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Should the Steelers have hired a GM in waiting throughout the 2022 draft process?

Did the Steelers play their cards right when it comes to hiring their next General Manager?

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We are nearly 2 weeks away from the 2022 NFL Draft. With so much pressure on this Pittsburgh Steelers team in transition, this is of of the most important drafts in nearly 20 years. Whiffing on several picks could set this team back, but making them all count could keep the Steelers a contender for years to come. The man at the helm of this, Kevin Colbert, has to have mixed emotions about his final draft. No pressure because he is retiring from the job shortly after the draft, but also pressure to leave the next General Manager (GM), whoever that may be, with a solid roster to build upon.

Colbert gets to oversee one more draft class before handing the reins over to whoever his successor may be, but is this a mistake? Would an out-going GM feel the need to make all the moves necessary for the future, and not just right now? Should the Steelers have bucked the organizational trend of waiting until Colbert’s contract is up, and hired a GM-in-waiting to shadow Colbert throughout the draft process?

There is the possibility the Steelers could get extremely aggressive in Colbert’s last draft. The decision on draft picks is not just Colbert’s, but he has a lot of the say in the process. The Steelers almost never trade back in the draft, having done so only once in the Colbert era. Even though it might be ideal for the Steelers to acquire more picks, it feels more likely the team could get aggressive and either trade up in the first round, compared to trading back into the first to gain more picks.

By all means, I love when the Steelers make an aggressive move in the draft, but to consider the consequences of swinging and missing on an aggressive move is terrifying. The Steelers’ aggressive move in 2019 to trade up and draft Devin Bush would be an example of a risky move which doesn’t always work out.

Colbert has already cemented himself as a Hall of Famer and a Steelers legend. Sadly, a bombed 2022 draft class will fall on the neck of whoever the next general manager is, despite not having actually made the picks. For the amount of heat the next GM could face if the rookies don’t pan out, it puts the next GM in a tough position. Despite it not being team policy, one could make the case how it would have been nice if the team hired the next GM earlier in this process and have Colbert mentor them through the draft. But it’s too late for that now.

But what do you think? Should the Pittsburgh Steelers have brought in their next GM prior to the 2022 NFL Draft? Or should they have followed their organizational protocols and wait till after the draft to hire the next GM? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.