Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert is currently down in Florida at the NFL owners meeting and he has given us several new quotes to chew on after taking questions from the media.
Colbert was asked once again about the possibility of right tackle Willie Colon moving to guard and he passed the buck so to speak to Head Coach Mike Tomlin. Colbert does still think that Colon would line up as a tackle if the season were to start today, but also made it clear that it doesn\’t make the tackle position any less of a priority in the draft for the Steelers. Would you expect him to say anything other than that?
I have been a long time advocate of the thought that it would make sense to move Colon inside at some point and the Chicago Bears had that very same thought in mind last off season when they made a run at Colon early on in free agency. Will that, or should that move be made in 2012? As it looks right now, not initially, but it has to be considered down the line as a possibility, especially if a tackle were to be taken early in the upcoming draft.
As we have learned from the drafts in the Colbert era, he does not lock himself into a specific positional need going into each and every draft. Need does play a small role, but Colbert would have no hesitations drafting a tackle that he has rated higher on his draft board than a guard. He is a proponent of the best player available mentality with need playing just a small role in his final decision making process. Great tackles are much harder to find than good guards anyways and he knows that.
The Steelers do indeed need to consider the guard position in this upcoming draft and I suspect a true guard will be taken at some point, but Colbert is making it clear that we could just as easily see a tackle taken before a true guard type if the value presented itself. I believe deep down inside he knows that he can move Colon inside, maybe not this year, but possibly in 2013, especially if a promising young tackle were drafted this year in the early rounds.
Colbert is as smart as they come when it comes to not tipping his draft hand, so it is not surprising that he answered the line of questioning the way he did in his latest interview. The Colon to guard question will be one that is asked until either it happens or Colon plays out his career at tackle. It is a legitimate question to ask, but one we will never get a true answer to until after the fact.
For now Colon is a tackle and likely will remain one for at least the 2012 season, so we may have to wait at least one more year to see Gerry Dulac in a Steelers cheerleader uniform. Maybe the arms of Colon are not shrinking either.