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Indianapolis Colts Top 10 Draft Busts And Successes In Franchise History: Quentin Coryatt

Getty Images, Rick Stewart/Stringer
Getty Images, Rick Stewart/Stringer

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Colts Draft Bust No. 9: The Case Of The Disappearing Quentin Coryatt

We stay on the draft 'bust' theme and move on to another disappointing draft selection of the Indianapolis Colts, Quentin Coryatt. We wrote about Steve Emtman as the Colts 10th worst draft selection. With Emtman's career, the feeling isn't of disappointment, but of empathy. Seemingly freak injuries robbed Emtman of his chance to make a mark in the NFL.

With Coryatt, who was the second overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, no one really knows what the heck ended his career. What we do know is he clearly wasn't worth the second overall pick in the '92 Draft, or any draft.

Coryatt, like Emtman, was drafted after the Colts disastrous 1-15 season. He played seven games as an inside linebacker in Indy's 3-4 alignment back then. After a seemingly promising start to his career (54 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles in just seven games as a rookie), Coryatt exploded in 1993 by racking up 150 tackles. However, the Colts that year were pretty putrid. They were 27th in points allowed, and won only four games.

1994 saw then-owner Bob Irsay turn the football operations to longtime personnel guru Bill Tobin. With Bob is failing health, the duties of ownership were taken up by Jim Irsay. Tobin fired several of the defensive coaches and hired his own brother, Vince, to run the defense. Coryatt was moved to outside linebacker in a new 4-3 scheme. He responded by having two very good seasons, with 1995 being his best as a pro. Coryatt was a catalyst for Indy's improbable playoff run in that season, which ended with Aaron Bailey failing to haul in Jim Harbaugh's Hail Mary against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. 

Following that amazing 1995 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Coryatt to a $17.5 million offer sheet. The Colts matched the offer, ensuring Coryatt a wealthy contract. However, after concluding that deal, Coryatt's production took a dramatic nose dive the following two seasons. He played just eight games in 1996. In 1997, he played 15 games and put up decent numbers for a terrible 3-13 Colts team. Still, despite the numbers, Coryatt wasn't living up to his draft stock or his contract.

After that season, Bill Tobin was fired, and Bill Polian was hired as President of the Colts.

Also, for reasons that still seem to baffle many, 1997 was Quentin Coryatt's last season as a player for the Colts. He just seemed to quit football after that year. He didn't play at all in 1998, and was placed on injured reserve. His rights were relinquished by the team after that season. In 1999, he attempted some kind of comeback, this time with the Dallas Cowboys. He played in only four games. After that, his career was finished.

It's just one of that 'Wha?' instances that a guy like Coryatt can go from 87 tackles in 1995 to completely out of football in 1997. Fourteen years later, we still don't know what happened.

For the second overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft to last only six seasons, and to truly bomb out in dramatic fashion after signing a big contract in 1996, that rates Coryatt as a 'bust' for the Colts. Factor in that the Colts bypassed players like Dale Carter, Troy Vincent, Chester McGlockton, and Sean Gilbert to take Coryatt, and it makes the selection even more painful to remember.

It's long been speculated that THE reason that Coryatt was drafted No. 2 overall was a single hit he made in a 1991 college football game between Texas A&M and TCU. The play is simply titled 'The Hit,' and it is truly devastating to behold. Coryatt leveled TCU wide receiver Kyle McPherson on a crossing route. He broke McPherson's jaw in three places. However, if Jim Irsay took Coryatt No. 2 overall simply because of 'The Hit'... yeah, that's pretty bad, and it probably explains why Coryatt's career was such a disappointment.

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