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Re-Grading Kevin Colbert’s Final Steelers Draft Classes – 2020 NFL Draft (+)

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Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert before a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 9, 2022. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The NFL Draft media landscape is a strange one. While the 32 NFL teams are evaluating the players in the draft pool, the media that covers the draft is also evaluating those players and coming up with its own conclusions about which one are best.

Some of this is informed speculation, with connected media members getting info out of teams about which players they think are best or which ones they are likely to draft. Some of it is just amateur scouting of the draft media at large, watching tape and breaking down the data from the NFL Combine and pro days to come up with the players they think are most likely to hit.

That information is then aggregated by people like NFL Mock Draft Database, which comes up with something of a consensus of the media opinion about who should be drafted where.

Then NFL general managers make their picks, those picks are compared to that consensus, and grades are given out on how well each team did, before those players even play.

Suffice to say, no team will care if years later, it turns out they were right about a player when the consensus was wrong. But taking players off the board and going against the grain, and then having those players bust, too? That’s a no-no.

New Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan has done very well in that instant analysis of his first two draft class. He’s gotten players well after the consensus suggested they should be available. It’s far to early to make any kind of real assessment on the impact those players will have to the Steelers in their career.

But him doing well in those immediate analyses was in stark contract to his predecessor Kevin Colbert, whose draft classes were not usually favored by the draftnik crowd. Those classes, though, have been around long enough to find out who was right.

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