Which is to say that there are quality starters, if not Pro Bowlers, available in every round. Part I reviewed the Steelers history with fifth round picks, detailing some of the steals they made during the Chuck Noll era, and some of the good value picks Pittsburgh made in the 5th under Tom Donahoe and Bill Cowher.
All of that history is nice, but it tells us little about the immediate future.
To that, this latest edition of The Colbert Record examines his record fifth round.
Kevin Colbert and the Fifth Round
- 2000 – Clark Haggans, LB.
Never an addition to the Steelers linebacker legacy like Lloyd, Lambert, or Woodley, but a four year starter who saw his sacks come in bunches, peaking at 9 in the 2005 Super Bowl Season. Colbert’s best 5th Round Choice.
- 2000 – Tee Martin, QB
The first of four quarterbacks taken by Colbert in the 5th round, he beat out Anthony Wright, although Martin only remained with the team for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
- 2001 – Chukky Okobbi, C/G
Drafted to be Jeff Hartings eventual replacement, Okobbi started five games in six years and played on special teams, but never became the heir apparent. Colbert could have done better.
- 2002 – Verron Hayes, FB
Saw Action in 61 games over six years, proving himself to be a good backup and a versatile player out of the backfield. Good value for a fifth round pick.
- 2003 – Brian St. Pierre, QB
Third string quarterback from 2003 to 2007 and, beyond a single incompletion in 2004, he did nothing more than hold a clipboard, but he held it well.
- 2004 – Nathaniel Adibi, LB
Pittsburgh passed on Marcus Turner because Bill Cowher wanted to pad the training camp roster to keep veterans fresh. Adibi never saw an NFL roster. Clearly a costly late round mistake for Colbert.
- 2005 – Rian Wallace, LB
Saw action in 16 games over two years and even recorded a pick six, but if memory serves he got hurt in training camp in 2007 and was never seen again.
- 2006 – Omar Jacobs, QB
Neither made the Steelers nor any other NFL roster. What more can we say?
- 2006 – Charles Davis, TE
Who? I asked the same question. Colbert probably wishes he had this one back.
- 2007 – Cameron Stephenson, G
Hung around on the practice squad for a while, but never cracked the roster.
- 2007 – William Gay, CB
Gay exceeded expectations in 2008 only to fall flat on his face in 2009. Perhaps his natural role is that of 3rd corner, which isn’t bad for a 5th round pick.
- 2008 – Dennis Dixon, QB
If the incumbent starter continues to fail to keep his pants on, Dennis Dixon could quickly find himself as the next starting quarterback of the Steelers. Steel Curtain Rising lambasted Pittsburgh for the move, but this pick might make Colbert look very, very smart.
- 2009 – Joe Burnett, CB
Burnett dropped a game sealing INT, but then again, who in the secondary didn’t? He’ll get his shot to shine in Latrobe in 2010.
- 2009 – Frank “The Tank” Summers, FB
Summers rushing is what kept Isaac Redman off the roster, but Summers was woefully unprepared to be a lead blocker and then he disappeared on IR. With Willie Parker gone, Steelers Nation figures to find out just what Frank “the Tank” can do.
Summing Up Colbert’s 5th Round Picks
Measured against his predecessors Colbert stacks up pretty well against Tom Donahoe but not as well as he does against Chuck Noll, Dick Haley, and Art Rooney Jr.
Kevin Colbert started off with some pretty strong 5th round picks, then cratered pretty badly in the middle part of the last decade.
The good news is that with the arrival of Mike Tomlin’s voice in the draft board room the quality of Colbert’s picks on seems to be on the upswing.
The bad news is that nothing in ten years of draft history indicates that Colbert is capable of using the 5th round pick to replace a player of Santonio Holmes’ quality.
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