Looking Back at Last Year�s Draft
The Steelers look to have more holes they can possibly fill in the draft. The front office seems to be done looking at outside free agents, and I for one don�t have much faith in some of the players who are suppose to fill these holes.
I�m usually not one to say, "see, I told you so" but right now, I�m wondering why Colbert seems to be patching holes only to make two more. I�m just not sure any of his moves have made us a better team. Colbert doesn�t seem to have a plan.
I just keep thinking. We�d be so much better off right now if we�d gone with my draft last year.
We�d have Pennington instead of Burress. At least this would give us hope for the QB spot, and Ward and Edwards don�t seem any worse than Burress and Edwards. Plus we would have taken the Speedy Laveranues Coles in the third round. Coles was every bit as productive as Burress and would have cost us much less. Sure we wouldn�t have had Poteat to give us all that excitement on kick returns, but half that excitement was due to his penchant for fumbling. Besides my 5th round pick of Michael Wiley would have filled the role of kick returner with equal skill and the possibility for eventual contribution at a regular position. All Wiley would have cost us was the often inactive and still unproven Haggans.
We�d still have Marvel Smith, but We�d have Steve Warren on the D-line rather than the undersized Clancy. And I�ll admit that Chris Combs appears to have promise, but not enough to keep us from needing to draft a D-lineman on the first day of this years draft. Where as my 6th round pick of Darnell Alford would have immediately pushed Tylski and allowed us to cut the overpaid Mylinski.
What bothers me most and has me second guessing Colbert today is the shortsightedness of 3 other picks. Colbert should have known that there was a strong possibility that Kirkland would need to be cut due to his large cap #, but he did nothing to address our lack of depth at ILB. He had a golden opportunity. In the 4th round with pick #103, Colbert chose WR Danny Farmer who Cowher later cut. We got nothing from the pick, but we could have had Penn State ILB Brandon Short. I for one would feel much better if we had Short right now.
Then there was the Dawson situation. We all knew he�d be gone, either through retirement or Colbert�s axe, but Colbert didn�t draft a center. Instead he signed Fraley. Now Fraley was good, but Cowher just doesn�t keep many undrafted rookies. Mike Malano of San Diego State was one of the top centers in last years draft, but Colbert passed on him for a TE we later cut.
But this wasn�t the end of Colbert�s shortsightedness. Knowing that both we had problems at FS, he drafted no one. Knowing that Scott and Washington are both UFA�s in 2002, he drafted a CB who is best known for his return skills and who couldn�t even beat Simmons out for playing time. We could have had Purdue�s Michael Hawthorne, who has the size and speed the Steelers look for in a CB and who by next year could be ready to start. Instead we drafted a 3rd string QB who saw no time, and cut Pete Gonzalez who was quickly picked up by the Colts.
Perhaps Colbert will redeem himself in this years draft, but he�ll have to make up for the holes he didn�t fill last year, and he�ll need to look ahead to next years needs because the Steelers stand to lose several key players.