We’re done with the offense. But we’re not quite ready for defense. That’s right, we’re on to the so-called third phase of football: The special teams.
Do the Steelers ever draft for special teams? There hasn’t been any out-of-the-blue “we’re taking Sebastian Janikowski in the first round” kind of snafuus from the team and nothing as glaring as these little gems from the past.
- In 1979 the New Orleans Saints spent the 11th overall pick on a punter named Russell Erxleben. He was later twice convicted of securities fraud.
- In 2016 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used a 2nd round pick on kicker Roberto Aguayo, who is now out of football.
- The Jets drafted Mike Nugent in the 2nd round, he’s still in the league, but has never made a Pro Bowl.
- The Bears drafted Todd Sauerbrun in the 2nd round in 1995. But at least he made 2 All-Pro teams.
- In 1992 the Lions took Jason Hanson at the very end of the 2nd round. This ended up not being that bad of a pick as his 48 career annual value was tied for the most of any player selected in that round, although it took him 22 years to get there.
2007: 4th round, Daniel Sepulveda, Punter, Baylor
Well, there he is, the lone punter selected in the draft by Kevin Colbert. Sepulveda ran a 4.6 40 and was a great college athlete, but he ended up only playing four years in the NFL thanks to injuries. Fourth round is probably a little high for a punter and Colbert and the Steelers never repeated their mistake.
2017: 6th round, Colin Holba, Long Snapper, Louisville
In 2017 the Steelers spent a 6th round pick on a long snapper from Louisville named Colin Holba. While Holba is still in the leaguee, he didn’t make the Steelers roster out of training camp. To be fair it was towards the end of the 6th round and virtually no one taken after him has amounted to anything in the NFL except Seattle running back Chris Carson. But you still probably shouldn’t select long snappers in the draft in any round, ever.
2000-2020 draft special teams breakdown
Total selections: 2
Years selecting ST: 2/20
Selections by round:
1st round: 0
2nd round: 0
3rd round: 0
4th round: 1
5th round: 0
6th round: 1
7th round: 0
Selections by conference:
Big 12: 1
Big 10: 0
PAC 12: 0
Power 5: 2
Group of 5: 0
You shouldn’t select long snappers in the NFL Draft. … Don’t spend 4th round picks on punters.
NFL Releases Pro Day Schedules
The 2021 NFL Combine should be kicking off this week in Indianapolis, but like so many other things in the past year, it has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NFL has decided not to risk bringing together prospects, scouts and media from around the country and will instead be relying on the schools’ individual pro days to evaluate prospects.
With that in mind, the league has taken a greater measure of control over the process, and on Wednesday, released a preliminary schedule for each team’s pro day.
March 5: Kansas
March 9: Kansas State, Northwestern, Wisconsin-Whitewater
March 10: Arkansas, Marshall, Maryland, Wisconsin
March 11: Clemson, Nevada, Texas
March 12: Arkansas State, North Dakota State, Oklahoma
March 15: Army, Kent State, Middle Tennessee St., Vanderbilt
March 16: Georgia Tech, Temple
March 17: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Pitt, San Jose St.
March 18: Auburn, Buffalo, Central Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe,
Stanford, Troy, West Virginia
March 19: Memphis, Ohio, TCU
March 22: Air Force, Bowling Green, Colorado, Colorado State, Florida State, Iowa, Missouri, Toledo
March 23: Alabama, Central Michigan, Iowa State, Nebraska, Purdue
March 24: Michigan State, Mississippi State, South Carolina, USC, Virginia
March 25: Georgia Southern, UMass, Ole Miss, North Texas, Penn State, San Diego St., SMU, Tennessee, Western Michigan
March 26: Boston College, BYU, Michigan, South Dakota State, Virginia Tech
March 29: Arizona State, Duke, Louisiana-Lafayette, Miami (Fla.), Miami (Ohio), North Carolina
March 30: Alabama, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Louisville, NC State, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Tulane, Washington
March 31: Boise State, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Notre Dame, Wake Forest
April 1: UCF, Minnesota, Charlotte, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, USF, Western Kentucky
April 2: Oregon, Tulsa
April 7: Texas Tech
April 9: UAB, Ball State, Houston
Should Steelers Use First Round Pick on a Center?
NFL Releases Further Details of Altered Draft Process
After cancelling the in-person NFL Scouting Combine last week due to COVID-19 concerns, the league released further details of the significantly altered draft process in a memo to clubs Friday.
Teams are prohibited from timing, testing, interviewing or examining draft prospects at any location other than all-star games or the respective player’s pro day.
Clubs are also banned from hosting draft prospects for facilities visits, dinners, film sessions and private workouts. Violations of these rules would be subject to punishment in line with the NFL’s anti-tampering policy.
Further muddying the process, clubs will only be allowed to have a maximum of three individuals attend pro days. However, all times and measurements are said to be made available league-wide.
Lastly, the league also released further details and restrictions on the pre-draft interview process. While in-person interviews and visits will be prohibited, they can be conducted virtually or via telephone.
Clubs can schedule up to five video conferences or phone calls with a prospect, with each conversation limited to one hour. Virtual psychological tests will not count against the five interview limit.
Teams can begin conducting interviews with draft eligible underclassmen on Monday, Jan. 25.
Interviews with seniors can begin on Monday, Feb. 1.