With the 2011 NFL Draft underway, let's not spend too much more time on these final selections in the top ten draft 'successes' and 'busts' of the Kevin Colbert era. But a little over three and a half hours before the start of the second round, there's time to catch our breath with a look at the No. 1 and the top 2 successes in the past eleven years.
I went back and forth several times about who should merit inclusion at the top spot. Should it be Ike Taylor, the fourth round corner taken in 2004, or Brett Keisel, the seventh round defensive end from Brigham Young? Ultimately I am giving Taylor the nod for reasons I'll also comment on in the next post.
As for Keisel, what can you say other than the ultimate value pick of Colbert's tenure. How often do you find important contributors and locker room gold in the seventh round? Not too often. Keisel spent three seasons trying to make his mark however he could on special teams. By 2005, he began being rotated in on defense somewhat regularly. In 2006, he became a full-time starter opposite Aaron Smith, and made the most of the well-earned opportunity, recording 5.5 sacks. Somewhat remarkably, Keisel's best two seasons have arguably been in '09 and '10 when he was 31 and 32 years of age. Even though he didn't match his '06 sack totals in either campaign, he was extremely productive, particularly this past season when he took an interception 79 yards to the house for a score, defended 7 other passes, and forced two fumbles. Keisel's name finally got mentioned by the national media for his fine efforts and gnarly beard. He was elected to his first Pro Bowl.
Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Successes'
Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Busts'
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