With the annual NFL Draft on the horizon, it brings to mind some maneuvering that paid huge dividends for all involved, while others just didn't pan out for any teams or the players who were traded.
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Santonio Holmes with the 25th overall pick during the 2006 NFL Draft, a choice they received in a trade with the New York Giants, and the club didn't have a second-round pick that year.
The Steelers sent that choice to the Minnesota Vikings, basically trading down, to get two third-round picks. The Vikings used the Steelers old pick, No. 64 overall, to get quarterback Tarvaris Jackson from Alabama State. The Steelers selected Syracuse safety Anthony Smith with the 83rd choice in the third round, and they got wideout Willie Reid from Florida State at No. 95. The Reid pick initially was owned by the Seattle Seahawks.
Not that the Steelers needed a quarterback, and certainly not one like Jackson, although they did take Bowling Green's Omar Jacobs in Round 5. But no one else that the Steelers secured during the 2006 NFL Draft, other than Holmes, lasted with the club for more than a cup of coffee.
Smith actually played three seasons for the Steelers and six in the NFL, while Reid lasted just two miserable seasons with the club and was finished in the league after that. Reid played in one game in 2006 and didn't have a catch. In 2007, he played in six games and had four receptions for 54 yards with a long catch for 25. He also fumbled after one of those catches.
Smith is another story. While he wasn't a complete bust, Smith didn't come close to the Steelers expectations and certainly not his own, which were quite extensive. Smith was believed to be the club's future at free safety when he was drafted, but his big mouth got in the way.
Smith played in all 16 games for the Steelers as a rookie and started four. He made some tackles, tallied six pass breakups and had two interceptions. But some serious showboating (i.e., silly high-stepping after the pick) angered Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau, who pulled him from the game. Smith took his game and attitude up a notch as a second-year player, which was the beginning of the end for his career.
Smith started 10 of 16 games and tallied 69 tackles, including 53 solo, with three pass breakups, two interceptions and one forced fumble. But prior to a late-season road game against Tom Brady and the undefeated New England Patriots, Smith guaranteed a Steelers victory. The Pats were the better team, but Smith's bulletin-board material didn't help. Brady shredded the Steelers secondary for 399 yards and four touchdowns, and Smith was toast for two.
The same could be said for his career. Smith played in 14 games for the Steelers in 2008, but didn't do much. He spent the 2009 season with the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, but played just 10 games with two starts (both with the Jags). He had two more interceptions, but was on his way out.
Smith spent 2010 with the Jaguars and Green Bay Packers. He started all three games in Jacksonville that year with one pick for 47 yards, but his four games with the Packers were easily forgettable. He was a backup and special teams performer for the Tennessee Titans in 2011, his final season in the NFL. His career was over at age 28, and all he likely will be remembered for was that December day in Foxborough, Mass. when he shot off his mouth.
Jackson was a part-time starting quarterback with the Vikings from 2006-10, and he remains active in the NFL through eight seasons. He spent 2011 and last season with the Seattle Seahawks, but the one in between with the Buffalo Bills was wiped out due to an injury.
Still, the Vikings got more out of him than the Steelers did Smith and Reid put together, and that's not what was expected from the two third-round picks.