Steelers GM Pushing For Three Extra NFL Draft Rounds

The coronavirus has radically changed the NFL Draft process and Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has offered up one proposal to help teams adjust to the lack of workouts and Pro Days. Colbert has asked league officials to add an additional three rounds to this year’s draft, bringing the total number of rounds to ten, as Manish Mehta of the Daily News writes. 

In lieu of drills and auditions, teams are permitted to hold up to three hour-long video conferences per week with any prospect. Still, coaches and executives like Colbert feel like they are flying blind. The draft is already wildly unpredictable; now teams have less intel than ever before. Because there are bound to be many misfires, Colbert believes the Steelers (and other clubs) can offset things a bit with a greater margin for error.

It’s not immediately clear whether the league is giving real consideration to Colbert’s idea, but anything is possible given these unprecedented conditions. This year’s draft will be “fully virtual” with executives conducting their business in separate locations, rather than the initial plan of allowing teams to gather their front office officials in one room.

The league has done its best to adjust. For example, Tua Tagovailoa recently underwent a voluntary medical re-check via the league’s combine committee. Ordinarily, his surgically-repaired hip would have been examined by scores of team doctors in separate exams, Instead, every team was allowed to request specific tests and the results were then shared with all 32 clubs.

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69 comments on “Steelers GM Pushing For Three Extra NFL Draft Rounds

    • bmerg34

      It’s because the Steelers only have 4 picks and cheap no udfa wants to go there!! Piss of Colbert!!

      • jkcchc3

        Steelers have 6 picks.

        Round 2, Pick 49
        Round 3, Pick 102
        Round 4
        Round 4
        Round 6
        Round 7

        3rd round pick is compensatory.

        • All American Johnsonville Dogs

          All UDFA sign for league minimum ever?

          Wrong. Lael Collins sure didn’t.

          Rules state they can only give them a set amount of guaranteed money but they can sign for whatever.

      • ccool

        how can you say there cheap when there in the bottom 5 of available cap space?

      • Jcool90

        Yeah sthu not our fought you traded everything away for the CB and the trade up last yr ha loser

      • cspera77

        Please there’s not a player that wouldn’t love to play for the greatest organization in all of sports.

        • jkoms57

          Vote on what’s most hilarious:
          A.) Steelers are cheap (always against the cap)
          B.) No one wants to play for the Steelers
          C.) Minkah is a CB
          D.) Steelers only have 4 picks

      • Prospectnvstr

        From the nonsense you spew,you’re either a Bleveland CLOWNS or a scavenger ravens fan. Am I right?

  1. All Minnesota Sports

    I like it. Teams virtual war rooms are gonna be nuts. Like the worst conference call you’ve ever been on with everyone talking over each other.

  2. bowserhound

    How would extra rounds help anybody? That would only mean more people don’t make the team. If you didn’t do your homework prior to CV19, that’s your fault buddy.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Bowser does have a valid point though. If you can’t find talent in the first 7 rounds, what makes you think you can find it in the next 3-5 rounds?

        • jkoms57

          Well if you cant meet someone in person it makes it a lot harder to gauge their mindset coming into the league.

          These guys can all run and hit for the most part, but who’s going to keep getting better is how you find diamonds in r5-7

        • louwhitakerisahofer

          It’s not that long ago that the draft was 12 rounds. And not often was anyone quality drafted late, but you occasionally could find a guy like Mike Wagner (11th round and in the HOF) or an LC Greenwood (Zahid SHOULD be in the Hall).

          • crosseyedlemon

            The scouting process is far more extensive and sophisticated now than decades ago. Today you would never see a talent like the great Deacon Jones slide to the 14th round.

            • louwhitakerisahofer

              I don’t disagree. My point was there is a precedent for it and some talent can still be found occasionally. I like it, if for nothing more than to get more kids fresh out of college an opportunity.

              • crosseyedlemon

                I think it would be better for the kids fresh out of college to use the education they got to get them an opportunity in life rather than chase a thousand to one shot of making it into the NFL as a 10th round pick…but I’m looking at this from a parents perspective.

                • louwhitakerisahofer

                  Lol.., when you put it that way!

                  Who knows though, it could spring board them into a position in the teams office (in their selected major).

                  Thinking as a parent that wants their children to shoot for the stars, but be realistic at the same time. Pull the rip cord when you should though.

            • cka2nd

              “Today you would never see a talent like the great Deacon Jones slide to the 14th round.”

              No, but as the 186th pick overall, Deacon Jones would have been a 6th rounder in the 2019 draft, just as 176th overall Tom Brady was 20 years ago.

              Now, 268th pick Mike Wagner would have been a UDFA last year, as the draft maxed out at 254 picks, while 238th overall pick L.C. Greenwood would have been a 7th rounder.

    • All American Johnsonville Dogs

      As it stands.
      Teams were unable to go to “pro days” for college athletes where they not only scout potential prospects, but teammates as well who were not invited to the combine. Teams use this opportunity to scout guys they’d potentially like to sign via UDFA or think they found a sleeper to use a late round pick on.

      Teams are only allowed video interviews, which, given the emphasis on behavior and character, teams have a harder time conducting character interviews given how long theyre allowed to talk to prospects online.

      Teams are unable to have “their doctors” inspect prospects when prospects come to visit. Could be wrong, but also unable to inspect medicals at this point.

      Didnt do their hw? A lot of draft decisions come from information obtained in march especially from pro day visits and prospects coming for pre draft visits.

      Point of the 3 extra round would be to give teams a chance to draft a guy they were high on and probably were hoping to sign as an UDFA, but never got to see him at his pro day or at the combine and didn’t get enough information that they wanted on him.

      • Tony B

        Drafting these guys ties them to a team they may have little chance to make. Better to let these marginal guys chose among teams that are interested in them. Lot’s of UDFAs make the league with a good match. A draft would hurt them, and the teams in most need.

        • cka2nd

          Although I can understand All American J Dog’s points, I agree with you. The more freedom of movement the players have, the better for them.

    • madmanTX

      How does it hurt anybody? You get a few extra guys who get a shot. They don’t make it, so what? Maybe some do stick. Let’s find out. If you don’t like it, watch some ballet instead.

      • Tony B

        The draft was reduced to 7 rounds to let the undrafted players then be free agents and go to the team that offers the best opportunity. This is just the way for the Steelers to tie up more guys — which they want to do, because they only have 4 picks. No reason for other teams to support this to help the Steelers.

        • Stillers12

          Steelers have 6 picks. And whether there is an extra 3 rounds or not, teams sign UDFA’s.

          3 more rounds of guys getting drafted instead of having to scramble to sign UDFA with a team. I would think the players would be happy about it.

          • cka2nd

            Why? As a UDFA, you may have multiple teams trying to sign you, some offering larger than usual bonuses, and you can screen out teams that you’re not interested in playing for.

    • bdpecore

      Considering how many undrafted players are signed within the first few hours after the draft, this could help them add some more depth which is controllable without having to pay a significant signing bonus to just to get them on the field.

      • Tony B

        UDFAs never get big signing bonuses. These are guys looking for an opportunity after being passed over.

  3. juanpursuit

    MLB cuts their draft potentially 80%, NFL GM wants to increase the draft more than 40%

    • TJECK109

      You are kidding about this right? This is laughable. The MLB draft is overkill to begin with. They essentially draft what would amount to an active NFL roster. I mean you couldn’t give a worse comparison.

      • While I agree the MLB draft is overkill, they do have to fill several levels of minor leagues. NFL doesn’t have any developmental leagues. But yes, there are/were definitely too many MLB rounds.

    • king beas

      Mlb cut it cause they most likely won’t play the season so they have no money coming in. Whereas the nfl got in a full season and has money to blow

    • crosseyedlemon

      Says a guy who is probably counting the days until his Covid assistance cheque arrives.

      • Dodgethis

        Since it’s people who work that are getting checks, I’m guessing you’re bitter about being a worthless leach?

        • cka2nd

          I believe it’s anybody who filed federal income taxes last year, so I’m hoping my retired-on-a-pension ass gets one.

    • ctside26

      This has nothing to do with being prepared – teams have been limited to the normal amount of access they have with the players – I’m sure if they take a vote around the league more teams will be for it than against.

  4. TJECK109

    How many UDFA do you see making rosters every year? How many of these guys could end up on practice squads? Some of these guys may not make it past rookie camp. Considering the circumstances I don’t think it’s an awful idea. ESPN and Mel Kiper may be the happiest people right now

    • Tony B

      Better for UDFAs to be able to pick the team that gives them the best opportunity, than be tied to a team they can’t make. That’s why the NFL went down to 7 rounds from 15 years ago.

  5. DarkSide830

    there certainly should be more draft rounds, but i feel like you’d need a coinciding farm system. so many college guys graduate each year but few get the chance to go pro. the MLB is a good example here. a farm system affords the ability to draft 40 players and sign ~35. and its not like none of these guys develope into anything – quite a few do. the XFL is a great first step, but there should be more football than the top level NFL and what is essentially an offseason league.

    • Tony B

      Everyone gets the chance to go pro. They just sign as undrafted free agents with a team that wants them and which they think they have an opportunity. The league is made up of probably 15% UDFAs — 6 to 7 a team.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think there are several good reasons why the NFL has never created a farm system. First of all the cost of doing so is substantial and the return on that investment is going to be small in comparison with only a handful of players graduating to the NFL as quality players. You then have to consider that the average career of a player is about 5 years so if he spends 3 seasons in the farm system (where injury is just as likely), an NFL team that signs him will probably only get 2 seasons worth of production…which doesn’t appeal to many GMs.

  6. Michael Chaney

    Even as a huge draft fan (which I am), 10 rounds is just way too many.

    I think maybe adding an extra round could work, but any more than that would practically defeat the point of UDFA signings.

  7. nentwigs

    Shouldn’t the number of draft rounds increase when there is an increase in either roster size or practice squad size?

    • crosseyedlemon

      If your using draft picks to stock your practice squad you are either the greatest GM in NFL history or the worst.

  8. Tony B

    If every team has passed on a guy for 7 rounds, he should be able to go to any team interested in signing him. The draft is a way to ensure top talent is spread around and to lock players to teams. But after 7 rounds, the UDFAs need to be able to make choices.

    And they are key to the league. For example, the Chiefs started 3 UDFAs in the SB — Damien Williams, Daniel Sorensen and Charvarious Ward. And several others played — Pennel, Pringle, Niemann, Brown, and Winchester, by my count, but I may have missed one or two.

  9. The Ghost of Bobby Bonilla

    You know Goodell is thinking more rounds = more viewers = more money…….hmmmmm

    • crosseyedlemon

      I wonder if Goodell does his best thinking on the toilet like Jerry Jones.

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