NFL analyst Matt Miller has shared his rankings of the top ten general managers in football, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Kevin Colbert took the top spot.
Miller points to Pittsburgh’s sustained success under Colbert, his ability to navigate complex personalities and willingness to make the big move as the main reasons why he views him as the best in the league.
“Colbert successfully navigated replacing legendary head coach Bill Cowher with Mike Tomlin, he’s overseen the roster for two Super Bowl wins, he’s helped manage difficult personalities (Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell), kept a competitive roster around an expensive veteran quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) and hit on draft picks high, low, and major trades (Minkah Fitzpatrick, Devin Bush) that have bolstered the roster,” Miller wrote.
While Miller does concede that Colbert has not hit on all of his draft picks, he does have very few misses. Miller surprisingly has safety Terrell Edmunds pegged as Colbert’s biggest draft blunder, even though outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and cornerback Artie Burns proved to be bonafide busts after being taken in the first round. That being said, he has made plenty of slam dunk selections as well.
“Colbert hasn’t hit on all his picks — Terrell Edmunds was a surprise first-rounder and the team didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, and early 2000s misses like Rashard Mendenhall definitely hurt — but the Steelers’ roster and winning continuity are a credit to Colbert’s ability to acquire talent via the draft, trades and free agency,” Miller writes. “Not to mention All-Pro and Hall of Fame caliber talents he’s drafted like Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, Maurkice Pouncey, Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro and T.J. Watt.”
Colbert’s résumé may speak for itself, but Miller believes his biggest test is still on the horizon.
“How he manages the future of the quarterback position post-Roethlisberger will ultimately be his legacy which leaves room for Colbert to slip down the rankings in the future,” Miller writes.
Navigating the post-Roethlisberger era will be tricky, but Colbert may not stick around long enough to steer the ship anyways, as he has not been shy about having his sites on retirement.
Colbert signed a one-year extension in March that will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2022 NFL Draft.
The 64-year-old Colbert is entering his 22nd season with the Steelers organization, which has achieved tremendous success under his leadership. Pittsburgh has won two Super Bowls, three AFC Championships and ten division titles over his tenure.