For the first time, Omar Khan can make the top NFL general manager lists. I’m sure he’s excited. Though hired last year, this is Khan’s first full offseason running the Pittsburgh Steelers and there’s enough movement and action to begin judging and ranking him. For years, Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty has written an annual article ranking all the applicable GMs in the league and included Khan on this year’s list, placing him 24th in the NFL, a little lower than expected.
On Khan, he writes:
“Omar Khan‘s first season was a winner. It was also entirely non-representative. These were outgoing GM Kevin Colbert‘s players, right down to new “franchise quarterback” Kenny Pickett. Colbert made his last act a desperation heave to replace Ben Roethlisberger. We assume Khan acquiesced, but it creates the very real possibility that the move that defines his tenure was made before it even began. Khan is now hoping Colbert’s groceries don’t go stale before he can cook a meal. Although 2022 remained the year of Colbert, Khan did get in on the action with a mid-season fleecing of the Bears. That’s when he flipped Chase Claypool — who was clearly out of coach Mike Tomlin‘s plans — for what ended up being the No. 32 overall pick. Highway robbery. In the draft, Khan planted his first flag when he traded up for Georgia OT Broderick Jones. Khan may not have picked Pickett, but he is still sensibly building around him. Steeped in Colbert’s highly successful “Steelers Way” — he has been in the Pittsburgh front office since 2001 — Khan deserves a long leash as he refreshes Colbert’s winning formula.”
A bit of a curious comment to say Khan’s offseason was “non-representative” considering how much roster turnover he’s generated in just one year. True, Pickett was selected under Kevin Colbert, not Khan, and it’s a fair point how that could define his tenure. As he also notes, Khan should get plenty of time to prove he can do the job. Since 2000, Pittsburgh’s had only two GMs and two head coaches, making for the best job security in all of sports.
But since last year’s draft, Khan has shaped the roster in his vision. He signed DL Larry Ogunjobi, made a great deal to send WR Chase Claypool to Chicago, and had an incredibly active offseason. His free agency brought in a slew of players highlighted by CB Patrick Peterson, OG Isaac Seumalo, and ILB Cole Holcomb. Khan was praised for his first draft, moving up to take OT Broderick Jones at 14 and then nabbing CB Joey Porter Jr. at 32, turning down trade offers to keep the pick and take him.
Putting Khan 24th seems a bit harsh but he’s still a first-year GM and isn’t going to pass too many names who have been in the job for years and have more established track records. As time goes by, there will be a more accurate judgment of Khan’s job and where he should be placed on lists like these. For all the admiration he’s received so far, all that matters is what happens in the fall. If the Steelers pick up their first postseason win since 2016, the good times will keep rolling. If Pittsburgh misses the playoffs for a second straight season, Khan will probably take some heat somewhere, somehow. It’s a results-driven business.
You can check out our thoughts on Khan’s offseason from an article we wrote yesterday that examined the good and the bad of the moves he’s made.
At the top of the GM list sits the Philadelphia Eagles’ Howie Roseman, a probably universally agreed upon selection. Right behind him are Andy Reid/Brett Veach of the Kansas City Chiefs while Bill Belichick tumbles out of the top five and falls all the way to #7.
Around the AFC North, Cincinnati’s Duke Tobin/Mike Brown come in at #5, Baltimore’s Eric DeCosta at #11, while Cleveland’s Andrew Berry finishes at #18. Excluding new hires, last on the list is Houston’s Nick Caserio, whose Texans have lost 13 games in each of his two seasons. He’ll hope former Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud can save his job.