Draft rewind: What could have been for the Pittsburgh Steelers -- and others -- in 2011

The Pittsburgh Steelers could take two cornerbacks in the NFL draft for the first time since 2011 when they selected Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen in the third and fourth rounds.

Brown played primarily on special teams for three seasons before the Steelers released him last March. Allen is a huge question mark after regressing last season, which is one reason why cornerback is one of the Steelers’ biggest needs in this year’s draft.

If the Steelers can come anywhere close to replicating what the Seattle Seahawks did in 2011, it would go a long way toward shoring up cornerback.

The Seahawks took Richard Sherman in the fifth round that year and snagged Byron Maxwell in the sixth round.

Sherman is arguably the top cornerback in the NFL and what is remarkable about his ascent is that 19 teams drafted a cornerback before the Seahawks took Sherman. Four teams, including the Steelers, drafted two cornerbacks before the Seahawks landed Sherman, who has already been a three-time first-team All-Pro selection.

Maxwell, meanwhile, started the past two seasons in Seattle's vaunted secondary and parlayed that into a six-year, $50 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

There were plenty of misses at cornerback in that draft but also some hits.

The Arizona Cardinals took Patrick Peterson with the fourth overall pick, and the Baltimore Ravens selected Jimmy Smith late in the first round. The San Francisco 49ers picked Chris Culliver in the third round.

One note about the Steelers selection of Allen, who showed enough promise in his first three seasons to land a four-year, $24.6 million contract last September: Julius Thomas was taken with the pick right after Allen.

The Pro Bowl tight end caught 109 passes for 1,282 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Denver Broncos before signing a five-year, $46 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this month.