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 next step as we count our way down will be players selected by the Steelers in the 2nd round of the NFL draft.
Note: Only players no longer on the Steelers will be considered as those still on the roster still have the opportunity to improve their standing.
5: Mike Adams
Draft Year: 2012
NFL games played: 53
After failing a drug test ahead of the 2012 NFL combine, Mike Adams convinced the Steelers that he could still be a great player for them enough to take him in the second round. Although Adams made multiple starts in each of his three years in Pittsburgh, things fell apart somewhat quickly. Adams began his second season as the starter but was benched after four games. In his third season, Adams was strictly a back up but had several starts filling in. Back surgery landed Adams on the PUP list and cost him the entire 2015 season. Failing a physical in May of 2016, Adams was released by the Steelers. Adams landed in Chicago for the season and even had a start but had another back injury which landed him on IR and ended his NFL career.
4: Ricardo Colclough
Draft Year: 2004
NFL games played: 43
The player drafted between Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks in 2004, Ricardo Colclough never fully found his way in Pittsburgh. With zero starts in four seasons and only appearing in three games in each of 2006 and 2007, Colclough just couldn’t find the field on defense. Colclough only played three games in 2006 because he was placed on injured reserve, and he was released by the Steelers in October 2007 ending his Steelers career with one interception and five passes defensed along with 2.5 sacks and 64 tackles. Colclough also had five punt returns for 19 yards and 49 kickoff returns for over 1,000 yards but also had five fumbles. Colclough was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns but never appear in a game. Signing a contract with a Panthers for 2008, Colclough was released ahead of the season after receiving a DWI. Appearing briefly with the Kansas City Chiefs over two seasons, Colclough landed in the United Football League and the Canadian Football League for the rest of his career.
3: Alonzo Jackson
Draft Year: 2003
NFL games played: 18
A 4-3 defensive end in college, Alonzo Jackson was yet another tale of the Steelers not being able to transition a player to a 3–4 outside linebacker. It’s only two seasons with the Steelers, Jackson only appeared in nine games all of which were on special teams where he had eight tackles. Not making the team in 2005, Jackson signed with the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad and appeared in one game. Released by the Eagles, Jackson finished the 2005 season with the New York Giants and even got to start a playoff game but did not make the team the following year.
2: Limas Sweed
Draft Year: 2008
NFL games played: 20
Falling in the draft due to a wrist injury sustained in his final year in college, the Steelers thought they had a gem in Limas Sweed by selecting him in the second round. But it didn’t work out that way. Playing 11 games his rookie season, Sweed had six receptions on 10 targets for 64 yards during the regular season and two receptions on five targets for 20 yards in the postseason. In 2009, Sweed only appeared in nine games with one reception on five targets for 5 yards. In December, Sweed was placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury/Illness List. In 2010, Sweed injured his Achilles during mini camp where he had to have surgery and was placed on IR missing the entire season. In 2011, Sweed was waived/injured during training camp and was ultimately released by the Steelers in September. Sweed was never picked up by another NFL team.
1: Senquez Golson
Draft Year: 2015
NFL games played: 0
The obvious choice for the selection, it was not Golson‘s performance on the field but rather his chronic injuries and inability to ever play which lands him as the worst selection in the second round. There was just never a chance to evaluate Senquez Golson as a player as he missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury followed by missing the 2016 season with a Lisfranc injury. In 2017, Golson was injured on the first day of padded practices in training camp. After three years of not even appearing in a preseason game, Golson was released when the team cut down to 53 players. The only other chance Golson had in the NFL was spending one week on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad in November of 2017 and being signed in the offseason by the Oakland Raiders in 2018 only to be released in May.
So there are the worst draft picks of the Kevin Colbert era coming from the second round. Make sure you check back on Thursday for the next article of the worst draft picks of the first round in the Kevin Colbert era.
In case you missed the previous articles on the top draft picks, they can be seen below:
The previous articles on the worst draft picks can be seen below: