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 6th round of the NFL draft. Players drafted in 2020 and beyond will not be considered unless they are already out of the NFL.
Note: Much like for round 7, for round 6 there are too many picks to narrow them down to five as there would be a 12-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.
Jason Gavadza, TE, Kent St., 2000
Bo Lacy, T, Arkansas, 2004
Drew Caylor, C, Stanford, 2004
Marvin Philip, C, California, 2006
Mike Humpal, LB, Iowa, 2008
Jordan Zumwalt, LB, UCLA, 2014
Travis Feeney, OLB, Washington, 2017
Notes: This group is almost as large as the one from the seventh round last week. Although some of these players landed on an active roster, such as Travis Feeney when he was poached off the Steelers practice squad by the New Orleans Saints, none of them appeared in any NFL games. Some players, such as Jordan Zumwalt who spent two seasons on IR, had injuries keep them from appearing in any games.
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.
Ra’Shon Harris, DT, Oregon, 2007: 2 games (CAR)
Keith Williams, G, Nebraska, 20011: 2 games (BUF)
Sutton Smith, DE, Northern Illinois, 2019: 8 games (LVR)
Colin Holba, LS, Louisville, 2019: 19 games (SFO, JAX, NYG)
Notes: The name that pops off this list above all others is the legendary long snapper Colin Holba. Exactly why the Steelers wasted a sixth-round pick on him was curious to many, but he did win the home run derby in Latrobe his only training camp with the Steelers. Even though he appear to 19 games, it wasn’t enough to raise his AV. Sutton Smith had one tackle in his 77 special team snaps and actually played 44 offensive snaps as a fullback. Ra’Shon Harris had the most stats of the group by having two career tackles in his two games with the Panthers.
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.
Matt Kranchick, TE, Penn St., 2004: 8 games (6 PIT, 2 NYG), 1 playoff (NYG)
Notes: Of the bottom 12 players on the Steelers list of players selected in the sixth-round since 2000, only one of them appeared in a game for the Steelers. Matt Kranchick saw two games in his rookie season with the Steelers and four more in his second year in 2005. Getting one start, Kranchick had one career reception on one target for 6 yards while with the Steelers. After being released from the Steelers practice squad, Kranchick spent the rest of 2005 with the New York Giants and appeared in two games in the regular season and one postseason game.
So there are the worst draft picks of the Kevin Colbert era coming from the sixth round. Make sure you check back on Thursday for the next article of the worst draft picks of the fifth 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: