The Steelers' Pick Tonight Tells A Lot About Who Their Next GM Might Be

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Tonight is the 1st round of the NFL Draft, and I believe the Pittsburgh Steelers' pick will tell a lot about who their next General Manager might be.  As most know already, Kevin Colbert will step down as the Steelers GM at the conclusion of this draft after a 22-year Steeler career.  Teams under his supervision have gone 226-143-3, have gone to three Super Bowls, and won two of them.  They also had just one losing season.

However, instead of giving up the reigns to the organization before this extremely pivotal next three days, Colbert will stay on to complete one final draft for the Steelers.  This draft will feature the first time the Steelers do not know who their starting quarterback is since 2004, Ben Roethlisberger's rookie season.  Replacing a titan of the game and future hall of famer is no easy task.  It also greatly shifts the team in a certain direction.

If the Steelers do go the route of the quarterback tonight, this tells me they will almost certainly go with an internal candidate for the GM position.  The front-runner being Brandon Hunt and the dark horse candidate being Omar Khan.  

The quarterback position has become the most important position in all of professional sports.  Teams can no longer win championships without a great quarterback, and the emphasis on this continues to grow.  We saw the Los Angeles Rams instantly become Super Bowl Champions because of their trade for Matt Stafford.  The Cincinnati Bengals were also a laughing stock before drafting Joe Burrow, and having him lead them to a Super Bowl this past season as well.

Because of the way in which quarterbacks are relied upon, there is no way Colbert is drafting a quarterback and then handing the keys over to someone entirely new to the organization.  This would be completely unfair to the new GM coming in from the outside.  The next five to six years, at least, would be marked by this final Colbert 1st round pick, so the new guy having no say would create a situation that no new GM would want to walk into.

However, if they do take a quarterback, I would believe that both Brandon Hunt and Omar Khan would have some say into this pick.  As they are with the organization it would not be hard to ask their opinion, and have them on board with the new leader of the franchise.  They would also then take over a team they felt they had a great say in.  

Therefore, a 1st round QB tonight signals to me that all of those external interviews the team took part in were simply doing their due diligence.  If they take a less flashy pick like center Tyler Linderbaum or defensive lineman Jordan Davis, it does not necessarily mean the Steelers are going external with their new GM, but it leaves that door open much more than if they draft a QB.  

It will be interesting to see which direction they go tonight, and if they do draft a quarterback, I expect an announcement soon of either Hunt or Khan as the new GM, with Hunt being the favorite.