With the starts of NFL training camps now just a few weeks away, “ranking season” is still going strong. On Tuesday, Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News decided it was a perfect time to rank the GMs around the league and he has Kevin Colbert ranked 9th overall, which is two spots lower than he was ranked last year.
Iyer writes of the ranking of the Pittsburgh Steelers longtime general manager:
Pittsburgh was in danger of hitting the defensive dumps, but draft picks such as Bud Dupree and Ryan Shazier have changed the fate thanks to Colbert. The GM also has an eye for ideal depth and firepower on offense: see DeAngelo Williams behind Le’Veon Bell, and now Sammie Coates behind Martavis Bryant.
Before we go any further, it’s worth pointing out that Iyer ranked both Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome (6th overall) and Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown (8th overall) ahead of Colbert. What’s even more curious is the reasoning he gave for Newsome being ranked where he was.
When Newsome isn’t spectacular with his drafting, he’s steady. The Ravens are coming off only their second non-playoff season in the John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco era, and it was tied to injuries ravaging the roster. Baltimore has been in more reload mode for most of Newsome’s tenure, but he’s a pretty good rebuilder, too.
Injuries ravaging the roster? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Steelers have notable injuries last year as well? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed four-plus games due to injuries, while running back Le’Veon Bell and left tackle Kelvin Beachum both missed over half the season. Additionally, center Maurkice Pouncey missed the entire season with an injury while wide receiver Martavis Bryant missed the first four games due to a suspension. The Steelers still managed to make the playoffs and had they not been without the services of wide receiver Antonio Brown for their playoff game against the Denver Broncos, there’s a good chance they would have advanced to the AFC Championship game and perhaps even the Super Bowl.
In short, the Steelers 2015 season might very well have been one of the best Colbert has had in Pittsburgh when you consider all of the obstacles the team had to overcome. If Newsome gets somewhat of a pass for his drop this year in the rankings due to injuries, then Colbert should get a pass going the other way.
As for the Bengals’ Brown, when was the last time his team won a playoff game?
If anything, Colbert should have probably moved up a couple of spots in this year’s rankings, right, Vinnie?