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What happened to the Steelers’ 2006 draft class?

Leading up to the 2021 NFL draft in April, let’s look at how some of the Steelers’ drafts played out.

Super Bowl XLIII

The 2021 NFL draft is less than three months away. Each week leading up to the draft, we are going to dive into an NFL draft class starting with the Steelers 2004 NFL draft. In doing so, each player selected by the Steelers will be highlighted as to how their NFL career, or lack thereof, took shape. As we get to more recent years, some will be combined as many of those draft choices are still with the Steelers.

Part 3 of 15 will highlight the Steelers 2006 NFL draft.

So let’s take a look at the nine players drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2006 NFL draft:

Santonio Holmes

Wide Receiver, Ohio St.

Round 1
Pick 25

With the last pick in the first round after winning Super Bowl XL, the Steelers traded up to the 25th overall pick to select Santonio Holmes out of Ohio State. In doing so, the Steelers sent the New York Giants their first-round pick as well as a third-round and a fourth-round pick.

Holmes appeared at all 16 games in 2006 and had 824 receiving yards on 49 receptions to go with two touchdowns. In his four total years in Pittsburgh, Holmes had 20 regular-season touchdowns and nearly 4,000 receiving yards. Most importantly, Holmes had a touchdown in every postseason game he played with Pittsburgh. He had one receiving touchdown in the 2007 postseason and a touchdown in each of the Steelers three playoff games in 2008. The Steelers first game in the 2008 playoff run Holmes had a punt return for a touchdown. Most importantly, Holmes had a game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII as part of his 131 yards on nine receptions on his way to winning the Super Bowl MVP.

Unfortunately, things soured in Pittsburgh after the 2009 season due to off-field issues and Holmes was traded to the New York Jets for a fifth-round draft pick. Ultimately, the Steelers traded that pick to the Arizona Cardinals and received Bryant McFadden in return as well as a draft pick in the sixth round they used to select Antonio Brown.

Holmes spent four years with the Jets where he appeared and 43 games and had 16 touchdowns on just over 2000 receiving yards. In 2014 Holmes signed with the Chicago Bears after the Jets released him in the offseason. Holmes did not last season in Chicago playing in nine games where he had eight receptions for 67 yards.

Anthony Smith

Defensive back, Syracuse

Round 3
Pick 83

After trading up in the first round, Steelers traded back out of the second round with the Minnesota Vikings in order to pick up two third-round picks in place of their second round selection. Drafting safety Anthony Smith with the first of those picks, the Steelers got a player whose biggest claim to fame was guaranteeing a win over the Patriots in 2007 only to get torched by Tom Brady and benched the following week. Smith played a total of 46 games in his three years in Pittsburgh where he started 14 mostly in spot duty when other players were injured. Smith had four interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Steelers but was not brought back after three seasons.

Smith bounced between the Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, and Green Bay Packers over the next two seasons. Although on the Packers when they defeated the Steelers in the Super Bowl in 2010, Smith was on injured reserve throughout the postseason. Smith spent the 2011 season with the Tennessee Titans where he appeared in 13 games before retiring from the NFL in 2012.

Willie Reid

Wide receiver, Florida St.

Round 3
Pick 95

With the extra draft pick they received by trading out of the second round, the Steelers selected wide receiver Willie Reid. Only appearing in one game his rookie season in which he returned one punt for 11 yards and one kickoff for 19 yards, Reid spent the majority the season on injured reserve due to a foot injury. In 2007 Reid appeared in six games where he had six kick returns for 127 yards and four receptions for 54 yards. Reid failed to make the team in 2008 and was signed to the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles before he was placed on injured reserve. The next season Reid spent training camp with the Dallas Cowboys but failed to make the team or the practice squad.

Willie Colon

Guard, Hofstra

Round 4
Pick 131

The second Willie drafted by the Steelers in 2006, Colon started the final two games of his rookie season in 2006. After starting every game for the next three seasons, Colon missed the entire 2010 campaign due to an Achilles injury he suffered in the offseason. In 2011, Colon tore his triceps in Week 1 and missed the rest of the season. After appearing in 11 games in 2012 where he made the move from right tackle to left guard, Colon was released in the offseason and signed by the New York Jets. Colon played three more seasons in New York where he started 38 games for the Jets and was the last member of the Steelers 2006 draft class still playing in the NFL.

Orien Harris

Defensive tackle, Miami (FL)

Round 4
Pick 133

Failing to make the 53-man roster his rookie season, Orien Harris was picked up by the Cleveland Browns in the end of 2006 and appeared in two games. Bouncing around between the Browns, Bills, and Saints during 2007, Harris landed in Cincinnati in 2008 where he played in 14 games and started one. Traded twice in the 2009 offseason, first to the Rams and then to the Lions, Harris did not make the team and signed back with the Bengals at the end of 2009. Harris failed to make the Bengals team in 2010 and was out of the NFL.

Omar Jacobs

Quarterback, Bowling Green

Round 5
Pick 164

The first quarterback selected after Ben Roethlisberger by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Omar Jacobs failed to make the Steelers roster his rookie season but did land on the practice squad. Unfortunately, even his time there was short-lived as he did not finish the season with the Steelers. Instead, Jacobs was signed to the Eagles practice squad for the remainder of 2006 before being released at the end of the season. Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007, Jacobs was supposed to play in NFL Europe but did not due to injury and also missed the NFL preseason and was therefore released. Jacobs bounced around between teams in the American Indoor Football Association and the Arena Football League until 2014.

Charles Davis

Tight End, Purdue

Round 5
Pick 167

Although fifth-round draft pick Charles Davis bounced around between several NFL teams, he never appeared in a regular-season NFL game in his career. After failing to make the Steelers roster in 2006, Davis spent time with the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers during his rookie season. Davis also ended up with the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and San Diego Chargers over the next three seasons before playing two years in the AFL. Davis got a chance one more time at the NFL in San Diego during training camp in 2011, but did not make the team.

Marvin Philip

Center, Cal

Round 6
Pick 201

Although center Marvin Philip made the Steelers roster his rookie season, he never appeared in a regular-season NFL game. Philip also spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and Buffalo Bills from 2007 to 2009. Philip played one season for the Omaha Nighthawks in the UFL in 2010.

Cedric Humes

Running Back, Virginia Tech

Round 7
Pick 240

The second straight year of taking a running back with their final pick in the draft, Cedric Humes was on the Steelers practice squad but ended up on the injured list his rookie season. At the end of his rookie year, he was signed by the New York Giants a designated to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe. In the final game of the season, Humes broke his neck and never played football again.