Let's continue with the top ten draft 'successes' and 'busts' in the Kevin Colbert era with the No. 7 'bust', Bruce Davis. Taken in the third round of the largely disappointing 2008 draft, Davis' inability to develop into a viable contributor at outside linebacker is one of the primary reasons why the Steelers found themselves with little depth at OLB heading into last year's draft.
Davis' story is not all that unique. It's hard to make in the NFL. He spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad, but did earn a helmet for five games in 2008. The following year, Davis was waived in early September, beginning his multi-city tour around the league for the next two years. It began in New England where Davis spent the '09 season on the practice squad. He was waived in late May of '10. He then had a two-month stint in Denver that summer before being waived before the start of August. San Francisco picked him up, stashed him on the practice squad, only to see Oakland pluck him mid-season after multiple injuries to their linebackers forced Al Davis' hand. He would play four games for the Raiders in '11, accumulating four tackles.
Davis finds himself on this list because of his third round status. Like I said, it's not easy to make a team and stick, and it's even harder to do so when making a position change. Davis was a defensive end in college, but his slight frame necessitated the change to OLB at the more physical NFL level. His speed no longer the strong asset it was in the college game, Davis could no longer blow by people, and he wasn't quite strong enough in the hands or upper body to shed blocks.
From a selfish standpoint, I was sad to see Davis go because I had emailed him while he was still enrolled at UCLA but already been drafted. He quickly responded and agreed to several interviews before the start of his rookie season. But it wasn't meant to be in Pittsburgh for Davis, who's trying to still make something of his career with the Raiders, the same organization his father had played so well for during his career.
Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Busts'
Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Successes'
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