Five times Steelers were made to look like fools in the NFL Draft
The Steelers drafted a ‘bust’ then took a solid Tight End but ‘whiffed’ on a Hall of Fame Linebacker
No. 5 Huey Richardson
In the 1991 NFL draft, the Steelers drafted a Linebacker out of Florida in the first round who played one season for us. Huey Richardson, the aforementioned first-round draft pick, played a whopping one season. Let that sink in for a minute. A first-round pick lasted one season. Talk about getting fooled.
We got flat-out ‘hornswoggled’ on that deal. For a first-round pick to last only one season says a lot about what we saw either in the player or what we valued in the position. To make matters worse, there was a Hall of Fame QB by the name of Brett Favre who was drafted in the second round of the 1991 draft.
No. 4 Mark Bruener
Why would a player who lasted nine seasons with us be a candidate to be included in an article about getting fooled in the draft? Good question. On the surface, Mark Bruener had a long career, playing 14 seasons, 9 with us and 5 with the Houston Texans. The issues are productivity and missing out on drafting a Hall of Fame linebacker.
In the aforementioned nine seasons, Bruener played in 125 games, tallying 137 receptions for 1197 yards. He also managed to find the end zone 16 times. For a first-round pick, the productivity was just not there. Although the Steelers were a run-first team during Bruener’s tenure, he was targeted 246 times.
Selected with the very next pick after Bruener was Derrick Brooks, a Hall of Fame Linebacker who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Brooks was primarily a 4-3 LB and the Steelers ran a 3-4 then (and now), so where would Brooks have fit into the scheme?
To that question I would retort with this: I’m pretty sure we would have been able to figure out where Brooks would have fit in. Not only did we miss out on Brooks, but the Steelers also may not have drafted the best TE in the 1995 draft.
Ken Dilger, who was drafted in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts, had a ten-year career, amassing 356 receptions for 4099 yards and 24 TDs. Dilger was voted to one Pro Bowl and was a one time Super Bowl champ. So, you tell me, who would have been a better pick?
Let’s continue to take a look at the times the Steelers got fooled in the draft.