Assuming that Tony Ugoh’s Colts career is indeed over (and Phil B thinks it is), it’s time to summarize his time with the Colts.
Without question, his career was disappointing, but I chafe at the word ‘bust’ being tossed around. While he was never able to keep hold of the left tackle job and never met all our expectations, the fact is that he was a contributor for three years. Those games he played carried real value. Others have discussed this issue before, but Tony Ugoh was far from a ‘bust’.
Profootballreference has a way of rating player’s contributions across position. The rating is called AV (approximate value). By this measure, Ugoh grades out fairly well. His career rating of 16 is tied for 28th best in the 2007 draft. Granted, other players who are still in the league will have the chance to add to their value, but through three seasons, Ugoh actually outperformed his draft slot.
Fans think of every late first and second round pick as future Pro Bowl player. Any player that fails to hit that level gets tagged as a ‘bust’. That’s simply a ridiculous way to view the draft. Some will point out that Ugoh was essentially a first round pick because of the trade the Colts made for him. It’s hard to draw a 1:1 translation (because of fewer years played), but Ugoh would be roughly 26th (given an AV of around 5.5 each year) in that draft.
Ugoh was the the 42nd overall pick in the draft. The normal career AV for pick 42? It’s about 26. That means Ugoh is a little worse than the normal 42nd pick. So how bad a pick was it? Instead of being an average late first round, mid second round pick (depending on how you want to classify him), Ugoh was basically an average bottom of the second round pick.
Disappointing? Without a doubt.
A bust? Not even close.