Micah Parsons: These past eight months have been nothing but me getting better

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Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said on Monday that he would draft a player who played in 2020 over one who opted out if their grades were close and the fate of players who took the latter route will be one of the storylines to watch once the draft gets underway on Thursday.

One of the prospects in that group is former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Parsons was an All-American with 109 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, four forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 2019, which had him high up on the draft radar before choosing not to play last year.

Parsons’ good showing at his Pro Day helped people avoid second guessing what they saw on tape and Parsons believes the training he did over the last year has made him a better player than he was his last time on the field.

“You know, I believe in no regrets and I wouldn’t say it was a horrible decision, but I felt like it was the best decision for me and my family and moving forward I thought it was the best decision for myself and my career,” Parsons said, via CBSSports.com. “These past eight months have been nothing but me getting better, training my butt off every day and pushing myself every day.”

While some teams may be resistant to drafting players who opted out, playing defense may have more to do with any drop down the order. With quarterbacks set to go with the first three picks, two other quarterbacks considered good bets to go early, and several other offensive prospects at the top of boards, Parsons may have to wait a bit even if he is the first defensive player selected on Thursday night.