Top Ten Draft Successes of the Kevin Colbert Era: No. 2 -- DE Brett Keisel, 7th Round, 2002

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.

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Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Successes'

No. 3: LaMarr Woodley, 2nd Round, 2007

No. 4: LB Clark Haggans, 5th Round, 2000

No. 5: WR Mike Wallace, 3rd Round, 2009

No. 6: OT Willie Colon, 4th Round, 2006

No. 7: LB Larry Foote, 4th Round, 2002

No. 8: OG Chris Kemoeatu, 6th Round, 2005

No. 9: OT Marvel Smith, 2nd Round, 2000

No. 10: WR Antonio Brown,  6th Round, 2010

Kevin Colbert's Top 10 Draft 'Busts'

No. 2: OG Kraig Urbik, 3rd Round, 2009

No. 3: LB Alonzo Jackson, 2nd Round, 2003

No. 4: DT Kendrick Clancy, 3rd Round, 2000

No. 5: WR Willie Reid, 3rd Round, 2006

No. 6: WR Limas Sweed, 2nd Round, 2008 

No. 7: OLB Bruce Davis, 3rd Round, 2008

No. 8: OLB Thaddeus Gibson, 4th Round, 2010

No. 9:  WR Plaxico Burress, 1st Round, 2000

No. 10: OG Kendall Simmons, 1st Round, 2002

 

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