It’s that time of year where it’s all about the current NFL draft. You hear a lot about players “draft value”. It’s a term used to describe a players impact versus where in the draft they are likely to be taken. Let’s take a look at the Steelers best draft values during the Kevin Colbert era.
5. Le’Veon Bell – 2nd round – 2013: Obviously when you talk about draft values the later the pick, the more value it represents. In this case though, even a mid-second round pick was possibly the best value in the entire draft. Le’veon Bell is the best back in the NFL, and has been for a few years now. Talent wise, Bell should have been the number one overall selection. Being selected 48th, makes him a tremendous draft value.
4. Kelvin Beachum – 7th round – 2012: Any contribution you get from a seventh round pick has to be considered good value. Most of the time, the best a team can hope for that late in the draft is a special teams player. Well, Kevin Colbert got himself a starting tackle out of his last pick in the 2012 draft. Kelvin Beachum wasn’t just some emergency fill in level tackle either. Beachum was a three-year starter with above average skills at his position.
3. Ike Taylor – 4th round – 2003: Ike Taylor went on to have a twelve-year career for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was the starting corner on two Super Bowl teams. Never a Pro-Bowler, Taylor was a steady presence who fit perfectly in the 3-4 systems of the Steelers defense. Perhaps he’s the reason Kevin Colbert went so long without drafting a corner in the first round. Colbert was always waiting to draft the next fourth round steal……it never happened unfortunately.
2. Brett Keisel – 7th round – 2002: Another seventh round home run Colbert can boast about. Keisel was a key contributor over a nine-year career in Pittsburgh. This two-time Super Bowl champion also even managed a Pro-Bowl selection in 2010. Not bad for being the 242nd player drafted that year. If that’s not great draft value, I don’t know what is.
1, Antonio Brown – 6th round – 2010: This of course represents not only Kevin Colbert’s best draft pick, but also one of the best ever in the NFL. Antonio Brown is right up there with the likes of Tom Brady as the biggest draft steals of the last twenty years. Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL over the last five seasons, AB seems to be a sure-fire Hall of Famer when his career is over. There were 21 receivers drafted before Antonio Brown in 2010, not one of them comes close to what he has accomplished.