Pittsburgh Steelers: Drafting Colin Holba not a snap decision
The Pittsburgh Steelers made eight selections in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the club’s special teams were not ignored in the process.
It’s interesting that deep down we know important special teams are to a football team. Yet, when an NFL team drafts a punter, placekicker or long-snapper many roll their eyes. In the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers, using a sixth-round pick on pivot Colin Holba is a necessary decision. That’s because 12-year veteran Greg Warren was recently released after failing a physical.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel spoke, via a team statement (per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com):
“I would first like to thank the Steelers organization, coaches and training staff for their help and advice over the last few weeks,” said Warren. “I had full intentions of playing this upcoming season, but in light of new information I’ve recently received from my doctors relating to a past injury, it has been determined that trying to compete in the 2017 season may be a risk to my long-term health. After discussing this with the Steelers, we have decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to release me at this point.”
So that opens the door for Holba. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says the former University of Louisville “has the placement and velocity necessary to be considered as a late-round pick in the draft.” Hence Pittsburgh general manager used the 213th overall pick to grab what will prove to be Warren’s replacement. The latter was waived on May 18, roughly three weeks after the draft.
It’s certainly not the flashiest of draft choices. But what if the Pittsburgh Steelers can get a dozen seasons out of Holba as they did Warren? It’s one less thing for the organization to have to think about.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if opposing teams take aim at the rookie snapper. Both PAT and field goal attempts could be interesting. Considering the increasing difficulty and importance in these situations, Holba will have a big role to fill.
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