The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading into a new chapter of the front office as Omar Khan and company prepare for their first NFL draft. With former Steelers GM Kevin Colbert moving into retirement following the 2022 draft, this will mark the first time the new regime has total control over their selections. How will this shape out for the Steelers moving forward? That’s what many fans are both excited and nervous to see.
Since we have already looked at the best draft picks by round, let’s take a look at the worst draft picks of the Pittsburgh Steelers in each round in the Kevin Colbert era. For those who may not be certain of the dates, these will be the drafts from 2000 through 2022.
For this exercise, we will be looking at players drafted specifically by the Steelers since the year 2000. In determining how well each player performed, we will only look at their time with the Pittsburgh Steelers and not any time spent with a different team. The rankings will come according to the total AV (Approximate Value) for each player determined by Pro Football Reference (PFR) during their time with the Steelers. Exactly how PFR determines AV can be seen HERE. For players with the same AV, other considerations such as games played may be taken into account. Obviously, players who have a longer career with the Steelers have the chance of a higher score. But isn’t lack of longevity a key factor in determining whether it was a bad draft pick?
The first step as we count our way down will be players selected by the Steelers in the 7th round of the NFL draft.
Note: For round 7, there are too many picks to narrow them down to five as there would be a 16-way tie for the top spot. Instead, I will highlight the multiple players who have a career AV of 0 and put them into various categories. As the rounds decrease in coming articles, narrowing to 5 players will eventually become possible.
0 AV, No NFL Career Games Played
This category is for any player who did not appear in any NFL games for any team and are no longer in the NFL. Some players were either on the Steelers practice squad or that of another franchise while others were not.
Chris Taylor, WR, Texas A&M, 2001
J.T. Wall, RB, Georgia, 2003
Shaun Nua, DE, BYU, 2005
Cedric Humes, RB, Virginia Tech, 2006
Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass, 2014
Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville, 2015
Keion Adams, OLB Western Michigan, 2017
Joshua Frazier, DT, Alabama, 2018
Notes: As I’ve often felt that seventh-round draft picks are basically undrafted free agents who the team does not want to fight over, having the seventh-round draft pick not make the roster is not unheard of. While the occasional gem would be great to find, and the fact the Steelers had 30 seventh-round picks since 2000 it’s not unreasonable for eight of them to have never appeared in an NFL game.
0 AV, No NFL Games Played Yet
This category is much like the one before but it’s specifically for players who are still in the NFL and have the opportunity to still appear in games.
Chris Oladokun, QB, South Dakota St., 2022
Notes: With it being only one player, it’s easy to talk about quarterback Chris Oladokun. With the Steelers needing to have a fourth player to position for training camp, the fact none of the other quarterbacks missed a single practice to the injury men Oladokun mainly stood on the sidelines before being released. Spending the year on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, Oladokun now has a Super Bowl ring although he does not have an NFL game played.
0 AV, No NFL Career Games Played for the Steelers
This category is for players who appeared in NFL games for other franchises but did not contribute enough to raise their AV score above zero.
LaVar Glover, DB, Cincinnati, 2002: 2 games (CIN)
Eric Taylor, DT, Memphis, 2004: 1 game (MIN)
Doug Worthington, DT, Ohio St., 2010: 8 games (WAS, STL)
Toney Clemons, WR, Colorado, 2012: 4 games (JAX)
Notes: Of all these players, Doug Worthington saw the most action as he appeared over two seasons with two different franchises. Wide receiver Tony Clemons does have career NFL stats as he had three receptions and 11 targets for 41 yards.
This category is for players who appeared in NFL games for the Steelers but did not contribute enough to raise their AV score above zero.
Dallas Baker, WR, Florida, 2007: 8 games
Demarcus Ayers, WR, Houston, 2015: 2 games (plus 2 in playoffs)
Derwin Gray, OT, Maryland, 2019: 5 games
Notes: Despite appearing in eight games for the Steelers, Dallas Baker only had one reception on two targets for 6 yards in his second season following being drafted. But by appearing in eight games in 2008, he is a Super Bowl champion. Derwin Gray appeared in five games for the Steelers before being claimed off waivers as they attempted to get him back to the practice squad. But being claimed, Gray never made it onto the field. Demarcus Ayers is very interesting that his AV remained at zero because he had a regular season start in his two games where he had six receptions on 13 targets for 53 yards and a touchdown in Week 17 of the 2016 season. Ayers also appeared in two playoff games for the Steelers that season where we had three receptions on three targets for 27 yards and had another start. The next season, Ayers opted for the Patriots practice squad over the Steelers but it did not pay off as he did not appear in another NFL game.
So there are the worst draft picks of the Kevin Colbert era coming from the seventh round. Make sure you check back on Tuesday for the next article of the worst draft picks of the sixth round in the Kevin Colbert era.
In case you missed the previous articles on the top draft picks, they can be seen below: