1. Ricardo Colclough
Congratulations Ricardo! At least you’re #1 at something. Anyways, let’s dive into the absolute bust that was Ricardo Colclough. I know that many rejoiced that wonderful April day in 2004 when Ben Roethlisberger was selected with the 11th pick and moronic teams like Cleveland and Oakland passed on one of the best QB’s of the 2000’s. However, what many do forget is the absolute waste that was the 2nd Round pick that year: Cornerback Ricardo Colclough. The Steelers actually traded up in the 2nd Round to get Colclough. The worst part is, the pick they traded to the Colts, was used by Indianapolis to select Pro Bowl Safety Bob Sanders. At the time, Colclough was thought to be an Ike Taylor type of project coming out of Division II Tusculum College. While raw, his almost 6′ and 200 lb. frame could be tamed and become a force as a CB in Dick LeBeau’s Defense. Colclough, like Taylor, could spend a year or two on Special Teams returning kicks and punts while slowly being worked into the Defense. Well, we all know how the Ike experiment worked, but for those of you that don’t remember the Colclough experiment went the exact opposite way.
By 2005 Colclough had not only been surpassed on the CB depth chart by Rookie Bryant McFadden, but he was also sitting behind Ike and Deshea Townsend as well. The moment that ended up being Colclough’s god awful “Swan Song” in Pittsburgh was in a Week Three game in 2006 at home against the Bengals (who at the time were the Steeler’s biggest rivals). Colclough muffed an easy punt that not only was recovered by the Bengals, but cost the Steelers the game. After his critical drop, Colclough was placed on injured reserve and released the following season. In 22 games for the Steelers, Colclough registered 1 INT. A sad stat for a sad career that never blossomed in the way that Cowher and LeBeau envisioned. Who knows what the CB situation might have looked like for the Steelers in the following years had Colclough’s play been as good as the Front Office had thought. And while Ike and B-Mac are solid players, Ricardo is probably the biggest bust of all the CB’s taken to shore up the position, and CB still remains a position that needs help.
One thing that I must mention about all these draft busts and what they have in common that speaks to the incredible savvy and intelligence displayed by Colbert, the Coaching Staff, and the scouts is the following: None of these guys listed is a 1st Round pick. In fact if one looks at all the 1st Round selections made during the Colbert Regime from 2000-2010 (Plaxico Burress, Casey Hampton, Kendall Simmons, Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, San-smokio Holmes, Lawrence Timmons, Rashard Mendenhall, Ziggy Hood, and Maurkice Pouncey) they have all been outstanding except for Simmons. Yet for an OG that was selected 30th in 2002, and whose short career was plagued by injuries to be your worst 1st Rounder is pretty damn good. Especially when considering that Simmons was the starting RG is Super Bowl XL, and played almost 7 seasons of decent football total. What’s even more impressive is the fact that outside of Plaxico and Ben (Troy was traded up for at 16 when the Steelers originally had the 27th pick), none of these 1st Rounders were selected above pick 15.
I for one am pretty impressed that the guys on this list weren’t huge franchise killing mistakes. And while disappointments nonetheless, the effect of their failures was made not colossal due to the “money nature” of the Steelers when it comes to selecting guys in the 1st Round that pan out. While we should always focus on the good, the fact remains that these players that I listed above never really managed to get their act together for the Steelers and/or the N.F.L. in general. This is my personal list of the biggest Draft Busts of the Colbert era. So if you’d like to comment feel free and let me know what you think. Let the debating begin Steeler Nation.