Oh, 2002. When you think about it, it doesn’t seem all that long ago. But when you think about the season before that Kordell was the starting QB, Bettis is in the backfield, and Plax was the leading receiver of the team, you realize that it was longer ago than you thought. Man, I’m glad those days are over. This was a real solid draft for the Steelers, if you don’t believe me, check out the rest of the picks.
1st Round, 30th pick: Kendall Simmons, G, Auburn
Check out the rest of the Stees’ picks after the jump.
2nd Round, 62nd pick: Antwaan Randle El, QB, Indiana
3rd Round, 94th pick: Chris Hope, DB, Florida State
4th Round, 128th pick: Larry Foote, ILB, Michigan
5th Round, 166th pick: Verron Haynes, RB, Georgia
6th Round, 202nd pick: Lee Mays, WR, Texas-El Paso
7th Round, 212th pick: LaVar Glover, CB, Cincinnati
7th Round, 242nd pick: Brett Kiesel, DE, Brigham Young
Notable Busts: 1st pick David Carr, 3rd pick Joey Harrington
Notable Late Round Gems: Round 3, pick 91, Brian Westbrook; Round 4, pick 108, David Garrard
After going 13-3 in 2001 behind Kordell and the Bus, they needed to beef up their line because Richard Tylski was getting old and crappier by the second. Kendall came in and did the job. He also got diabetes. He did what he had to for the Steelers but he was slowing down recently. He destroyed his Achilles last year on MNF against the Ravens. Since he probably wasn’t ever going to be the same, the Steelers kicked him to the curb in February.
The Steelers did an awesome job the rest of the draft. Antwaan joined Hines and Plax in an awesome receiving corp. Randle El allowed the Steelers to get on the creative side and use him like a Kordell. He also saved Ben’s ass in Super Bowl XL. (Video at 2 minute mark. Listen to the commentator in the video: “probably threw the 43 yard pass”? He did you dumbass, look at the video) But then he got all cocky and demanded more money than someone like him should be making. We didn’t know this but while at IU Antwaan played basketball under Bob Knight. He also played baseball there and was drafted by the Cubs in 1997. Chris Hope was molded into a solid player and was starting by 2004. He also helped us out in the Super Bowl when Darrel Jackson pushed him in the end zone and got called for it*.
Hope has turned into one of the better safeties in the NFL and was a Pro Bowler last year; unfortunately, he’s a Titan now. You already know how we feel about Larry Foote. Too bad he’s no longer around. Verron Haynes stepped in during the 2005 season when Duce went down to fill the backup role for Bettis. Lee Mays and LaVar Glover really never did anything. Then with the last pick in the 7th round, we pick up the Diesel. He didn’t really start until Kimo went to the Jets in ’06, but he’s been a great player to have. He’s a hard worker and a good teammate. Plus, he seriously might be the only player in the NFL from Wyoming. We think this has been one of the better recent Steeler drafts. When 6 of 8 of your picks contibute to the team somehow, you know you did well.
*May not have been the best call
Do you think this is one of the better drafts by the Steelers? Let us know in the comments.