Kevin Colbert & Mike Tomlin 2012 Steelers Pre Draft Press Conference

Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin met the media on Monday for their annual pre draft press conference to talk about the upcoming draft. Below is the audio from the press conference and I will be filling in the key talking points from today, albeit not too many.

The situation with restricted free agent Mike Wallace was addressed and both Colbert and Tomlin continue to say that they are committed to trying to get Wallace signed to a long-term deal. Tomlin said that they are not worried about all of the recent reports that Wallace intends to not sign his tender and hold out instead. Colbert said that the Wallace situation will not influence what they do in the draft.

Right now they are about 98% done with their draft preparation and the board is pretty much set. Colbert said Steelers will make their 10 picks from a pool of about 150 players and said that there are 7-10 “surefire” first-rounders. After those players, teams will be taking more of a gamble than in past years. He also stated that there is not a lot of players in this draft that could be immediate impact guys for us. Colbert added, “need” is not the word. The word is “want.” We want good players.

They are still waiting on late medical and character information according to Colbert. Colbert thanked the scouts and everyone associated.

Colbert said that running back coach Kirby Wilson is back in the fold and helping with the running back evaluations. He will be with them during the draft as well. Wilson is working around his rehabilitation with laptops when needed.

Colbert states that going into the draft preparation the most numbers are at wide receiver and cornerback and that has not changed. The least depth is at fullback, tight end, center and safety. He says when you get into the second round, teams often go off into their own directions based on need. Expects it to happen quicker this year.

Colbert stated that as always they will make all of their calls in regards to possible trades. They will know by draft day who is willing to come down or up and they will weigh the cost of doing business with each of those teams. They will weigh the players they will potentially pass up by moving up or down.

Less easy picks this year in regards to other years. Colbert says every player needs to be evaluated depending on how good or how poor of team he played. It is easy to over value players that played well on poor teams. Not a lot of players in this draft that are the types than be considered immediate impact players according to Colbert.

Ed Bouchette asked specifically about Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe and was warned that they do not talk about specific players.

Tomlin said you bring some players in for pre draft visits for a variety of reasons. Some guys it is medically related, some you have to spend more time with to ask them more questions in an effort to get more comfortable. Sometimes it\’s just a guy that is new on your radar that you missed opportunities to visit with. During those visits guys can obviously help themselves according to Tomlin. He also said that smoke screens could be one of those reasons as well.

Super Bowl championship caliber is how the roster is evaluated.

Colbert said in regards to the draft, you can\’t miss on picks one, two or three as they are premium picks and you shouldn\’t miss on a first rounder and that\’s a given. With the two\’s and three\’s, if you miss on one of those it sets you back and you better hope you got lucky in a later round to compensate for that. The higher the pick, the better the chance of him being an impact player.

A premium is placed on talent and their willingness to learn, pedigree and character said Tomlin. An intrinsic value of winning in a players history could be important.

Tomlin said at some point in the draft they will likely address the offensive line. Says everyone is a little thin everywhere at this time of year.

When you don\’t get the first round pick right, it sets you back four years per Colbert. They will watch the free agents going forward and always open to adding a free agent that might get flushed out by another team if he is a fit.

If they get a fullback in this draft, great, if they don\’t, that is fine too according to Tomlin. There are not many fullback candidates out there according to Tomlin as there are not too many fullbacks in college. The pool isn\’t what it used to be and that is why you see the scarcity in the position.

There was never a sense of nervousness as it related to Wallace in free agency as he really was not on the open market as a restricted free agent. The decision on whether he stayed or went would also be theirs in regards to Wallace and it remains that way. They want Wallace to be here for the long haul and he know that and we know that according to Colbert and hopefully at some point we get that done.

Tomlin says tight end Leonard Pope is a player that was on the wrong side of the confetti and he has a history with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Veteran football player that is hungry and he is an attractive player.

More added shortly:


  • Jprankster2005

    I still say they should take Fleener or Hill first round unless a great Defense player fall to em…. That way they can have options if Wallace walks after the season…… I would love for them to go Hill in first and Egnew in 3rd and I think they should grab Chapman in 2nd he’s the best NT in the draft…… Then 4 threw 7th OL LB and CB and Safety….. That would be the perfect draft for me…… I think those 1-3 would def. be good players for the next 7 to 10 yrs…

  • Bobby Bowers

    Ed Bouchette was “warned”… great, that means he’ll take out his anger on the weekly chat Tuesday in which I will be asking many annoying questions.

  • zbluez1

    As Dave-Te’ Thomas (listen to recent pod casts) pointed out and as Kevin Colbert’s comments indicate this appears to be a gut check draft for the Steelers. “98% done with draft prep” indicates that there are many players with conflicting scouting reports (See Dave’s film studies and analysis) or medical issues that need to be addressed or further evaluated or in need of more information. “I guess there’s less easy picks this year than in a lot of recent years.” ( Kevin C.) lets you know that while the player pool may be wide in many areas of the draft ( CB, WR, O-line, …) it isn’t filled with players that have few or small coach-able issues, almost every player available at a “want” position has a glaring flaw or two, skills, desire, medical, etc…It is my opinion, and even though my opinions are often wrong I still continue to have them, that this may be a draft not of best player available but of best safest bet on a player available, the picks may not be players with the highest upside but players that are the most known quantity of quality, in other words, the ones that the Steelers have the most accurate and complete information on. Look for some surprises but they will be small all in all. My best guess at this point is we will see “grinder” type players drafted, those with strong work ethics and verifiable football IQ, not necessarily the splash/flash boom or bust sort of picks. Solid players not necessarily “Hawaii bound” types, a bunch of “Hok(i)e(s)” who like Chris did will fit into the rotation when needed and fill the gaps. My strategy would be to trade back, in Rd’s 1 & 2, if no value to pick players are present and stockpile as many 3,4,& 5 rd picks as possible to draft players such as Josh Chapman, Derrick Wolfe, Robert Turbin, Bobby Taylor, B.J.Coleman, you get the idea, all these players represent good value to their pick placement, and would provide depth starters in waiting, where the rubber hits the road, guys with lunch pails and attitude to get the job done.

  • “There are only 7-10 “surefire” first rounders”

    Then I won’t be surprised if the Steelers try to trade up, if one of those 7-10 players falls down into their range.

  • Paul

    Thats just posturing

  • Bleebo77

    I’m with Greig. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense for the Steelers to trade up, not down. I think 2 prime targets are Keuchly and Barron.

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Sure makes it sound like trading up or down is a real possibility this year.