Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says 2014 Draft Class Is Deepest He’s Ever Seen, But Also The Most Immature

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert held his annual 15 minute press conference Thursday morning at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and reiterated once again how deep of class this one is as opposed to previous ones. However, with a record amount of underclassmen declaring this year, Colbert also said it might be the most immature one as well.

“I’ve been doing this 30 years,” Colbert said, according to Yahoo sports, “this is the deepest draft I’ve ever seen.”

“The juniors added into it make it a very talented group. With the juniors and redshirt sophomores, we are very cautiously optimistic about their emotional and physical readiness for this huge jump. Even though it’s the most talented group I’ve seen, it’s probably the most immature group.

“We have to be prepared for more player development-type programs to get the development out of these players.”

Colbert elaborated even more on the young draft class.

“Experience has told us that a lot of these younger players aren’t ready for this,” Colbert said. “It’s a huge leap. I don’t think a lot of them understand that until they actually get on a playing field and see the increase in the quality of play.”

The Steelers have a ton of needs this year on the defensive side of the football and several positions are very deep and rich in talent.

“I can’t see a position where there isn’t more depth than there ever has been,” he said. “You talk about interior offensive linemen, it’s a solid group. Not as solid as maybe the tackles or receivers, but it’s more solid than it has been in the past.”

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Speaking of underclassmen, all the Clowney haters need to shut it. I’ve followed this guy since high school and he is nothing but a humble and attention-shy young man. Do you REALLY blame him for not giving it a full go this season? The guy’s ever-promising teammate tore up his knee right in front of him and cost himself millions. And Clowney himself is not wealthy, his mother works in a Frito-Lay assembly plant, so when he has a chance to take care of her without jeopardizing himself that money, he will do it. I can’t say I would have done things any differently than him. Granted, he may not be JJ Watt but he will be a great player in the league especially if he goes to a team that is halfway decent on that DL that can focus multiple blockers off him. No, for the record I don’t think he’ll go to Houston because I know O’Brien understands the importance of having a QB in this league. I just hope they don’t be stupid and draft Manziel and go with the most pro-ready QB with a pro-ready brain (Bridgewater). And I’m not sure StL (barring a trade) has room for him either. Clowney is a 4-3 DE and they already have Long and Quinn as starters, with Brockers and a potential replaceable other guy at DT, but Clowney is not a DT. Next comes the Jag-offs which would be a really pathetic situation for Clowney…

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    Did he not know this was going to be the case last year when he traded a 3rd rounder in the “deepest draft he’s ever seen” for a 4th rounder last year. Then turns and picks a QB with the 4th rounder they already had. The only explanation is that they didn’t see Thomas falling to their pick in the 4th and they really thought highly of him. If not, that seems like horrible management. And yes I understand they are expecting a 3rd round comp pick for Wallace but with the WR depth this year I could see them being able to land a good WR in the 3rd round. Could have double dipped or added even more depth at secondary. This draft has first round talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds at for both spots. Id rather have two great WRs than a great back up QB

  • shawn

    talk about immature

  • Kevin Gobleck

    He wont go to the Texans but at that pick no. 2 expect someone to trade for him

  • LayDownTheHammer


  • LayDownTheHammer

    Any thoughts on top candidates who would? I’m drawing a big blank except Atlanta…the rest need QBs.

  • shawn

    scream much …

  • steeltown

    That was it, they saw him as a 3rd Rd talent, so the move made sense to them at the time.

    There is no way to truly gauge a draft class until after the Fall season. You can base an early estimate off the seniors coming out, but you don’t really know which juniors will declare for the draft and then add in the redshirt sophomores that are coming out this year…

  • PA2AK

    I think they were also hoping to land talent ASAP. Keep in mind that he also said it’s the most immature class he’s seen. That means additional development will be necessary in most cases. I agree that using the 4th on a QB was a dumb move, but the trade itself wasn’t a terrible move.

  • Derick L Young

    Colbert has to have a good draft. Who knows what will happen but hitting on multiple picks seems to be a must. IMO

  • shawn

    i would probably pass on Clowney at the top of the draft , he may well turn out to be a beast for the next decade, but when Spurrier said his work ethic was “OK” what he was really saying was it was non existent … if it was OK he would have said it was good … by the context i dont think he was putting him down just being honest

    when you are paying someone that much money and drafting that high you need to know their character and work ethic are rock solid, otherwise you have no idea what the big pay check will do to him … money changes people especially weak ones, not to say he is … but like i said a pick that high need to be sold on the man and the head on his shoulders !

  • shawn

    You are right very hard to get a good feel for the next years draft class a year ahead of time .. too much changes and too many variables … maybe a hint of an idea , but nothing near crystal

  • shawn

    definitely !! but u know what a lot of us here are bagging on the FO in drafts lately and there has been some bad ones (2008 RIP) but when looking at it like this it paints a different picture … most drafts get 2-3 good/decent starter contributors above that is gravy … and if you look at

    2009-2013 they have all reached that or passed those expectations … so its not like they have been terrible the last 5 years .. can we do better, always and 2 more classes like 2013 and we are well on our way !

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I would say Atlanta, maybe Oakland if they like a QB that can be taken later(Boyd, Garrapolo) i think a couple of suprise choices could be the Bills, Giants and Bears

  • Nolrog

    >>> Do you REALLY blame him for not giving it a full go this season? Yes. If you’re out there, you should give it a full go. What’s to say he won’t do the same thing if he’s in a contract year?

  • shawn

    haven’t followed who likes what … but the guy screams Oakland pick (Davis Years ) hopefully they are past that as they need soo many pieces but Oakland needs to fix their foundation before they can even think about building a decent team

  • Nolrog

    That’s true for any year though, if a team wants to stay on top they need good drafts every year. Just look back to the bad ones; even though we were good then, we are suffering from the disaster that is known as 2008 right now.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Sometimes we may read too much into something but at the end of the story Colbert is quoted as saying on how deep the interior OL is this year. If he is mentioning this could he be interested in a OL guy in the draft?

  • Richard Edlin

    By the same token, do you suggest that we should not blame the guy if he decides not to perform or take risks during his rookie contract, when not as much money is on offer? What sort of recommendation is that, really?

  • RyanW

    They did it for 2 reasons they felt Shamarko was a 3rd round level talent and 2 they knew they were gonna be getting comp picks and 1 of them is more than likely a 3rd rounder.

    I dont see a problem with than of thinking at all. Not too mention its never predictable how deep a draft will for sure be if even half these underclassmen stayed back in school another year this draft would be fairly weak.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Wrong. Not having any money -> rookie money is much more staggering and worth the risk than the rookie contract -> 2nd contract. Of course, I don’t want to speculate because you’re right, he could go all Mikey Wallace fragile ballerina, but from following him since high school I think he needs to get over that initial low-funds hump and he’ll be good. Plus DEs aren’t WR divas like Mikey was.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    See full reply below I gave to Edlin. I’ll add that it’s not as simple as “your out there, give it a full go.” Understand his circumstances. You’ve probably always had more money than his family, and on top of that being a black guy in the South is a curse in itself. I know what it feels like to be broke from college/med school costs, and being very careful with money. Don’t blame him at all, blame the circumstances.

  • shawn

    that caught my eye too … would like an upgrade at LG as i think foster is best as a swing guy … but doubt they will go that way and we have too many more pressing needs