With the annual NFL Draft on the horizon, it brings to mind some maneuvering that paid huge dividends for all involved, while others just didn't pan out for any teams or the players who were traded.
PITTSBURGH -- Here's another time the Pittsburgh Steelers traded up to secure a targeted player, but this time things just didn't turn out too well.
In 2004, the Steelers sent their second- and fourth-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts to improve six spots in the second round. So, the two teams basically swapped second-round picks, and the Colts also got a fourth-round selection in the deal and made out like bandits.
The Steelers selected franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from Miami (Ohio) with the 11th overall selection in the first round, but at No. 38 in the second round -- darn near the tail end of the first -- they took cornerback Ricardo Colclough from tiny Tusculum College in Tennessee.
The Colts selected Iowa strong safety Bob Sanders at No. 44, the pick they received from the Steelers, and they took Florida State linebacker Kendyll Pope with No. 107 in the fourth round. Indianapolis clearly made out in this transaction, thanks to the hard-hitting Sanders.
Colclough somehow lasted six NFL seasons, including four with the Steelers (2004-07). The Cleveland Browns picked up him during the 2007 season, and he moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2008-09 campaigns. At nearly 6-feet tall and 200 pounds, the Steelers believed Colclough would be a physical, shutdown corner. But he was soft and ineffective.
Colclough played 30 games for the Steelers from 2004-05 and was a solid backup and special teams performer. But he rarely hit the field after that. Colclough played three games for the Steelers each year in 2006 and '07, and he never played for the Browns. He played six games for the Chiefs in 2008 and one in 2009, his last season in the NFL.
Sanders played eight seasons in the NFL, 2004-10 with the Colts and 2011 with the San Diego Chargers, and was an All Pro in 2005 and '07. He also was the 2007 NFL defensive player of the year. Sanders had 96 tackles that season in 15 games, including 71 solo, 3.5 sacks, six pass breakups and two interceptions. He had 91 tackles with 71 solo stops in 2005, two pass breakups, one interception and a forced fumble.
Pope lasted just two seasons with the Colts, 2004-05, and played two games as a rookie. He didn't hit the field in 2005 and never made much of an impact. So, the key to the entire deal for the Steelers basically was getting Colclough for Sanders, and that's not a fair swap by any means.