Our friend Colt Homer has a post up over at Naptown's Finest ranking the top 5 Indianapolis Colts busts. I actually disagree with Colt Homer's take on certain players, in particular Rob Morris. Labeling Morris a "bust" is just not correct. How a guy who was a key starter on a Super Bowl winning team can be labeled a "bust" makes no sense to me. Morris was a solid starter for many years who was wrongly lambasted by fans. He found his true position in the Dungy 2 defense at SAM backer, and his play saved the 2006 season (along with Booger McFarland and Bob Sanders). Some of his other selections are right on, like Jeff George, the post boy for draft busts and bad hair ideas.
Colt Homer’s post got me wondering who I’d list as the top Indianapolis Colts draft busts. Here are my results:
5. Leonard Coleman, CB, Vanderbilt: Coleman was the #8 overall pick in 1984 and he lasted a whopping three seasons in Indy. His 1987 season was cut short due to the strike, but he did not return to the Colts after 1987. He spent the next two seasons playing bad football for the Chargers. So, five seasons netted only 6 INTs. Coleman left football in 1989. Players drafted after Coleman by other teams: LB Wilber Marshall, LT John Alt, OG William Roberts.
4. Quentin Coryatt, LB, Texas A & M: Coryatt wasn’t necessarily a bad player or a bad guy. He’s retired from football, and works to help disadvantaged children. However, Coryatt was the #2 overall pick in 1992, and he just did not live up to that billing. Unlike Steve Emtman, who was the #1 overall pick that season whose career was cut short due to two terrible knee injuries, Coryatt’s career fizzled because he was not as good as his #2 overall draft selection warranted. Players drafted after Coryatt: CB Dale Carter, DT Chester McGlockton, KR Desmond Howard, CB Troy Vincent.
3. Jack Trudeau, QB, Illinois: Everyone’s favorite player is the back-up QB, unless your back-up is Jack Trudeau. A second round pick, Trudeau never started all 16 games in one season, ever. His career completion percentage was 53% and it was only in one season (1989) that he threw more TDs than INTs. His claim to fame in Indy is he helped the Colts get to the playoffs in 1987, where they were mauled by the Cleveland Browns. After that, Trudeau just sucked. He now enjoys giving alcohol to minors. Players drafted after Trudeau: LB Pepper Johnson, LB Pat Swilling, OG Tom Newberry.
2. Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska: This one is easy. Alberts is probably the biggest bum ever to wear the blue shoe. Loathed and hated by just about everyone, Alberts optimized the "me only" athlete. Despite getting drafted #5 overall in 1994, Alberts never started. The Colts used him as a situational blitzer in their "joker" blitz packages, back when Vince Tobin and now-Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson ran the Indy defense. Alberts was part of the team that was a hair’s breath away from beating Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game during the 1995 season, but after that he did absolutely nothing. Then, right before the start of training camp in 1997, Alberts decided to quit. This has been a pattern for Alberts, as he decided not to show up to work for ESPN College Football announcing job one day. ESPN said he violated his contract by not showing up, and fired him. While broadcasting, Alberts never shied away from bashing the Colts, the team that drafted him #5 overall, paid him handsomely, and that he subsequently quit on. Classy guy, that Trev. Trev’s draft selection did prompt the famous "Who is Mel Kiper?" reaction from Colts VP Bill Tobin. Other than that, Alberts was a complete waste of flesh as a player. Players drafted after Alberts: QB Trent Dilfer, DT Bryant Young, LT Todd Steussie, WR Isaac Bruce.
1. Jeff George, QB, Illinois: Before Ryan Leaf graced us with his whiny presence, Jeff George was the poster boy for bust NFL QBs. Now, to be fair, Jeff did have Pro Bowl seasons and did help teams make the playoffs. The problem was, it wasn’t with Indy. And, just like in Indy, Jeff was run out of those clubs for being an idiot jerk. We all make fun of Vince Young’s laziness here, but lazy personified was Jeff George. The man never learned how to read a defense. Never. Coverages, stunts, line changes, linebacker shifts, Cover 2, Cover 3, press coverage… all that was Greek to Jeff. He was, quite simply, too stupid to play QB. Jeff had a cannon of an arm, and he could launch a football 70 yards, easy. However, he was never able to match his physical gifts with any basic understanding of what it took to play QB in the NFL. I honestly believe that if Jeff George tried to play Madden 09 right now, he’d get confused. Add to his stupidity a good jerk streak and you’ve got a lethal combination if the guy is your starting QB. Teammates hated him. Coaches were frustrated with him. Fans booed him. Jeff reacted by running away. He was once AWOL from training camp. The only friend he ever had on the team: Eric Dickerson. That should tell you something. Unlike other QB busts, like Leaf and now Congressman Heath Shuler, Jeff had a long NFL career. He played for 11 years and has a respectable QB rating of 80. But with Jeff, it is his attitude and his stupidity that define his career, and he never justified his #1 overall selection status from 1990. Players drafted after Jeff: LB Junior Seau, RB Emmitt Smith, LT Richmond Webb.
There you have it. Thoughts? Additions? Subtractions?