The Steelers drafted an offensive lineman and two defensive players whose careers were short and uneventful
Coming in at number three on our list is Tom Ricketts, an offensive lineman out of Pitt, ironically. Ricketts was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft, the same round as Tim Worley. The Steelers were in prime position in 1989 to significantly improve the roster, particularly in the first round.
Alas, it was not meant to be. Ricketts played three seasons for us but started only thirteen games. Normally, when we drafted an O-lineman in the first round, especially back then, that player started right away and made an impact. Ricketts was out of football in five years.
Grabbing the number two spot on our list is Aaron Jones, a defensive end we selected in the first round of the 1988 draft. Jones played five seasons for the Steelers, but for a former top-twenty pick, he really did not have the impact that I'm sure we had hoped for.
Jones accumulated nine and a half sacks and one INT in sixty-seven games; however, Jones started only twenty-two of those games. That's not good for a former top-twenty pick. Jones would play for four more seasons then was out of football before the ten-year mark.
Coming in as the Steelers biggest roster bust is Huey Richardson, a linebacker/defensive end out of Florida whom we selected in the first round of the 1991 draft. As you may or may not know, the 1991 draft would be the last draft of the Chuck Noll era.
Listed at 6' 5" and 238 lbs., Richardson was an undersized player who was just never able to put anything together. He was too small to play defensive end in our 3-4 scheme and was not suited to play inside linebacker.
Richardson lasted all of one season with the Steelers, appearing in five games with zero starts. Think about that for a second. A first-round pick who lasted one season. Yikes. I remember in 1992 when Bill Cowher was hired, I was shocked to find out that Richardson had been cut, although I later found out that he had actually been traded.
Remember, back then there was no internet. Not having grown up in Pittsburgh, it was hard to find news about the Steelers. In any event, I would offer that Richardson represents the double-edged sword that is an inexorable part of the NFL draft.
I hope you enjoyed our discussion as much as I did.
All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.