One of the quiet hopes of fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers is that, given the unusual circumstances of the offseason, their team might have something of a leg up on others in terms of their preparedness for the 2020 NFL Draft.
The team has had ownership stability for nearly 90 years at this point. Their general manager has been here for decades, though one has to wonder for how much longer. Even their decision-making duo including Mike Tomlin is as seasoned as it gets in the NFL.
Beyond that, they have a deep and stable scouting department whose structure has rarely changed, from the top to the bottom, with a number of regional scouts who have been in the system for many, many years. Everybody has a specific job and knows exactly how to do it.
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was recently on The Fan to talk Steelers, and one of the topics that he was asked about, in light of the rumored proposal by general manager Kevin Colbert to hold 10 rounds this year, was whether or not the Steelers might have an edge over other teams.
“I think they’re very confident in the work that their guys do from August through January, through bowl season”, he said, but also added that it’s no substitute for having a full, complete offseason. The Steelers are also more active than any other team on the Pro Day circuit, for example.
“You’re so used to having all of these extra steps in the process that you feel a little bit naked going into it now just because you’ve been doing it this way for 30-35 years, whatever it is”, he said. “Kevin Colbert’s been doing this a long time, but he’s never done this. Everyone who’s doing this basically knows no other way how to do it”.
But he added, “I think the Steelers are confident. They have a big scouting staff. Based on their drafts and their won-loss record over the years, I would say their scouting staff is pretty good, and if everything stays status quo, I would think they’ll be one of the teams that does well in this draft”.
He also said that he doesn’t expect anything to come out of Colbert’s suggestion of elongating the draft, and considering it’s less than two weeks away at this point, I would think that’s a safe assumption. Which means the Steelers will only have six draft picks, the fewest of all teams. Fortunately, they were able to plug a number of holes in the offseason already.