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Print

Round 5's best seems clear-cut

Posted Apr 28, 2014

In this series, the top picks in Steelers history are listed and debated on a round-by-round basis

Another in a series examining the best of 81 seasons worth of Steelers’ draft picks, designated by round. Today’s installment looks at the history of Round 5:

1971 – LARRY BROWN: Once asked which of his players not yet elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame deserved to be enshrined, Chuck Noll didn’t hesitate: “Larry Brown.” Started the first two Super Bowls in the 1970s as a tight end; started the next two Super Bowls at right tackle vs. Too Tall Jones of the Cowboys and Jack Youngblood of the Rams. Four Super Bowl rings.

1972 – STEVE FURNESS: Considered the fifth member of the Steel Curtain, Furness quickly became a nice option at defensive tackle. In nine seasons, Furness contributed 32 sacks; he led the team with 8.5 in 1977 and tied with L.C. Greenwood in 1979 with seven. Four Super Bowl rings.

1974 – MIKE WEBSTER: Voted to nine Pro Bowls and named Associated Press first-team All-Pro five times, Webster was the dominant NFL center of his era. Webster is the franchise leader in seasons with 15, in games played with 220, and is second in consecutive games played with 177. Four Super Bowl rings.

1977 – DENNIS WINSTON: A backup outside linebacker who started 10 games in 1979, Winston originally made his presence felt on special teams. Stuck behind Jack Ham and Robin Cole on the depth chart, Winston did start Super Bowl XIV for Ham, who was injured. Two Super Bowl rings.

1980 – CRAIG WOLFLEY: A left guard for his entire NFL career, Wolfley was asked to move to left tackle when injuries depleted the position in 1988. He started every game that season at left tackle, quite an assignment for a player used to playing an interior line position. He started 102 games over nine seasons with the Steelers.

1990 – BARRY FOSTER: A wishbone-formation fullback at Arkansas, Foster got his chance to be the feature back in 1992 when Bill Cowher was hired to replace Chuck Noll. In that season, Foster led the NFL with 390 carries, and he used those to gain a franchise record 1,690 yards to go along with 11 touchdowns. In his four other seasons with the Steelers – 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 – Foster rushed for a combined 2,253 yards to finish with 3,943.

1995 – LEE FLOWERS: This No. 5 pick from Georgia Tech followed the path first blazed by Donnie Shell, that being to earn a roster spot via special teams and then work into the starting lineup as a safety. From 1998-02, Flowers started 75 games, and in those he contributed 303 tackles, 12 sacks, and four interceptions.

In the accompanying video, Bob Labriola and Mike Prisuta each highlight the career of one of these fifth-round draft picks. Labriola chooses Foster, while Prisuta details the accomplishments of Webster.

NEXT: Round 4