Son of Former Steelers Pro Bowler a Top 5 Pick in MLB Draft

Elijah Green

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Elijah Green accepts the High School Athlete of the Year Award at the Advancement of Blacks in Sports (ABIS) Champions and Legends Awards at Resorts World Las Vegas on May 28, 2022.

The son of a former Pittsburgh Steelers 1st-round pick is a now a 1st-round pick in his own right. On the evening of Sunday July 17, 2022, the Washington Nationals selected Elijah Green No. 5 overall in the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

Elijah — 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds — is the son of Eric Green, 55, who was drafted No. 21 overall by the Steelers in 1990, making him the second-to-last 1st-round pick of the Chuck Noll era.

Elijah, 18, is a right-handed (bats right, throws right) outfielder who played at IMG Academy in Florida. He was the second outfielder — and second center fielder — selected on Sunday, following Druw Jones (son of five-time MLB All-Star Andruw Jones), who went No. 2 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

According to, it’s the first time in history that the son of an NFL 1st-rounder was selected in the first round of the MLB draft.

Elijah Green was surrounded by family and friends when the Nationals made their pick:

At his virtual press conference in the wake of his selection, Green likened himself to Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout and called being drafted by the Nationals “truly a blessing.”

Elijah Green: ‘Top of the Scale Talent’

To be sure, it’s big talk for Green to compare himself to Mike Trout, who at 30, remains near the top of the list of the best players in baseball.

But Green is seen as having exceptional upside potential. CBS Sports ranked him as the fifth best prospect in this year’s draft class and has said:

“Good arm strength with more to come. Can make all throws and solid one hop accuracy to the bases…. The ball explodes off the bat to all fields. Hit one off the cat walk of Tropicana Field. Elite run and power tools and very good eye-hand coordination. Top of the scale talent…. says that “Green may have the best ceiling of any prospect in this year’s draft,” noting that during his senior season at IMG Academy in Florida he hit .462, with nine home runs, 32 RBIs and 40 runs scored in 25 games.

He was honored as high school athlete of the year at the inaugural ABIS Champions & Legends Awards in Las Vegas in May.

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Eric Green Was a 2-Time Pro Bowler With the Steelers

As for Elijah’s dad, Eric, he was a rare combination of size, speed and soft hands. The Liberty University product stood 6-foot-5 and weighed 280 pounds, which made him bigger than the offensive tackle he lined up alongside in Pittsburgh’s offense. After a holdout that stretched through the first month of his rookie season, Green stepped in and immediately proved to be an impact player, catching five touchdown passes in his first two NFL games.

He went on to play a total of five seasons in Pittsburgh, making the Pro Bowl in both 1993 and 1994, as per Pro Football Reference. He appeared in a total of 62 games for the Steelers, catching 198 passes for 2,681 yards and 24 touchdowns.

After Green left Pittsburgh he played one season in Miami and three seasons in Baltimore before finishing his career with the New York Jets in 1999. All told he caught 362 passes for 4,390 yards and 36 touchdowns, but he never scored more than the seven touchdowns he amassed as a rookie in Pittsburgh.

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Before the MLB draft got underway, Eric Green directed a tweet at his son, writing: “Champ, your family and friends are extremely proud of you!!! @elijahgreen1204, today is YOUR DAY!!! Enjoy and embrace every moment of it!!! God has a plan for your young life son!!! Let him be your guide!!! Love Ya DAD.”

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