Posted February 20, 2014

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert: 2014 draft ‘deepest in 30 years’ but prospects ‘immature’

2014 Scouting Combine, NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014, Pittsburgh Steelers
2014 NFL draft depth: Seven of the top 10 picks in the 2013 NFL draft were seniors.

Seven of the top 10 picks in the 2013 NFL draft were seniors. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — A record 102 underclassmen declared for the 2014 NFL draft, a development that Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says brings both pros and cons to the table. Colbert called this draft class the most talented he has seen in his 30 years on the job but added “it also might be the most immature.”

Do those comments tip the Steelers’ hand at all with the draft a little more than two months away? Possibly, though they did use their 2013 Round 1 selection on Jarvis Jones, who declared for the draft following his redshirt junior season at Georgia. (He was 23 at the time of being picked.) The Steelers hold the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft.

“They’ll grow physically,” said Colbert of incoming rookies, “but if you fail emotionally it can be overwhelming and sometimes career-ending.”

Colbert called the task of figuring out which players are capable of handling the NFL pressure “an ongoing process” — “Personal interviews are huge, how they handle sessions here [at the combine] is huge.” The trend early in the 2013 draft actually followed Colbert’s warnings: seven of the top 10 picks and 11 of the top 16 were seniors. Jones was taken by Pittsburgh at No. 17.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | 2014 NFL Draft Big Board | Burning questions for combine

“You still have to go with what you see when they play,” Colbert said. “Trust your evaluations, don’t get all caught up with all the buzz. Hype’s great — it helps make our sport what it is — but you try to remove that emotion.”

Colbert’s comments about the depth of this draft mimic what NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said on a conference call earlier in the week. Mayock said this was the “deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years.” Multiple underclassmen could be of interest to a Steelers team that’s tight against the projected salary cap, too, including players like DT Louis Nix III, safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor and any number of offensive linemen, linebackers or wide receivers.

But Colbert made clear Thursday that no matter how talented some of those players appear, the Steelers will approach them with extra caution because of their relative inexperience.

“A lot of young players aren’t ready for this,” Colbert said. “I don’t think they understand until they are on the field. It’s easier to go from senior year [in college] to the pros than as juniors.”

17 comments
hubrob107
hubrob107

colbert needs to do a better job picking players regardless of any issues.  the steelers need help and they missed on need players they could have taken like honey badger

John4
John4

Actually, Colbert, this class MAY be deeper than recent draft classes, but as far as the immaturity issues, the players are (on average) just as mature as recent classes.  Colbert is older, the average age and maturity of those in the draft class is the same as previous seasons.  

(College professors have the same issues.  They get older, their students change, but the average age stays the same).

Kopernicus1967
Kopernicus1967

This sums up ANY profession now-a-days in hiring young people.


Plenty of talent, but immature, poor work ethic and unrealistic expectations.



wetmouse
wetmouse

"Immature" certainly sums up the undraftable Johnny Manziel.

Good luck, Cleveland.

lionoah
lionoah

When someone from the Steelers speaks, the entire league should listen. This isn't about any coaching tree, or a QB or some legendary front office exec. The Steelers are the classiest, most successful NFL franchise, Period. it all starts with the Rooney family. Sure they have a few knuckleheads like everyone, but they know what they are doing and have known for about 40 years.

Jerkzilla
Jerkzilla

Steelers know from immature.  Look at their QB.

John4
John4

@wetmouse  Is Manziel any more immature than dozens and dozens of draft picks over the past 10 years?  Probably not.

rskins09
rskins09

@lionoah    ... NFL fans should realize  that good  Pro teams  are like Fortune 500 Companies  --- they start at the top and filter down to the players ..If you have garbage at the top - President, Owner,  just a matter of time before it shows on the field .. Been following the NFL for years  and Art Rooney Sr.  had to be the classiest owner on or off the field  the  past  60 years ...It's no accident  the Steelers have won as many super Bowls as they have  and they have their  own room  in Canton, Ohio .. As everyone knows, the don't change head coaches  every two, three years  as too many  NFL teams do ..They make the right choice the first time ....

WarrenSappSucked
WarrenSappSucked

@lionoah  and they still have the rapist for a quarterback, the cheater for a coach, and hired back a convicted felon who stupidly shot himself in the leg. hey, didn't one of the coaches get busted for sending pornos? what a joke of the team is.

WarrenSappSucked
WarrenSappSucked

@lionoah  not really. they are frauds. the team absolutely sucks and won the last two super bowls with corrupted refs. faugh em and faugh you too.