The Steelers got a cornerback in the draft. And unlike other draft picks this one is not an unknown.
Earlier this week Steel Curtain Rising speculated on if Kevin Colbert could get some real value out of the 5th round pick the Steelers got in return for Santonio Holmes.
We now know the answer, as the Steelers traded the Jets' 5th round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for former starter Bryant McFadden and Arizona’s 6th round pick.
McFadden joined the Steelers in 2005 as a second round pick and started 18 games over 4 years, after making a key pass defense in the end zone that set up Mike Vanderjets’ missed field goal against Indianapolis in the 2005 run to Super Bowl XL.
Some looked at McFadden’s inability to start until his fifth year in Pittsburgh as a knock on him – you do expect a second round pick to become a full time starter sooner – but his delay in starting had as much to do with Desha Townshend’s ability to stay ahead of father time well into his 30’s as it did with McFadden's development.
The Steelers wanted to sign McFadden after Super Bowl XLIII, but he chose to head to Pittsburgh West, aka, the Arizona Cardinals.
Things obviously did not go well for McFadden in Arizona as either he or the Cardinals expected, and it is said he struggled badly in the playoffs. The stat sheet on Pro Football Reference says he started sixteen games and, although he failed to intercept a single ball, he did defense 16 passes.
Excellent Move By Kevin Colbert
Steel Curtain Rising’s analysis of Kevin Colbert’s 5th round selections concluded that his history there gave no hope that he was capable of using the 5th round pick to get a player of equal worth to Santonio Holmes. The site's alter ego, la Toalla Terrible, even joked that the Steelers had already decided to draft a quarterback in the 5th.
Byrant McFadden might not be equal to Santonio Holmes, but he is a known commodity, and rejoins the Steelers as a starter capable cornerback, something the team desperately needs.
Excellent value for a 5th round pick.