NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Worst Swings and Misses of the Last 25 Years.

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IApril 10, 2011

NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Worst Swings and Misses of the Last 25 Years.

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    Though the Pittsburgh Steelers are known as having one of the best draft personnel in the league with Kevin Colbert, even the greatest miss sometimes.

    Over the course of the last 45 years, the Steelers have selected players that unfortunatly didn't work out, for one reason or another. Sometimes by drafting this player, the Steelers left other people on the board and it ended up hurting the Steelers.

    Here are my 5 biggest swings and misses by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

5: Alonzo Jackson

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    With the 59th pick of the 2003 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Alonzo Jackson out of FSU. (That is the ONLY picture BR has of Jackson in a Steelers uniform.)

    Most Steelers fans have VERY fond memories of the 2003 NFL Draft. It is when the Steelers suckered the Kansas City Chiefs into trading first round picks and selected Troy Polamalu.

    Maybe the brain trust of the Steelers at that point went home and picked their second round pick out of a hat.

    The Steelers selected Alonzo Jackson to be another Joey Porter, LaMarr Woodley type player. Didn't happen.

    Who did the Steelers leave on the board?

    Lance Briggs (Chicago Bears pick 68)

4: Troy Edwards

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    With the 13th pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Troy Edwards, from Louisiana Tech.

    The Steelers were desperate for help at the WR position and Edwards was supposed to be a pretty decent player, even though many people believe that the Steelers reached for him. (How could the Steelers reach for a player, when they draft the best available? Check out THIS explanation!)

    Who could the Steelers have had instead of picking Edwards?

    John Tait (14th to KC Chiefs)

    Javon Kearse (16th to Tennessee Titans)

    Al Wilson (31st to Denver Broncos)

    Edwards was a TOTAL bust with the Steelers. He could not catch a cold in Pittsburgh, in winter, if he took a cold shower outside.

3: Tim Worley

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    With the 7th Pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected, Tim Worley out of Georgia.

    Worley was supposed to carry on the tradition of the great Steelers running backs, but could not find a way to stay out of trouble.

    After missing numerous drug tests for the Steelers, he was off the team after only two seasons.

    Who was left on board?

    Trace Armstrong (Chicago Bears, 12th pick)

    Eric Metcalf (Cleveland Browns, 13th pick)

    Steve Atwater (Denver Broncos, 21st pick)

2: Huey Richardson

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    With the 15th pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected, Huey Richardson out of Florida.

    Richardson was the final pick of the Chuck Noll era and was the second biggest bust in the history of the Steelers.

    He was traded after his rookie season to the Washington Redskins for a seventh round pick.

    Who was left on board?

    Brett Favre (Atlanta Falcons, Pick 33)

    Ricky Watters (San Francisco 49ers, Pick 45)

    Aeneas Williams (Arizona Cardinals, Pick 59)

1: Gabriel Rivera

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    In the 1983 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers spent the 21st pick on NT, Gabriel Rivera, out of Texas Tech.

    Still on the board? Dan Marino.

    Many people believed at the time that the Pittsburgh Steelers were a lock to take the hometown Marino, if he were on the board when the Steelers selected. They didn't.

    Turns out, drug allegations made the Steelers believe that Marino was not the man to be the replacement for Terry Bradshaw. The Steelers instead went on to draft Rivera.

    How did Rivera do with the Steelers? After a slow start to his rookie season, Rivera was in an automobile accident two months into the season and suffered injuries to his head, neck and chest. His football career was over.

    How would Marino have done in the Black and Gold? Hard to predict, but the Steelers had QB issues from the time of Bradshaws retirement until they drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. There is a good chance, had the Steelers drafted Marino, Marino would not have had nearly the QB records he currently does, but would probably have a few Super Bowl rings.

Conclusion

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    Every team misses occasionally in the Draft. It is normal. Those teams that do not make many mistakes, are not hurt as bad by a swing and miss on occasion.

    Teams like the Steelers that build exclusively through the draft, don't normally make team destroying mistakes. Most of these picks, are one of the reasons that the Steelers had such a long Super Bowl drought.

    Luckily for them, Kevin Colbert was not around for any of these decisions.