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Matt Miller of The Draft Scout revealed his top 10 general managers in the NFL yesterday, and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert came in at No. 1.
The Steelers have won two Super Bowl titles and have made the postseason 13 times under Colbert since he joined the organization in 2000 as the director of football operations. They've also had just one losing season during Colbert's tenure, which occurred in 2003. So, Colbert has been consistent as they come when it comes to finding premiere talent in the draft.
"Colbert has overseen the continued stability of the Pittsburgh Steelers since becoming general manager, including becoming the team’s first ever general manager after having the title “Director of Football Operations” from 2000-2010," Miller wrote. "Colbert successfully navigated replacing legendary head coach Bill Cowher with Mike Tomlin, he’s overseen the roster for two Super Bowl wins, he’s helped manage difficult personalities (Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell), kept a competitive roster around an expensive veteran quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) and hit on draft picks high, low, and major trades (Minkah Fitzpatrick, Devin Bush) that have bolstered the roster."
Miller listed the trade with the Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick as Colbert's best move, and in contrast, he surprisingly had drafting Edmunds in the first round in 2018 as Colbert's worst move. Especially since Jarvis Jones in 2013 and Artie Burns in 2016 were first-round picks and flat-out busts.
"Colbert hasn’t hit on all his picks—Terrell Edmunds was a surprise first-rounder and the team didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, and early 2000s misses like Rashard Mendenhall definitely hurt—but the Steelers’ roster and winning continuity are a credit to Colbert’s ability to acquire talent via the draft, trades and free agency," Colbert wrote. "Not to mention All-Pro and Hall of Fame caliber talents he’s drafted like Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, Maurkice Pouncey, Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro and T.J. Watt."
Colbert is on a year-to-year basis with the Steelers and his contract runs out after the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Steelers should be in play for a quarterback this year to replace Ben Roethlisberger, which will obviously be a big decision that could affect the Steelers positively or negatively for years to come.
"How he manages the future of the quarterback position post-Roethlisberger will ultimately be his legacy which leaves room for Colbert to slip down the rankings in the future," Miller wrote.
Behind Colbert in Miller's general manager rankings was Chris Ballard of the Colts, Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott of the Bills, Mickey Loomis of the Saints and Jason Licht of the Buccaneers. Bill Belichick was surprisingly ranked ninth.