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Steelers ‘Sour 16’ Bracket: Diagnosing the biggest First Round busts — Play-In Round

In an ongoing series leading up to the draft, BTSC let's the fans decides which Steeler first rounder most failed to meet expectations.

Miami Dolphins vs Pittsburgh Steelers - September 7, 2006 Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have always seemed to have been a team that has done themselves justice when selecting players in the college player entry draft. In the first round alone since 1969, the Rooney Family's team selected five players (Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann and Rod Woodson) enshrined in Canton and three more (Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger) that seem like locks for the Hall of Fame. It's my opinion that the Steelers have proved to be one of the better first round drafting teams in league lore,

With that being written, not every year yields an all-time great or even a solid contributor. Some years see the Steelers missing the mark entirely by selecting a player that instead of earning All-Pro honors, earns the "scarlet letter B". That's right...bust.

In the spirit of March Madness, BTSC introduces "the Sour 16". You, the reader, get to vote each time to determine the biggest busts since the winning era began in 1969. The players will be divided in two regions...the Noll Region and the Cowher/Tomlin Region. They will not be seeded, they will just go by the Year selected. Current Steeler players are not eligible for the bracket, so you Artie Burns and Bud Dupree hatas will have to give them more time to prove your displeasure.

Here are the bracketed players that will be in the poll for your consideration.

Noll Era

1979 Greg Hawthorne

1980 Mark Malone

1983 Gabriel Rivera

1985 Daryl Sims

1988 Aaron Jones

1989 Tim Worley

1989Tom Ricketts

1991 Huey Richardson

Tomlin/Cowher Era

1993 Deon Figures

1996 Jamain Stephens

1997 Chad Scott

1999 Troy Edwards

2008 Rashad Mendenhal

2009 Ziggy Hood

2013 Jarvis Jones

Some players have played better than others and you may feel that they don't belong on the list, while others you may feel need included. In that spirit, we will have a play-in poll. I am including players that I did not really deem worthy of bust-status, but you may. Please choose among the following...

1981 Round 1 Pick 17

DE Keith Gary-Oklahoma

Contrary to popular belief, Gary was not a bust. He had 25 sacks in his six seasons with the Steelers. His decision to go and play in Canada for two years for Montreal instead of signing with Pittsburgh right away.

1982 Round 1 Pick 12

RB Walter Abercrombie-Baylor

Abercrombie was not a bad back for the Steelers, there were just more prolific options overall here. He gained 4,696 total yards as a Steeler and scored 29 touchdowns, both rushing and receiving.

1986 Round 1 Pick 9

G John Rienstra-Temple

Labeled by Hal Hunter (the Steelers offensive line coach) as the next John Hannah, the weightroom-wonder did not quite accomplish as much as the HOF guard for the Patriots. By holding out 28-days as a rookie, Chuck Noll labeled him as a wasted pick. Rienstra battled numerous injuries and a stress disorder that caused him to walk away from training camp in 1988 to get counseling and paint houses. The man known as “Rhino” started 27 games in five years for the Steelers, but never had the career that was expected of him.

1994 Round 1 Pick 17

WR Charles Johnson-Colorado

Did the Steelers only send scouts to Colorado in the early 1990s? From 1993-1995, the team selected two of three #1s and two of three #2s. Charles Johnson quietly had a better NFL career than I originally thought. In five seasons with Pittsburgh, Johnson had 247 catches for 3,400 receiving yards and 15 TDs. In four more seasons with three different teams (Phily, Buffalo and New England), CJ had 107 more catches for 1,606 yards and nine TDs and ranks 10th in Steeler history in receptions.

2002 Round 1 Pick 29

G Kendall Simmons-Auburn

Kendall Simmons started in 83 games and earned two rings during his hard-luck, seven seasons in Pittsburgh. His rookie season, Simmons won the Joe Greene Performance Award for top rookie. Before the 2003 season, No. 73 was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and missed the entire 2004 season due to injury. In 2005, the big RG started the entire slate of regular season and postseason games during the 2005 Super Bowl run. He retired after the 2008 campaign in which he missed most of the Super Bowl XLIII year due to an Achilles tear. He was released the following offseason.

Cast your vote in the poll and we'll determine the ultimate "wrong pick" during draft week. Have fun or lament on what might have been. It's up to you.


Who should be the final entry in the Steeler "Sour 16" fan poll bracket of first round busts?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Keith Gary
    (85 votes)
  • 4%
    Walter Abercrombie
    (87 votes)
  • 44%
    John Rienstra
    (835 votes)
  • 5%
    Charles Johnson
    (104 votes)
  • 4%
    Kendall Simmons
    (85 votes)
  • 35%
    None...Just add Bud Dupree already
    (664 votes)
1860 votes total Vote Now