Kevin Colbert and company have been in charge of the Steelers draft operations for so long that we can now look back at the data and make some guesses as to what they’ll do with their first-round pick. The main office rarely deviates from its philosophies and generally follows a similar path every year. Below are some of the things we know about this group of player personnel and things you can safely expect on Day 1 of the draft.
If Mike Tomlin or Kevin Colbert weren’t on your Pro Day, they (probably) aren’t the choice
The presence of Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert on a prospect’s Pro Day is a great key to knowing whether or not they are interested in a player. It’s been more than 10 years since the Steelers’ first round came from a school where they weren’t in person to exercise. If someone goes down and was thought to have been drafted long before, the Steelers could call them by name.
Power-5 prospects are a priority
The last time the Steelers did not select someone from the most dominant college conferences was in 2004 to select Miami (OH) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. They love guys with experience playing against the top competition in the world.
Freshmen are more sought after than seniors
The younger the prospect, the more impressionable, and that’s something the Steelers value. Boys who drop out of college early are much more likely to become the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Recoil is as rare as Halley’s Comet
The only time Kevin Colbert did this was in 2001 and they only fell three places. It just doesn’t happen, and they also value the fifth-year option, so don’t expect a first-round trade entirely.
The Steelers almost always take the best player on the board
The Steelers tend to neglect picking players of positional need unless their value is at the top of the draft board. The last time they panicked choosing a position was when the Bengals got on the Steelers and took Williams Jackson III, to which the Steelers responded by selecting Artie Burns.
When in doubt, they recruit a linebacker
Devin Bush, TJ Watt, Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons represent every first-round linebacker the Steelers have selected since they signed Mike Tomlin in 2007. This trend has increased even more in recent years. and it’s hard to beat. ignore. With the losses of Bud Dupree and Vince Williams, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got back into this pot.
But what do you think? Will the Steelers break any of these draft philosophies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.