Rank the Steelers Drafts - 10 Years of Colbert Draft Data to Ponder

PITTSBURGH PA - DECEMBER 19: Head Coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks with General Manager Kevin Colbert before the game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field on December 19 2010 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

I am posting this as a follow up to Neal Coolong's great piece on Kevin Colbert.  In that piece Neal convincingly argues that Kevin Colbert is one of the most talented GMs in the league.  I couldn't agree more. I actually started writing a post about his work following up my post about the Front Office's handling of Ben Roethisberger and Santonio Holmes during the off season.  Neal just beat me to the punch. I figured I would morph into the following piece which is mainly just an excuse for me to share a very large chart with all of you.  Enjoy!  

Hindsight is 20-20, but making decisions in the moments takes a ton of foresight.  No where is this clearer than in the NFL draft.  Teams have full time departments dedicated to the process of the NFL draft.  These men spend their life becoming familiar with the relative pros and cons of college football players.  But on draft day everyone is an expert.  There is nothing that cracks me up more in sports journalism than reading those grade the draft write-ups. I believe we should institute a new rule. Everyone who wants to "grade"  the draft must commit to re-grading his own work5 years later.  Take a look at this example of journalistic integrity as an example of what I mean.   But I digress.  What I really wanted to write about was the Steelers draft history.

The Steelers draft history under Colbert is not perfect, but it sure is solid.  One way to win in the draft is to simply not miss on first round draft picks.  While usually picking late in the first round, Colbert has done exactly that.  Of the 11 players taken since 2000, only two of his first round picks (Plaxico Burress and Kendall Simmons are not currently starting on an NFL roster - Simmons due to an injury shortened career and Burress due to both literally and figuratively shooting himself in the foot (still there is a good chance he will start next year for the Bengals, Raiders, Ravens or some other team with a love for ex-cons)).  

The only other player not currently starting for the Steelers is Santonio Holmes.  As for the other first round picks, 5 have gone to the pro-bowl. They are Casey Hampton (5), Troy Polamalu (6), Ben Roethlisberger (1), Heath Miller (1) and Maurkice Pouncey (1). The other 3 Lawerence Timmons, Rashard Mendenhall and Ziggy Hood, all seem likely to make it to a pro-bowl sooner or later and have contributed more or less.  The biggest disappointments of the group are probably Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes both of whom left Pittsburgh because of character issues.  Still both played very good football while they wore a Steelers uniform.   

The later rounds have been much more inconsistent. I  thought it would be interesting to see how they stacked up in comparison. The spreadsheet below is intended to help us figure out how the various drafts actually rank. 

The list is taken from Pro-Football Reference's draft section. It's a great site for stats bums like myself. A couple words about the columns.  I added three columns:

QP (Quality Player - A player who contributed meaningfully to the team for at least a year or two)

QS (Quality Starter - A player who contributed meaningfully as a Starter - or near full time player for at least a year or two)

PB - (A player who has played at a Pro-Bowl level or made a Pro-Bowl - for example Lawerence Timmons has played at a pro-bowl level this year, even though he did not make the pro-bowl.)

So for example, Maurkice Pouncey would qualify as all three (QP, QS, PB) while William Gay would definitely be a QP and could be argued to have been a QS as well.  Clearly these categories are somewhat subjective, so please feel free to offer corrections.  You can see that I've tallied the numbers for each draft (including UDFA's).  So for example 2001 could be argued to have produced 5 QPs but only two QS - both of whom played in a pro-bowl. 

You can also see the number of games (G)  each player played, the number of pro-bowl selections, number of all-pro selections, years as a starter (St)  (although those are not always right) and something pro-football reference calls the Career Approximate Value (CarAv), which is supposed to calculate a player's overall worth - not sure how useful it is. 

The chart is below. Couple of questions for all of you as you look at: 

1. Am I missing any Undrafted free agents ? 

2. How would you rank the Colbert Drafts from best to worst. 

 

                         
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2010 1 18 Maurkice Pouncey C 2010 1 1 1 0 1 1   16 Steelers Starter
2010 2 52 Jason Worilds DE 2010 1     0 0 0   14 Steelers Back-up
2010 3 82 Emmanuel Sanders WR 2010 1 1   0 0 0   13 Steelers Starter
2010 4 116 Thaddeus Gibson DE 2010       0 0 0     49rs Back-up
2010 5 151 Chris Scott G 2010       0 0 0     Steelers Back-up
2010 5 164 Crezdon Butler DB 2010       0 0 0   4 Steelers Back-up
2010 5 166 Stevenson Sylvester LB 2010       0 0 0   16 Steelers Back-up
2010 6 188 Jonathan Dwyer RB 2010       0 0 0     Steelers Back-up
2010 6 195 Antonio Brown WR 2010 1 1   0 0 0   9 Steelers Back-up
2010 7 242 Doug Worthington DT 2010       0 0 0     None?  
            4 3 1 0 1 1 0 72    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2009 1 32 Evander Hood DE 2010 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 32 Steelers Starter
2009 3 79 Kraig Urbik T         0 0 0     Bills ?
2009 3 84 Mike Wallace WR 2010 1 1 1 0 0 1 7 32 Steelers Starter
2009 3 96 Keenan Lewis DB 2010       0 0 0 0 13 Steelers Back-up
2009 5 168 Joe Burnett DB 2009       0 0 0 1 15 ?  
2009 5 169 Frank Summers RB 2009       0 0 0 0 2 Steelers Practice
2009 6 205 RaShon Harris DT 2009       0 0 0 0 2 Steelers Practice
2009 7 226 A.Q. Shipley C         0 0 0     Eagles? ?
2009 7 241 David Johnson TE 2010 1 1   0 0 0 1 31 Steelers Starter
2009   UDFA Ramon Foster T 2010 1 1   0 0 0 3 26 Steelers Starter
2009   UDFA Steve McLendon DT 2010           0 0 7 Steelers Back-up
2009   UDFA Isaac Redman RB 2010 1         0 0 17 Steelers Back-up
            5 4 2 0 0 2 14 177    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2008 1 23 Rashard Mendenhall RB 2010 1 1 1 0 0 1 11 36 Steelers Starter
2008 2 53 Limas Sweed WR 2009       0 0 0 1 20 Steelers IR
2008 3 88 Bruce Davis LB 2010       0 0 0 0 11 OAK Back-up
2008 4 130 Tony Hills T         0 0 0     Steelers Back-up
2008 5 156 Dennis Dixon QB 2010 1     0 0 0 1 4 Steelers IR
2008 6 188 Mike Humpal LB         0 0 0     None  
2008 6 194 Ryan Mundy DB 2010 1     0 0 0 2 32 Steelers Back-up
2008   UDFA Patrick Bailey     1     0 0 0 2 44 None  
2008   UDFA Doug Legursky C 2010 1     0 0 0 1 24 Steelers Back-up
2008
UDFA Donavan Woods DB 2010       0 0 0 2 32 None?  
            5 1 1 0 0 1 20 203    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2007 1 15 Lawrence Timmons LB 2010 1 1 1 0 0 1 13 62 Steelers Starter
2007 2 46 LaMarr Woodley DE 2010 1 1 1 0 1 2 29 60 Steelers Starter
2007 3 77 Matt Spaeth TE 2010 1 1   0 0 2 7 60 Steelers Starter
2007 4 112 Daniel Sepulveda P 2010 1 1   0 0 3 0 44 Steelers IR
2007 4 132 Ryan McBean DT 2010 1     0 0 1 6 31 Denver Back-up
2007 5 156 Cameron Stephenson G         0 0 0     None  
2007 5 170 William Gay DB 2010 1 1   0 0 1 11 64 Steelers Back-up
2007 7 227 Dallas Baker WR 2008       0 0 0 0 8 None  
2007   UDFA Darnell Stapelton     1           5 14 None  
2007 - UDFA Gary Russel RB   1     0   0 2 27 None  
            8 5 2 0 1 10 73 370    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2006 1 25 Santonio Holmes WR 2010 1 1 1 0 0 3 34 72 Jets WakenBake
2006 3 83 Anthony Smith DB 2010 1     0 0 1 10 63 GB Back-up
2006 3 95 Willie Reid WR 2007       0 0 0 1 7 None  
2006 4 131 Willie Colon G 2009 1 1 1 0 0 3 21 50 Steelers IR
2006 4 133 Orien Harris DT 2009       0 0 0 2 20 None  
2006 5 164 Omar Jacobs QB         0 0 0     None  
2006 5 167 Charles Davis TE         0 0 0     None  
2006 6 201 Marvin Philip C         0 0 0     None  
2006 7 240 Cedric Humes RB         0 0 0     None  
2006   UDFA Anthony Madison DB 2010 1     0 0 0 3 66 Steelers Back-up
            4 2 2 0 0 7 71 278    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2005 1 30 Heath Miller TE 2010 1 1 1 0 1 5 36 92 Steelers Starter
2005 2 62 Bryant McFadden DB 2010 1 1   0 0 2 19 83 Steelers Starter
2005 3 93 Trai Essex T 2010 1     0 0 1 12 59 Steelers Back-up
2005 4 131 Fred Gibson WR         0 0 0     None  
2005 5 166 Rian Wallace LB 2006       0 0 0 1 16 None  
2005 6 204 Chris Kemoeatu G 2010 1 1   0 0 2 14 62 Steelers Starter
2005 7 228 Shaun Nua DE         0 0 0     None  
2005 7 244 Noah Herron RB 2006       0 0 0 4 23 None  
2005   UDFA Andre Frazier LB 2010             5 61 None  
2005   UDFA Nate Washington WR 2010 1 1   0 0 2 22 81 TEN Starter
            5 4 1 0 1 12 113 477    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2004 1 11 Ben Roethlisberger QB 2010 1 1 1 0 1 6 64 99 Steelers Starter
2004 2 38 Ricardo Colclough DB 2009       0 0 0 3 43 None  
2004 3 75 Max Starks T 2010 1 1   0 0 4 32 95 Steelers IR
2004 5 145 Nathaniel Adibi DE         0 0 0     None  
2004 6 177 Bo Lacy T         0 0 0     None  
2004 6 194 Matt Kranchick TE 2005       0 0 0 0 8 None  
2004 6 197 Drew Caylor C         0 0 0     None  
2004   UDFA Willie Parker RB 2009 1 1 1 0 2 4 48 79 None  
            3 3 2 0 3 14 147 324    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2003 1 16 Troy Polamalu DB 2010 1 1 1 2 6 5 63 107 Steelers Superman
2003 2 59 Alonzo Jackson LB 2005       0 0 0 3 18 None  
2003 4 125 Ike Taylor DB 2010 1 1 1 0 0 5 36 125 Steelers Starter
2003 5 163 Brian St. Pierre QB 2010       0 0 0 0 3 CAR Back-up
2003 7 242 J.T. Wall RB         0 0 0     None  
            2 2 2 2 6 10 102 253    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2002 1 30 Kendall Simmons G 2009 1 1   0 0 5 31 84 None  
2002 2 62 Antwaan Randle El WR 2010 1 1   0 0 4 41 143 Steelers Back-up
2002 3 94 Chris Hope DB 2010 1 1 1 0 1 6 39 137 TEN Starter
2002 4 128 Larry Foote LB 2010 1 1   0 0 6 46 140 Seelers Back-up
2002 5 166 Verron Haynes RB 2009 1     0 0 0 8 68 None  
2002 6 202 Lee Mays WR 2006       0 0 0 1 49 None  
2002 7 212 LaVar Glover DB 2002       0 0 0 0 2 None  
2002 7 242 Brett Keisel DE 2010 1 1 1 0 1 4 32 98 Steelers Starter
2002   UDFA James Harrison LB 2010 1 1 1 2 4 5 53 107 Steelers Starter
            7 6 3 2 6 30 251 828    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2001 1 19 Casey Hampton NT 2010 1 1 1 0 5 8 62 144 Steelers Hungry
2001 2 39 Kendrell Bell LB 2007 1 1 1 0 1 5 41 90 None  
2001 4 111 Mathias Nkwenti T 2003       0 0 0 0 2 None  
2001 5 146 Chukky Okobi C 2007 1     0 0 0 7 78 None  
2001 6 181 Rodney Bailey DE 2007 1     0 0 0 8 84 None  
2001 6 182 Roger Knight LB 2004       0 0 0 4 48 None  
2001 7 218 Chris Taylor WR         0 0 0     None  
2001   UDFA Chris Hoke NT 2010 1     0 0 0 14 108 Steelers Back-up
            5 2 2 0 6 13 136 554    
Year Rnd Pick   Pos To QP QS PB AP1 PB St CarAV G Team Status
2000 1 8 Plaxico Burress WR 2008 1 1 1 0 0 9 66 128 Slammers Limping
2000 2 38 Marvel Smith T 2008 1 1 1 0 1 7 47 112 None  
2000 3 72 Kendrick Clancy DT 2009       0 0 3 23 109 None  
2000 3 77 Hank Poteat DB 2009       0 0 1 19 110 None  
2000 4 103 Danny Farmer WR 2002       0 0 0 5 33 None  
2000 5 137 Clark Haggans LB 2010 1 1   0 0 5 38 147 ARI Starter
2000 5 163 Tee Martin QB 2003       0 0 0 0 3 None  
2000 6 173 Chris Combs DE 2002       0 0 0 1 10 None  
2000 6 204 Jason Gavadza TE         0 0 0     None  
            3 3 2 0 1 25 199 652    
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