As much as I despise everything Fox "Sports," I have to say I found this interesting. Somewhat redeeming of Colbert, at least first-glance:
PITTSBURGH: If you skip last year's draft, the Steelers have taken the following players over the previous five drafts: Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, Santonio Holmes and LaMarr Woodley. There were others, but those picks include a two-time Super Bowl quarterback in Big Ben, one of the game's best safeties, two playmakers and one of the game's best young pass rushers. Three starting offensive linemen also came out of those drafts. All Pittsburgh needs is for runner Rashard Mendenhall, last year's top pick, to get healthy.
First-round picks: 6
Pro Bowlers: 2
Yeah, not bad...not sure it's truly an "A" and the three starters on the oline are sketchy. But certainly, it could be a lot worse.
Then, you compare it to these other A-grades, first here:
SAN DIEGO: A.J. Smith's first draft in 2004 was a blockbuster, considering quarterback Phillip Rivers, center Nick Hardwick, linebacker Shaun Phillips and running back Michael Turner, who cashed in big last season in Atlanta, were taken. Turner was the 154th overall pick. The 2005 draft found Shawne Merriman, Luis Castillo, Vincent Jackson and Darren Sproles. Smith might have had the two best years back-to-back of any general manager in league history. Punter Mike Scifres was the 149th pick in 2003 and the 2006-7 drafts produced four starters, including safety Eric Weddle and RT Marcus McNeill.
First-round picks: 7
Pro Bowlers: 6
NEW ENGLAND: Yes, 2007 was a lean year, but the 2003-2005 drafts produced 12 players who became starters, including 230th pick Matt Cassel, who ably replaced Tom Brady last season. Three of the team's best offensive linemen were selected during this run while the 2006 draft produced kicker Stephen Gostkowski when Adam Vinatieri left town via free agency. The last two drafts have produced two defensive stars in Brandon Merriweather and Jerod Mayo. The Patriots also drafted cornerback Asante Samuel with the 120th overall pick in 2003 and today he's the game's second-highest-paid corner in the league, but with the Eagles.
First-round picks: 7
Pro Bowlers: 5
Long and short of it: Our drafts have been pretty good, but there is much room to improve, especially when compared to top-level teams.
Am I just a spoiled Stiller fan? We got two rings this decade, and I'm still whining about our GM.