The idea of the NFL Draft process is to inject new talent into the league, but it doesn’t always work like that. Just ask Pittsburgh Steelers fans; as Steeler Nation has had their fair share of busts over the last few decades.
Luckily for the Steelers, they’ve never ended up being considered the worst NFL team in the Super Bowl era, but in this installment, we’re going to take a look at, what in hindsight, appear to be some of the worst draft picks in Steelers history. Brace yourselves.
5) Tim Worley
This wasn’t the first time the Steelers were made to look like fools in the NFL Draft. Worley arrived with such hype, but things did not pan out. Pittsburgh snagged him seventh overall in the 1989 NFL Draft and expected him to easily take over as the team’s star running back. Worley did manage a few solid seasons including a 770 yard, five touchdown year, but he just couldn’t stay on the field.
He had numerous off-field issues including substance abuse. As a result, he played just two games in the next two years after being drafted. In total, Worley played 33 games in four years as a Steeler and, on top of that unavailability, he fumbled a whopping 16 times!
4) Mark Malone
Mark Malone was supposed to be the “savior” of the Steelers franchise once Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw was beginning to wind down. Malone was drafted in the first round and while he played seven seasons for the team, he just wasn’t helping them win. In fact, it was the opposite. He threw for 54 touchdowns and 68 interceptions in 46 total games and in his final year with the team, he only mustered six touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. He was off the team after that. From there, he only played in 13 more games with two other teams before retiring. In all honesty, he would have been higher up on this list had Pittsburgh not given him so many chances to succeed, which makes his stats look a little better.
3) Jarvis Jones
Jarvis Jones lands on this list not just because he was ineffective for the Steelers, but because the organization passed on incredible talent to get him. Jones played four years in Pittsburgh and was heavily involved in the defensive linebacker rotation.
Despite that, he could only muster six total sacks during that period. Jones was released and picked up by Arizona. Again, he was released due to injury. He never really hopped back onto another team after that. The fact Pittsburgh chose to select Jones over DeAndre Hopkins in that draft makes it all feel a lot worse.
2) Limas Sweed
Limas Sweed isn’t a name that is taken lightly in Pittsburgh history; it is for all the wrong reasons too. Sweed was taken in the second round and as a 6’5″ receiver, expectations were really high. It was believed he would go on to be their number one wideout for years to come.
Sweed played just two seasons and appeared in a grand total of 20 games for Pittsburgh. He never latched onto another team and has career numbers of seven catches for 69 yards and no touchdowns. Calling him a draft bust is a bit of an understatement with this one.
1) Huey Richardson
Topping our list is Huey Richardson. As many other draft busts usually do, Richardson was out of the league almost immediately; in his case he lasted two years. The Steelers drafted him with the 15th overall pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, but he just didn’t fit their scheme.
In his first year, they played him at inside linebacker, but he was struggling to make an impact. The year after they changed it up and moved him to the outside but, again, he was completely ineffective. The Steelers quickly moved him on, and Richardson managed just 12 more games in the league before fading into obscurity.
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