If there’s one position group that’s extremely string and depth when it comes to the 2020 draft class, it’s wide receivers. The 2020 draft class is loaded with talented wide receivers and so much so that we could see as many as 10 selected before the Pittsburgh Steelers first scheduled pick in the second-round at No. 49 overall. On Monday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin held their annual pre-draft media session and during it the former was asked if he was able to
glean the depth of talent in this year’s wide receiver draft class prior to coronavirus pandemic forcing a halt to the annual college pro day circuit.
“Fortunately, the wide receiver group, when I talked about players that didn’t run 40s, the majority of the wide receivers did either run at the combine or the pro days that we were able to get done before the shutdown,” Colbert said. “So, we do feel good about that group. It is a deep group. There’s some dynamic players. There’s some nice depth guys. There’s some slot types. There’s some big outside guys. So, it’s a nice group and I feel good about it, you know, from an evaluation standpoint, probably as we feel as good about that position as we do any other.”
Colbert’s answer wasn’t overly surprising. The only real mystery at this point is if the Steelers wind up selecting a wide receiver at some point during the draft. Perhaps an even bigger mystery is when, not if, the Steelers will draft a wide receiver. After all, only three times did the Steelers not select at least one wide receiver in a draft in the 19 years that Colbert has been in charge of things in in Pittsburgh.
While the Steelers do currently have a talented wide receiver depth chart that includes JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Diontae Johnson, Tomlin indicated Monday that he has no problem with adding yet another new and young player to that group.
“And from a depth and competition standpoint, man, I’m always excited about adding talent to our team, particularly with this wide receiver pool,” Tomlin said Monday. “I think Kevin would agree, man, in recent years it’s been interesting to watch the level of development of receivers and corners, specifically, from a draft standpoint. I think it’s kind of reflective of the development of seven-on-seven in a year-around skill development that now permeates our game at the high school level. I think these guys are just coming in with a higher level of preparedness and I think that allows them, from a skill standpoint, to maybe ascend and be helpful to us at an early stage.”
The wide receiver group in this years draft class perceivable being so much deeper than any other position, would that sway Colbert to maybe address a different position instead if he feels he could still get a talented pass catcher later? He was asked a similar question to that one on Monday.
“It’s all relative,” Colbert said. “I mean, we can always say this player’s available but there’s several more that we may get down the road, we better look at another position first. And if the other position without the depth and the players equal, of course you’d take the player with the less depth at that appropriate time. But you’re never going to reach down into a group only because there’s only six that may help you and the other group has 12. If the group that has 12, if that player is significantly better, you take him. If not, you’re going to make a mistake.”