The fact is, they are all important because a few poor years can really set you back and we are learning that the hard way.
It’s widely believed that another non-playoff year will put Mike Tomlin on a very warm seat.
For General Manager Kevin Colbert, his seat will likely be steaming if the team gets little production out of this year’s draft.
No spot is more important than the first overall pick for the Steelers at number 15. As of right now, general consensus is that the Steelers will look for one of five positions with that selection.
Arguments could be made for wide receiver, defensive lineman, safety, cornerback and linebacker. The ultimate question is…. Which pick is in the best interest of the Steelers and which is in the best interest of Kevin Colbert?
OK, so that’s two questions in one but my point is that what could be good for Colbert may not be as good for the Steelers.
Any defensive selection Colbert makes with the top pick automatically helps him. The Steelers under Dick LeBeau are notorious for not playing rookies on defense very much in their inaugural seasons. Should that happen with a Louis Nix III, C. J. Mosley or Justin Gilbert then Colbert probably gets a reprieve.
Jarvis Jones was an exception to this usual rule in 2013 mostly because of a total lack of depth at the OLB position. Don’t mistake him for being the new normal.
While it’s safer to suggest that an offensive player like a receiver would be immediately detrimental to Colbert’s long-term job security, we can’t necessarily say that either given Markus Wheaton’s limited time last year. However, if a receiver were taken with the top pick and had a poor first year, Colbert could clearly be on the hot seat.
You know as well as I do the Rooney’s are patient people with their coaches and will be likewise with their first true GM, but I do believe that Colbert is on much thinner ice than is Tomlin.
While the entire group of draft selections is important, I believe Colbert’s fate may be determined by that first round pick and the outcome of next season.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.