The scene is nothing new for Omar Khan. The new Pittsburgh Steelers general manager has had a front-row seat to watch Kevin Colbert navigate the offseason for the past couple of decades, so he should know a thing or two about how it all works. Still, there’s a first time for everything.
And yesterday was his first press conference during the start of an offseason as general manager, kicking off the first day of the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. It’s something we’ve seen Colbert do a number of times. But one thing Khan declined to do that Colbert does is to pinpoint and discuss some particular areas of strength and weaknesses in the draft. Perhaps just because he thinks it’s such a good class.
“This is a really good draft. There’s a lot of good football players”, he told the local media at the event yesterday, via the Steelers’ YouTube channel. “I’d say overall it’s just good everywhere. If you need a player, regardless of what position it is, without going into detail, I think you’ll be able to get one”.
In truth, this is generally being regarded as a deep draft overall, at least in this phase of the scouting process. Opinions will ebb and flow over the course of the next two months, particularly after tentpole events like the Combine and Pro Days and as outside scouts get deeper into their tape work.
But it is a draft that seems to have a little something for everybody, at least on the surface. That’s going to vary from scouting department to scouting department, though we’re only concerned with the Steelers’ scouting department anyway, and Khan speaks for it.
Later on during the day when he was on with Mike Florio and Phil Simms for Pro Football Talk and they were trying to get out of him what they might be looking at, he did allow that it was nice to not have to worry about the quarterback position. elsewhere in the prior press scrum, he hinted at the running back position not being a priority, to nobody’s surprise.
When he did talk about there not being one specific area they might be targeting, however, and began listing hypothetical position groups they would be happy to be able to improve, the ones he did mention are the offensive and defensive lines and the cornerback group. So, you know. Whatever that means to you.
A lot of fans will have those three positions listed at the top of their needs for the Steelers, and they may not be wrong, but it’s hard to make a mistake looking at this roster and trying to find a place to get better. Really, quarterback and running back may be the only areas on offense and defense you would avoid with your early picks.
Not that there aren’t talented quarterbacks and running back coming out this year. After all, as Khan said, it’s a class that’s “good everywhere”. And they do seem to feel strongly about the chance of their landing a good crop of starters. But time will well the story of his first draft as general manager. Either way, it won’t be his last.