Many casual fans of the National Football League do not understand the importance of the job of the general manager. Many point to the head coach as the barometer of success for a team, but there are many other individuals in an organization that determine the outcome of a season for a team, perhaps none more important than the general manager. Luckily for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have been blessed with an incredible general manager for the past two decades and Kevin Colbert is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
Matt Miller, a writer for the Draft Scout, released his top 32 NFL general manager rankings and Colbert landed number one on his list for the 2021 season. Colbert has been a mainstay in the Steelers organization since coming over from the Detroit Lions in the early 2000’s. Colbert has had many successful seasons as the Steelers GM and has won two Super Bowls during his time in Pittsburgh.
During his time as general manager, Colbert has been known as a draft guru. He has drafted perennial Pro Bowlers in the first round like Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, Maurkice Pouncey, Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro and T.J. Watt. He also has drafted well in the late rounds with picks such as Antonio Brown, Brett Keisel and Ike Taylor. Colbert’s genius has also not stopped in the draft as he is credited with signing undrafted players such as Willie Parker and Super Bowl MVP James Harrison.
Colbert has also been very selective in draft pick trades and moving up in the draft, but when he has, he hasn’t missed. He has only moved up twice in the first round of the draft during his twenty seasons in Pittsburgh and selected Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu and middle linebacker Devin Bush in 2018. He also has only traded the Steelers first round pick once and landed Minkah Fitzpatrick who has made two Pro Bowl’s and been named first-team All Pro in both of his seasons in Pittsburgh.
It comes as no surprise that Colbert’s greatness is being recognized by Steelers fans, but it’s nice to see Colbert is finally getting the national recognition he deserves. The Steelers success over past two decades could not have happened without Colbert calling the shots in the front office. Whenever Colbert finally decides to retire, the Steelers will be tasked with a huge responsibility in finding someone as great as Colbert has been.
What’s your favorite move Colbert has made over the past twenty seasons? Sound off in the comments below!