Hope everyone had great weeks and have something fun on tap for the weekend. We're less than a week away from the start of the 2011 NFL Draft, so let's continue with our countdown of the top ten draft 'successes' and 'busts' of the Kevin Colbert era with the No. 4 'bust' -- DT Kendrick Clancy, taken in the third round of the 2000 Draft with the 72nd overall pick.
Clancy spent five seasons in Pittsburgh, but only started four games (played in 44) totaling just 22 tackles and zero sacks. To his credit though Clancy managed to bounce around to three different teams since leaving the Steelers, starting 42 games between '05 and '09. He now has a Super Bowl ring to show off to his kids and grandkids after being a part of the New Orleans Saints '09 title run.
Clancy might have had a better future in Steel Town if Casey Hampton hadn't been drafted in 2001. Then again, had Clancy shown more promise or if the Steelers believed in his ability more, they probably wouldn't have used their first round pick on Big Snack the following year. Clancy can thank Hampton for giving him a second chance though because Kendrick was actually cut prior to the 2004 season and was resigned off the street after Hampton tore his ACL eight games into the season.
These lists are hard. Real hard. When you think you have them mapped out, you change your mind after fleshing out your reasoning. New thoughts come to mind, some of which make you wish you had a mulligan. This might be one of those cases. I definitely do think Clancy belongs on this list. I'm just not sure it should be this high. For one, 2000 was Colbert's first year on the job. Obviously when you've only been around the organization and its players for less than half of a calendar year, you're not going to have the same wealth of information at your disposal when making important long-term decisions. I suppose, however, that the fact that Colbert drafted Casey Hampton in the 2001 Draft makes me scratch my head at the Clancy pick in '00. Really ready to give up on the guy after one year? Maybe so. I'll be the first to say that I'm damn glad that the Steelers targeted Big Snack in the '01 Draft. If you have a chance to upgrade in a big way, cut your losses and take that opportunity, don't stubbonrly try to retain your pride for personal validation.
By the way, the example of Clancy/Hampton should be a great reminder that we really have no idea what might be in store in the '11 Draft. That's why I quickly signed off on the idea of the 'Expecting the Unexpected' series from Jay and Tim. Rewind to '01, and I don't think there's too many of us who would consider Hamtpon a likely draft scenario. We just drafted Clancy fairly in the third round the year before! No way that stumpy, ox of a NT is on Colbert's radar!
I'll wrap this up for now, but to conclude, I'll mention that I'm extremely excited to have Dale Lolley writing about Steelers defensive line coach, John Mitchell, in this year's edition of the preseason publication. Lolley wrote an awesome piece on Sean Kugler last year, a piece that solidified in my mind that brighter days were ahead for the Steelers offensive line. And he was right. There's room to improve for sure, but Kugler played a huge role in keeping the ship afloat after the Steelers continued to lose key OL to injuries last season. Now it's time to learn more about Mr. Mitchell. After reading that article from Lolley sometime in the next month or so, I'm confident I'll have a better understanding of what it is he looks for in prospects, why certain DL have developed into mainstay contributors, and perhaps even why guys like Clancy never panned out and weren't worthy of long-term investments.
Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Busts'
Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Successes'
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