The NFL is a 'what-have-you-done-for-me-lately' league. In regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers, what they've done lately is not have a losing season since 2003, been competitive every season, won double-digit games and made it to the playoffs the last two seasons.
When a team experiences this kind of success, there are people who get credit for the success, and maybe people who get overlooked. In Pittsburgh, count General Manager Kevin Colbert as someone who gets overlooked.
People love to bash Colbert. They discuss how he can't draft defensive players, yet ignore his incredible talent in drafting on the offensive side of the ball. They hate his draft picks, but don't complain when Antonio Brown and Kelvin Beachum become everyday starters on the team. In other words, with every GM there is good and bad when it comes to their line of work.
Coming off a 10 win season, making to the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, most would expect Colbert to be ranked in the Top 10 of NFL GMs in the game today. Well, if you follow Rotoworld's yearly rankings of NFL GMs, you might be a bit surprised.
The author of these rankings, Patrick Daugherty, gives his reason for Colbert being ranked 13th among all 32 general managers:
13. Kevin Colbert, Steelers
Last Year's Ranking: 19
Is Kevin Colbert underrated or overrated? It can be hard to tell sometimes. Colbert has allowed the Steelers' once-proud defense to descend into mediocrity, and been amongst the worst in the NFL when it comes to managing the salary cap. He's also had only two coaches in 17 years, and overseen the construction of one of the league's most lethal offenses. Colbert is without peer when it comes to drafting wide receivers. The truth, then, must be somewhere in the middle. Colbert has to find a way to inject more talent into his defense, but still has a roster that hasn't had a losing season since 2003. It's possible Colbert has built a house of cards that will crumble any year now, but results are results. Colbert has continued to get them even in the face of glaring deficiencies. He needs to be better. He could also be a lot worse.
Daugherty might have a few solid points in his summation, but what truly irks me is how Colbert was ranked 19th after the 2014 season leading into the 2015 year.
Looking at the complete list of GMs, Daugherty seems to have an ax to grind with Colbert and the Steelers. It is so bad at times Daughtery has Mike Maccagnan of the New York Jets ranked 12th on the list. The only issue with Maccagnan being a slot above Colbert is he has never been a GM in the NFL before. A rookie GM is placed above a man who has been a driving force behind a ridiculously competitive team with Mike Tomlin at the helm.
Take a look at Rotoworld's Top 10 NFL GMs:
1. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
2. John Elways, Denver Broncos
3. John Schneider, Seattle Seahawks
4. Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens
5. Marvin Lewis/Duke Tobin/Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
6. Ted Thompson, Green Bay Packers
7. Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals
8. Dave Gettleman, Carolina Panthers
9. Rick Spielman, Minnesota Vikings
10. Rick Smith, Houston Texans
Clearly, I think Colbert should be ranked much higher on this list, but what say you? Is Colbert right around the correct spot at No. 13? Is he listed too high? Or is he too low and should be higher? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.