Indianapolis Colts Top 10 Draft Busts And Successes In Franchise History: Quinn Pitcock

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I've spent the better part of 24 hours chasing around the whole 'WHAT! That Peyton Manning twins story was TRUE?' news. Thus, I didn't have time yesterday (or the day before that) to continue with our daily series of Colts all-time draft 'busts' and successes.

Today, we have our first 'bust' that wasn't a first round pick: Quinn Pitcock.

Colts Draft Bust No. 7: Video Killed (The Career of) The OSU Star, Quinn Pitcock

Now, when evaluating a draft 'bust,' most likely such players come from the first round because, naturally, more is expected from a first round pick. Anyone taken in the first round is expected to start at some point in their career for the team that took them. If they don't become a reliable starter, chances are they were a 'busted' pick.

In the case of Quinn Pitcock, he did not come to Indianapolis with first round expectations. However, his rise during his rookie year to becoming, in essence, a starting-caliber player along the defensive line coupled with his dramatic and odd fall from grace certainly make him 'bust' material.

Pitcock is No. 7 in our list of all-time draft 'busts' for the Indianapolis Colts.

For you Ohio State fans out there, I'm sure you all remember ole Quinn. He was a relentless defensive tackle for the Buckeyes. He was, arguably, the team's best interior tackle from 2004-2006. In 2004, he earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention. He registered a career-high 49 tackles (20 solos), two sacks, and 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. In 49 games at Ohio State, Pitcock started 34 of them. He had 133 tackles (65 solo) and 14 sacks while seeing constant double-teams from offensive linemen.

After the Colts championship season of 2006, won in large part due to a mid-season trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, the Colts still wanted to shore up their historically weak DT position. Outside of McFarland, the team had no real prospects to play the Tampa-2 defense's version of a nose tackle.

Thus, with the 98th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft (third round), the Colts took Pitcock.

Almost immediately, the drafting of Quinn Pitcock paid off, which is somewhat odd when discussing a draft 'bust.' During training camp for the 2007 season, Anthony McFarland suffered a career-ending knee injury. This injury thrust rookies like Pitcock and Ed Johnson from Penn State into the proverbial fire, so to speak. As rookies, both responded well. Johnson became the starting defensive tackle, and Pitcock was his primary back-up. Though, as the season progressed, Ed and Quinn essentially became interchangeable. They solidified a d-line that had been the worst in the NFL at stopping the run in 2006, and before the Colts started resting starters at the end of the 2007 season, the Colts were surrendering only 107 rushing yards a game compared to 173 a game in 2006.

Despite an early playoff loss to the Chargers, there was a great deal of optimism about the Colts and their defense heading into 2008. Pitcock was being seen as a starting caliber tackle, and for the first time people wondered just how good the Colts could be if they had a defense which could stop the run.

But, as with the start of the 2007 training camp, something odd happened that would, essentially, doom the Colts season before it even began. For reasons that, at the time, seemed odd and 'Twilight Zone' strange, while driving to training camp in Terre Haute, Indiana in August of 2008, Quinn Pitcock decided to stop his car, turn around, drive back to Indianapolis, and retire.

Yes, retire. At the ripe old age of 24.


The move was so ludicrous no one truly believed he'd stay retired. To quote ESPN's Mike Wilbon in the video segment above, 'He'll be back in a couple of weeks. He was drafted just last year. What's he gonna do?'

Contrary to Wilbon's opinions, Pitcock stayed retired. The Colts played out their 2008 season, which saw them cut Ed Johnson (their starting DT) from the team after Week One. With Ed and Quinn gone, the Colts allowed nearly 2,000 rushing yards that season (122 per game). They made the playoffs because of an MVP season by Peyton Manning, but once again they lost in their first playoff game due in large part to the defensive line not knowing how to tackle a running back. Back-up Darren Sproles rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns, including a TD in overtime which sealed the win for San Diego, the team that had knocked the Colts out of the playoffs the year before.

All throughout 2008 and 2009, many of us wondered why such a promising talent like Pitcock would just up and quit on football. He didn't have the attitude of a 'quitter,' and his reputation at college was one of toughness and determination. It would not be until 2010 that we would finally get an answer.

Video Games.

Two years ago, as he headed for training camp with the Indianapolis Colts, Quinn Pitcock decided he didn’t want to do it anymore.

Sure, he was making good cash as a third-round draft pick, a former All-American defensive tackle from Ohio State with a nice future with a Super Bowl contender.

But something wasn’t right. Something was missing. And a day later, that something missing was Pitcock himself, who went underground after never showing up at Colts’ camp.

"I’m introverted. I cast myself away from everybody and became almost a hermit," Pitcock said Thursday after his first practice with the Seahawks, who are giving him a chance at a comeback. "I was a hermit for a year. No one knew where I was at. I just sat in my apartment and did nothing."

Nothing except play video games, which became his addiction and way to avoid the world. Who needs real life when you’ve got PlayStation?

"I got sucked into that," said the 26-year-old. "I’m going to be working soon starting some sort of charity to help kids who are addicted to video games because that turned into my way out and I got lost to the world. It took me awhile to get myself back and get my bearings and get back into society.

That's right, folks.

Quinn Pitcock gave up millions, a potential starting job on a Super Bowl-caliber team, and a chance at NFL glory to, essentially, play Call of Duty all day long. It too stupid to believe, and what makes it even more dumb is that it's TRUE.

The Colts relinquished their rights to Pitcock in 2010 (a dumb move, but done nonetheless), allowing Quinn to join the Seattle Seahawks and, potentially, re-start his career. He participated in their training camp and preseason, but was cut before the final 53 man roster was settled. He did not play at all in 2010, and is currently out of football.

The reason we list Quinn as the Colts No. 7 all-time 'bust' is because of how oddly and spectacularly he fell from grace. This guy was being looked at as a future, long term starter. He had the talent. He seemingly had the mindset. He had the right coaching and college pedigree. But, like so many busts, despite all the tools in the world, Quinn couldn't put it all together to make a successful NFL career. As a result, the Colts are still searching for a competent defensive tackle as their run defense continues to be a major weaknesses for the team and franchise.

No. 8 Draft Bust: Leonard Coleman

No. 9 Draft Bust: Quentin Coryatt

No. 10 Draft Bust: Steve Emtman

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