Kevin Colbert is generally pretty honest about his thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of each draft class. Speaking to the media Tuesday morning, Colbert gave a brief outline of what 2020 has to offer.
“This class is coming together,” he said. “What we know right now, and it reflects on modern football. The wide receivers and running backs are strong. It’s an unusually strong class for outside linebackers. We’ve gone through it a few times and still feel that way. And the offensive tackles, it’s a very strong draft as well. It’s kinda where the draft heads in modern football because of the way they play in high school and college.”
Most of those comments aren’t terribly surprising. Wide receiver, running back, and offensive tackle are universally agreed to have great talent. Receiver is about as deep as ever, a total 180 from last year’s underwhelming crop, while a bevy of underclassmen runners declared. Tackle may lack some depth but has immense talent at the top and should see four or five selected in the Top 20.
The one part that caught my attention was his thoughts on the outside linebackers. Most don’t view the class as a particularly great group yet Colbert called it “unusually strong.” Even working under the assumption Bud Dupree receives the franchise tag, it’s possible the team drafts an EDGE rusher sometime on Day Three. Dupree’s long-term future is still unclear, trying to lock him and TJ Watt up long-term will take up plenty of cap allocation, and the team will likely release Anthony Chickillo to help get under the salary cap.
How much stock should we put in these comments? It’s worth at least filing in the back of your mind. Looking at last year, Colbert praised the wide receiver, running back, and cornerback classes. And Pittsburgh addressed all three of those within their first four picks, selection Diontae Johnson, Justin Layne, and Benny Snell. In 2018, he praised the draft’s depth at QB and wound up trading up for Mason Rudolph. In 2016, he said the organization was taking a long look at cornerback before pulling the trigger on Artie Burns. So Colbert, even a bit vaguely, is often honest and forthright in what he’s looking at come late April.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 25, 2020