Steelers 3 biggest draft busts in Pittsburgh’s franchise history

Jarvis Jones #95 of the Pittsburgh Steelers . (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jarvis Jones #95 of the Pittsburgh Steelers . (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Jamain Stephens #67 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Jamain Stephens, OL (1996, Round 1)

Sometimes players are drafted entirely on their potential and Stephens was selected on that exact merit. Unfortunately for the franchise, they didn’t know his work ethic was slim to none. Bill Cowher was a physically demanding coach that required his players to be in tip-top shape. The hope was for this offensive lineman to be the future in Pittsburgh and develop into one of the best in the league. Coming out of North Carolina A&T, he was a great player. He was a very good prospect that many thought would turn out to be a solid starting tackle in the NFL. They did misjudge how he would prepare for seasons and that cost him his job in a Steelers uniform.

It is an infamous story in the lore of the black and gold as Stephens would be cut after the first day of training camp in 1999. He was well overweight and could not finish the conditioning that all players must pass. Cowher was furious and let the player go. It was very embarrassing as the former first-round choice would be cut by the team that drafted him just three years later. He only started 10 games for the team in a relatively mediocre professional career. The former high-potential prospect would be picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals for a couple of years before being out of the league in 2003.