best wide receivers in Steelers history is Stallman’s opposite, Lynn Swann. Swann didn’t deliver 7/10 every week like the consistent man mentioned before him but what he did have was the ability to pull in a catch from the sky that looked destined to be missed.
It was one of those displays that saw him named Super Bowl MVP in January 1976. That win would prove to be just one of four Super Bowls Swann won. With 5,462 yards, 336 receptions and 51 touchdowns to his name you cannot really dispute his presence in the Football Hall of Fame.
Number 1. Hines Ward
Topping our list of the best wide receivers in Steelers history is one-team man Hines Ward – obviously. Ward was with the Steelers from 1998 through to his retirement in 2011 posting team records in receptions (1,000), yards (12,083) and touchdowns (85).
On top of boasting those impressive stats Ward also delivered in the big moments. He isn’t part of the top wide receivers ever in this list by TwinSpires, but we think he could be named at least in the top 10: https://edge.twinspires.com/nfl/top-5-nfl-wide-receivers-of-all-time/
He helped Steelers to two Super Bowl triumphs being named game MVP in XL. The NFL star turned bit-part actor wasn’t all about team honors though and he earned four consecutive Pro Bowl honors after the turn of the millennium.
There you have it, the best wide receivers in Steelers history. With the likes of Antonio Brown failing to make the cut for our top five, it just goes to show how much work the current stars – namely JuJu Smith-Schuster – have to do to put their name in the history books.
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