In first-round pick Ben Roethlisberger, the team gets its quarterback of the future and a player many had rated as a top-five pick when the college football season ended. But Phillip Rivers stock rose faster than the Allegheny River on a rainy day and pushed Roethlisberger down some teams' draft boards.
But the Steelers were more than pleased to take him in the first
round and had him rated just behind Rivers and cornerback
DeAngelo Hall as their first choice.
In the second round, the Steelers moved up six spots to grab
cornerback Ricardo Colclough out of tiny Tusculum College.
Colclough is a small-school player, but there's nothing
small-school about his play. In fact, the Steelers had a
first-round grade on him, which is why the team felt the need to
deal its fourth-round pick to move up and get him before
somebody else did.
"We've always said if we like a player, we're going to be
aggressive and go get him," director of football operations Kevin
In Colclough and 2003 fifth-round pick Ike Taylor, the Steelers
have two good-sized young corners with speed. They are raw,
but that's why the coaches get paid, right?
Third-round pick Max Starks was something of an enigma. A
massive left tackle at Florida, the 6-7, 340-pound Starks never
played up to his full ability.
He could be a steal. But he could also be a bigger, younger
version of Oliver Ross.
© The picks of Roethlisberger and Colclough will turn out to be
solid ones for the Steelers in years to come. But once again the
team is treating its picks beyond the first two rounds as time to
throw some darts at a board, hoping to hit the bullseye.
Other than last year's selection of Alonzo Jackson, the Steelers
have done pretty well with their first two picks in the Bill Cowher-Kevin Colbert era. It's those picks after that in which no
starters have been procured.
That will change this year when Chris Hope and Clark Haggans
move into the starting lineup, but the Cowher-Colbert duo has
more misses than hits in the late rounds.
Former director of football operations Tom Donahoe was the
exact opposite. Donahoe would miss with his first and second
rounders and steal some late round gems.
I'm not sure who's way is better, but I question the Steelers' draft
so far this year a lot less than I am Donahoe's questionable
trade this year to acquire J.P. Losman. That one is going to get
Donahoe fired in Buffalo.
© Speaking of Jackson, when I asked Starks how he did against
him while at Florida, he spoke glowingly of the Steelers' 2003
second-round draft pick.
"I survived against him," Starks said of Jackson. "He was
definitely a very good defensive end. I didn't give up any sacks. I
think I had a pretty good day."
Funny, no NFL offensive tackles gave up a sack to Jackson last
© When Cowher and Colbert came into the media room while
the third round was still be selected, our Jim Wexell surmised
that the Steelers wouldn't be making a trade up into the third
"With what?" Cowher replied with a sneer on his face.
Win some, lose some
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