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Top 5 second round picks in the Kevin Colbert era

Kevin Colbert has been in charge of the Pittsburgh Steelers for over twenty years now.  During that time he has made his share of selections in the second round of the draft.  Since the team does not have a first round pick, we thought it would be interesting to go back and look at how Colbert has done with his second round picks in the past.  Here’s our top five players drafted in the second round by the Steelers general manager:

5.  Marcus Gilbert – OT – Florida (2011)

Marcus Gilbert was a starting tackle for the team almost from the get go.  He would go on to start 87 games over eight seasons at right tackle for the Steelers.  While he never had a Pro-Bowl appearance during that time, Gilbert was clearly an above average tackle.  If not for the injury bug, Gilbert may still be the starting right tackle on this team.  Getting eight above average seasons out of any second round pick is a win, this pick was one of Colbert’s best.

4.  Ju Ju Smith Schuster – WR – USC (2017)

This selection could go down as Colbert’s best ever in the second round if Smith Schuster can put his miserable 2019 season behind him.  Injuries, turnovers, and horrendous quarterback play slowed what was a superstar trajectory.  Even with the setback, Ju Ju is clearly head and shoulders above any wide receiver taken before him in the 2017 draft.  Players like Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross were all drafted in the top 10, and none would be close to the receiver the Steelers got late in round two.

3.  LaMarr Woodley – OLB – Michigan (2007)

From 2008 to 2011, LaMarr Woodley was one of the premier pass rushers in the entire NFL.  He made the Pro-Bowl in 2019, and was named second team All-Pro that year as well.  Woodley had a three year stretch of double digit sacks from 2008 through 2010.  When the end came, it came fast however.  Injuries, and a lack of conditioning brought about a swift ending to his career in Pittsburgh.  He would go on to play two more seasons after leaving the team, but would only muster one more sack in his career.  Having said that, those four or five years of elite production still mean LaMarr Woodley a fantastic second round pick for Kevin Colbert.

2.  Stephon Tuitt – DT – Notre Dame (2014)

Injuries are a real concern, but there’s no questioning when healthy Stephon Tuitt is one of the best defensive tackles in the game today.  He is quite literally the perfect prototype for a 3/4 defensive end.  A massive player who is a physical run stuffer, but also athletic enough to rush the passer.  A season ending injury cost him all but six games in 2019.  How healthy Tuitt is going forward will determine whether or not he becomes one of Kevin Colbert’s best second round picks of his career.

1.  Le’Veon Bell – RB – Michigan St. (2013)

When your second round pick is a three time Pro-Bowler in his first five seasons, that’s what you call a successful selection.  Le’Veon Bell wasn’t just a great runner, he was a great receiver out of the backfield and an elite pass protector as well.  He was a premier offensive weapon during his five years in Pittsburgh.

You’d have to go all the way to DeAndre Hopkins at pick 27 to find a player that could be considered instead of Bell in the 2013 draft.  Drafting Bell in the second round will go down as one of the all time steals in NFL draft history.

 

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