A Quarterback In The First Round For The Steelers? Kevin Colbert Isn\’t Fooling Anyone

When Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke with the media on Wednesday he indicated in so many words that he would not rule out the organization drafting a quarterback in the first round of the 2013 NFL.

“We won\’t close the door on any position in any round,” said Colbert. “We can\’t … Once we get into free agency and the draft, I don\’t see any position that\’s off limits.”

Now this all fine and good and I appreciate the tone that Colbert tried to set throughout his entire talk with the media, but you know as well as I do that the Steelers aren\’t going to be drafting a quarterback in the first round of the draft.

So why would Colbert not rule it out as a possibility? He is trying to send a message to the team for starters by insinuating that no job on the team is safe. At the same time Colbert is attempting to put on his draft poker face I would assume. In previous talks, especially when he meets the media at the NFL combine, Colbert has had no problems ruling out certain positions such as quarterback, tight end, punter and kicker as possible selections in the first round of the draft.

Perhaps Colbert thinks that he needs to do a better job of holding his cards to his vest based on some recent draft day phone calls that he receives from other teams over the years.

When team president Art Rooney II spoke to the media recently he said that he expects Ben Roethlisberger to be the Steelers franchise quarterback for at least the next 5-6 years. Drafting another quarterback in the first round comes with giving him a four-year deal, that based on where the Steelers will be drafting this year, will be fully guaranteed.

Do you really think that the Steelers want to give a four-year guaranteed deal to player that is likely to see very little playing time over the course of that deal?

The Steelers certainly could come out of this draft with a quarterback, but I would be very surprised if one ends up being drafted in the first three rounds. Even the fourth round is pushing it, but it is plausible.

It was a nice try by Colbert, but I don\’t think he is fooling anyone here, including other teams that might be considered day one trading partners.

  • steeltown


    I do however think if someone (QB) is on their board and still available,say in the 3rd, 4th or 5th Rd, they WILL take him. I think they were seriously considering taking Kirk Cousins in the 4th last year, Tomlin supposedly even went to dinner with him predraft.. except Washington selected him earlier in that Rd and the rest is history.
    I think its a good possibility that they select a QB in the mid-late Rds this year. They cant be happy with the play of Leftwich and Charlie is ANOTHER year older

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I agree, but if the right QB comes you can fix a lot of future cap problems by trading Roethlisberger after next year.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    U called that right. Smokescreen. And wait til Steelers do most-common of NFL smokescreen which is spread rumors they intend to draft a certan QB in 1st rd. It is to increase the odds that whatever the Steelers most desperat real position need will still be there when Steelers pick.

    Steelers did exactly that one year QB David Klingler was to be in the draft. I remember Steelers desperatly needed an OT-OG but the only 2, Searcy & Chung, mite be gone by the time Steelers in 1st rd. So Steelers started rumor Steelers want Klingler. I called bullsh & never believed it. Stupid Bungles fell for it, so at our turn in 1st round, unbelievably we had our choice of either Searcy or Chung, I & others laughed with joy. We took Searcy.

    This year, by draft day every team in NFL will know exactly which OLB prospects in 1st round best fit our ROLB need. All teams will already know exactly which ROLB prospect (s) will NOT make it past the Steelers. Thats why Steelers have to smokescreen.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I don’t see us getting a QB, at least not in this draft, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we added one next year.

  • Wide Receiver, Guard and Running Back. We’ll draft at least one of these each before a QB.

  • Trading? Haha u funny!

  • Mike Carroll

    Colbert was also blowing hot air when he said the team isn’t married to any player. I would say they are married to a few for sure and tied to several other players a whole lot more than the team would like to be, due to all the cap money they have deferred over the last few years.

  • RW

    A serious game plan:

    The organization needs to evaluate it’s core weaknesses and has to rethink its strategy of previous years in free agency in order to completely overhaul the roster in a way that puts them in playoff contention this coming year, and not the next.

    The draft: There is a serious need to get younger at a lot of positions, particularly on defense (this is almost all we’ve heard about from our dear friend Warren Sapp over the last three years). But, we’re never going to make the playoffs with an injured, elite QB. Obviously, a big part of that is our O-line staying healthy, which may be linked (albeit in a minor way) to the training staff, lack of practice time in pads, etc. That doesn’t change the fact that we have virtually no depth and only one elite O-lineman right now. Pair with that our lack of a running game (which we know starts with the 5 guys up front), and the obvious conclusion is that we still need to build up the o-line (as un-sexy as that sounds). Given our need here, my suggestion for the first four rounds follows suit:

    1. Chance Warmack
    2. Eric Reid/TJ McDonald
    3. Montee Ball
    4. Nico Johnson

    I don’t believe ROLB is as big a need as everyone is making it out to be. We have Worilds here. If we can’t give him a chance now, he’ll have been a waste of a roster spot for the past four years given that he’s a FA next year. The issue is that someone will have to emerge as a viable backup. With Timmons coming along as a pass-rushing presence from the inside, I no longer see the pressing need for an OLB in the draft.

    Free agency: There are obviously other holes on the team, starting with TE and ending with WR. I believe there are some possibilities here. Dustin Keller should be a low risk/high reward prospect who should be available as a FA. If not, Jared Cook may also be floating out there. No need to waste a draft pick on a TE – we should sign one of these guys. Even if we draft a RB, it might not be a terrible idea to let Redman go, sign Ryan Grant for training camp and let he and Dwyer battle it out for RB2. There are also some interesting names out there for ILB, like Chase Blackburn and Dannell Ellerbe. I don’t think any of the guys I’ve listed so far would break the bank. The real issue is WR. They need a big body guy they can grab in a later round to take a chance on, and if I were them, I’d keep Plax around for a year until next year’s draft. Ben knows him and has had time with him. We have burners and great route runners (if they don’t let Cotchery go) for the middle of the field. Keep Plax and you’ll have your big guy for red zone targets.

    I think those solutions would play well with me and would have us in decent shape heading into 2013.

  • Pete

    ROLB is an issue because the coaches preferred a less than 100% Harrison over Worilds. Nothing is absolute and the team laid a stinker when they figured Jonathan Scott could man the LT position. But I have to believe the team will try to bring Harrison back at a much reduced rate and try to draft a future ROLB. If they can get another player of Woodley’s ability behind Harrison they will have hit the jackpot once again at OLB. The problem is that they have many pressing needs. You can’t fix everything in one draft.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I disagree with smokescreen. They said they wouldn’t rule it out, not they intend to. Message to team and media that any position is up for a possible draft pick, not just quarterback.

    Also, they aren’t limited to only an OLB so no need to cover it up, just another possibility. Unless you’re talking about Jarvis Jones, but I don’t think there is any way he makes it out of the top 5-10 picks

  • grw1960

    While I agree with you that the Steelers very likely will draft a WR and RB before a QB. Because of the unlikely hood of Wallace and Mendy being resigned. I don’t see OG as an early draft priority until we find out who is kept and resigned. The Steelers in the past have typically waited to later rounds to select QB prospects. But this year I could see them trading up in the 4th round if the right QB prospect is still on the board.

  • grw1960

    I agree that he is sending a message to all players including Ben. Yes I know Ben was injured and his QB rating has been good. But What I see in games is that Ben has not yet taken that final step to the elite status at this stage of his career.

  • RW

    Of course not, but with Ben at his peak, they will try their mightiest to fix as much as possible for this year. I think Rooney himself mentioned that he envisioned Ben as the Steelers QB for another 4-5 years. That’s not a whole lot of time to rebuild – they need to reload. I suspect they will draft at OLB, but my hope is that it’s not until a later round. Tomlin has a certain sentimentality that Cowher never had in that he plays his veterans until they decide they can’t play anymore. It’s why Cam Heyward (who I think is our best DE), had to rotate in. It’s why McLendon (who I think is a better fit in a pass- heavy league than Hampton), had limited playing time. Worilds played well in the absence of Woodley. One more thing to mention (and this is perhaps my biggest point) – it takes a very, very special player to learn the steelers OLB position in less than 2 years. It took Harrison 4+ to learn the position. I think Worilds deserves a chance to start the entire season and I think the coaching staff should put their faith behind him and stick with him for more than four games, even if he’s playing at an average level. I, more than anyone, understand the difficulty inherent in fixing an 8-8 team, but it can be done through a combination of the draft and parsing through passed-over free agents. The front office just needs to have a sense of urgency about the state of affairs, particularly with an average draft class coming in. They really need to shore up some positions through FA, and they’ll need to do it economically.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    I think all that is right on.

  • They will take their best rated player on the board at that time regardless of position played just like they always do. If he is not there, then they trade out of that pick for some extra selections in the 2,3 or 4 rounds. I saw a couple rookie QBs in the playoffs this year so it would not suprise me at all to see them take one in an earlier (2nd or 3rd) round IF they have him rated that high on their own board. Competition is healthy at EVERY position and Benny’s is no exception…according to Colbert.

  • 4 years to learn , seal the edge, rush the qb, drop into short zone pass coverage, try and fail to cover receiver in your zone, HUH!!!

  • RW

    It took Harrison longer. I’m just saying we shouldn’t expect to draft someone in the first round at OLB and have him start immediately. Plus Worilds played well this year, so I have no idea where you’re coming from. It’s not easy for an OLB to cover a receiver in zone… they’re usually not fast enough… that’s why you find more big nickel alignments in the NFL now…