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.