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 5th 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 rounds 6 and 7, for round 5 there are still too many picks to narrow them down to five as there would be an 11-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. Next week when we hit the 4th round, narrowing to 5 players will be 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.
Nathaniel Adibi, DE, Virginia Tech, 2004
Omar Jacobs, QB, Bowling Green, 2006
Charles Davis, TE, Purdue, 2006
Cameron Stephenson, G, Rutgers, 2007
Terry Hawthorne, DB, Illinois, 2013
Shaquille Richardson, DB, Arizona, 2014
Notes: As the rounds decrease, so have the number of players who did not appear in NFL games drafted under Kevin Colbert. With this number down to six in the fifth round, it is interesting that there were two players from 2006 and the none since 2014 in any of the categories. It’s also interesting that it was defensive backs taken in back-to-back years in the fifth round where neither one of them ever played a game.
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.
Tee Martin, QB, Tennessee, 2000: 1 game PIT, 2 games OAK
Brian St. Pierre, QB, Boston College, 2003: 1 game PIT, 1 game ARI, 1 game CAR
Notes: With there already being one quarterback in the previous category, it’s quite interesting that the Steelers have taken flyers on QBs in the fifth round and not have many of them appear in games. But when looking at the fifth round or later at quarterback, most of the time they’re buried as the third option if they make the roster. For that reason, these are not as bad of selections as others but do fit into the criteria.
Both of these players appeared in a game for the Steelers. As for Tee Martin, it was in the final game of the 2001 season where his only stats were a rushing attempt for 8 yards. In his time in Oakland, Martin did have two games where he attempted passes but had a career completion percentage of 37.5% with no touchdowns and one interception.
As for Brian St. Pierre, his one game with the Steelers came in Week 17 of the 2004 season. With his only pass attempt in a Steelers uniform coming as the first play of the fourth quarter, it fell incomplete and the Steelers kicked the field goal to take a two-point lead. Because that lead was never relinquished, St. Pierre is credited with both a fourth-quarter comeback and a game-winning drive. In his only career start for the Carolina Panthers, St. Pierre have a 46.4% completion percentage with one touchdown and two interceptions. Although he only appeared in one game for the Steelers, St. Pierre was the Steelers third quarterback for four seasons.
0 AV For the Steelers
This category is for players who appeared in NFL games but did not contribute enough to raise their AV score above zero for the Steelers but did have an AV score for another team.
Frank Summers, FB, UNLV, 2009: 2 games PIT, 25 games BUF
Crezdon Butler, DB, Clemson, 2010: 4 games PIT, 42 games with 7 other teams
Wesley Johnson, OL, Vanderbuilt, 2014: 0 games PIT, 41 games NYJ, 10 games MIA
Notes: Frank Summers only appeared in two games for the Steelers with one start as a fullback but did not register any statistics. In two years in Buffalo, he had 18 rushing attempts for 63 yards and two touchdowns as well as 12 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. As for Crezdon Butler, he bounced around the NFL between eight different teams. Only registering one tackle with the Steelers in four games, Butler did have two significant seasons with 12 games played for the San Diego Chargers in 2023 followed by 11 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with three starts in 2014 where he had 13 tackles. Wesley Johnson actually has the fourth-best career AV of any Steelers fifth-round draft pick since 2000 but it all occurred for other franchises. Making the Steelers roster his rookie season as a reserve offense of lineman, Johnson was waived by the Steelers in October and was claimed by the New York Jets where he spent the next four years with 41 games played and 24 starts.
So there are the worst draft picks of the Kevin Colbert era coming from the fifth round. Make sure you check back on Tuesday for the next article of the worst draft picks of the fourth 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: