The Steelers had two first-round picks in the 1989 draft, neither of whom panned out
So this is a ‘two for one’ deal as Tim Worley, RB out of Georgia, and Tom Ricketts, OL out of Pitt, will forever be intertwined as two of perhaps the most disappointing Steelers of the modern era. Not only were their careers a disappointment, but it was also disappointing that instead of drafting Worley and Ricketts, we could have had an opportunity to draft 3 future Hall of Famers.
If the Steelers were really set on drafting a RB in the first round, how would Barry Sanders, who was selected by the Detroit Lions, have looked in a Steelers uniform? Pretty darn good, I would say. Sanders was selected with the 3rd pick, so we would have had to offer our 7th, who turned out to be Worley and maybe our 24th, who turned out to be Ricketts.
Maybe we did try to move up and it just did not work out, but selected with the 4th and 5th picks were Derrick Thomas, who was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs, and Deion Sanders, who was taken by the Atlanta Falcons. Either of those players would have been a better selection than Worley and Ricketts, assuming the 24th pick had to have been part of a deal to trade up.
As for Ricketts, since we know that the Steelers selected Worley with the 7th pick, if we wanted to draft an ‘O-lineman’ with the 24th pick, how about Steve Wisniewski, out of Penn State, who was drafted 5 picks after Ricketts. Wisniewski made 8 Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro twice in his 13-year career. Ricketts played 3 seasons with the Steelers, starting 13 out of 42 games in which he played.
Circling back to Worley, he played 4 seasons with us, starting 22 out of 33 games in which he played, rushed 336 times for 1,338 yards, scoring 5 TDs. Worley added 26 receptions for 196 yards. Worley also fumbled an alarming 16 times in his Steelers career. To say that Worley and Ricketts had disappointing Steelers careers would be a monumental understatement.
Let’s bring this discussion to a conclusion.