clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Santonio Holmes: A Good Stock That Keeps Rising

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

As I watched the 2006 NFL Draft, I suspect that I wasn’t alone in wanting the Steelers to draft a wide receiver.  It was the thinnest position on the team to begin with and we had just lost Antwan Randle El to free agency.  We were picking in my favorite draft spot, dead last!

There were two blue chip wide receivers in that draft, Chad Jackson from Florida and Santonio Holmes from Ohio State.  Most experts had Holmes going from picks 10-15, but a few had Jackson rated higher than Holmes.  Jackson was a combine player.  Holmes was a football player.  Jackson was a speedster trying to become a receiver.  Holmes was already a great receiver who also had home run speed.

Holmes was the top pedigreed receiver in the country.  He was a big-time player in a big-time program.  He went 3-0 in bowl games and turned up big when Ohio State needed him the most.

As the draft unfolded, Holmes was a guy who started falling, there’s a few every year, into the 20s.  When Paul Tagliabue announced that the Giants traded pick #25 to the Steelers, I started screaming "Santonio" at the television.  Who else would be that important to them?  My head almost hit the ceiling when Holmes’ name was called.

Interestingly, it was the Patriots who grabbed Jackson with the fourth pick in Round #2.  They too badly needed a receiver.  It is not fair to judge Chad Jackson in just two seasons, but two things are indisputable.  First, when the Patriots completely revamped their receiving corps last year Jackson was still not a factor.  Second, Santonio Holmes was clearly a factor.  And they say the Patriots are the smartest team in football?  Hmmm.

Since then, Holmes has been like a great stock that just keeps rising.  In the first half of his rookie season he caught 22 passes for 323 yards.  In the second half he caught 27 passes for 501 yards.  He scored no touchdowns in the first half and three in the second half (one by punt return).  He was used as a return man in the first half and by the second half he impacted three victories with key touchdowns.  His rookie season ended when his 67-yard score in overtime ended our season, but so too the Bengals.

Santonio Holmes 2006 Game Log

His second year was continued improvement.  Tone scored seven touchdowns in his first nine games, pretty darn impressive, and passed the century mark twice.  Despite the rebirth of Randy Moss and emergence of Reggie Wayne last year, it was Holmes who led the entire NFL in yards-per-reception, a lofty 18.1 YPC.

Consider that Tone missed three games to injury and with one catch against New England trying to come back too soon, he virtually missed four complete games.  Still, he had 942 yards and eight touchdowns playing three-quarters of a season.  That projects to 1256 yards over 16 games.

Santonio Holmes 2007 Game Log


Santonio Holmes with Mary Rose, my daughter.

With the Steelers adding two more weapons in the 2008 draft, it will not be fair to judge Santonio Holmes on whether he racks up gaudy numbers this season.  He is one of many weapons.  But one thing for certain, the guy can flat-out ball.