Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says Team Needs Quantity Of Draft Picks Due To Departures

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was a guest Tuesday morning on 105 The X Radio and clarified his reasoning as to why the organization is more open to trading down in the first round of the NFL draft than up. His answer was not surprising, but it no way signified that they are guaranteed to move down on Thursday.

“The first thing that you got to do is to look at our own team, and we had significant numbers of departures,” said Colbert. “So, the only way that we can realistically replenish those departures is through the draft. There may still be some free agent signings, talking about unrestricted free agents, but most of these players will come from the draft. So we need a quantity of picks, and the good thing about this draft, is there\’s nice quality available, like I said yesterday, in rounds two through four. So you\’re hesitant to trade away those picks just to move up and get a player in the first round. Again, I know we\’ll get a good player at 17, and I\’d really like to have those picks as we move forward into Friday and Saturday.”

As several of you pointed out in our recent trade down exercise, there are several teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins that might be interested in moving up, but it until it happens, it is only speculation.

During his pre draft press conference on Monday, Colbert said that they have identified six to eight special players as first round prospects. In addition to that, he has continued to say that there will be a good player for them on the board at 17 in addition.

So what have we learned out of this? All we know at this point is that they will not move up in round one, but that they are open to acquiring more picks in rounds two through four. It\’s hard to handicap trades it based on that limited information and the same goes for any other year.

  • steeltown

    Its obviously pure speculation… but I feel they wont trade back (I wish they would) but like Colbert said, someone will fall to them at #17, the 1st Rd is always unpredictable, the first 7-8 picks will shake up the rest of the Rd

  • grw1960

    I have to disagree. Because at the 15:15 minute mark of the Steelers web site video fro the pre draft presser. Colbert was Asked a question about draft picks and how much it would take to sign them (I think. Couldn’t quite catch the whole question). And Colbert said ;
    they didn’t know because they didn’t know where they would be picking
    on draft day??? well ah ah we know where we will be at right now. To me that sounds like the are going to explore the possibility of a trade down. That possibility could depend on who is still on the board at 17 and of course the ability to find a trading partner.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    There are a lot of openings on this roster but I would still rather have 2 really good players than 4 average starters from this draft.

  • steeltown

    Ha! Wow.. Todd McShay has Eifert going to the Browns 6th overall.. and QB Ryan Nassib going to Buffalo 8th overall in his latest mock draft. Haha

  • WilliamSekinger

    from what Colbert said, it certainly sounds like they are planning to stay put. He likes the quantity of picks they have in later rounds and does not want to get rid of them, and yet he is confident they will draft a good player @ #17

  • JohnnyV1

    Yeah, we need Buffalo and Cleveland to take QB’s higher than they should, so the real ranked players fall. That’s usually what does it. That, and a run at one position will cause teams to reach just to fill a need.

  • steeltown

    Well of course, the possibility is there… but as he mentioned, I think someone will fall to them that they cant pass on.. thats usually the case

  • David Edward

    Agreed, and you can usually count on the Jets to botch their pick..and they have two now!

  • JohnnyV1

    Agreed, Jets usually struggle w/ Rd 1. Except the year they jumped ahead of the Steelers and stole Darrelle Revis from us. We did get Laurence Timmons, but there is no Timmons Island! But I’d be on the Jets to screw up their picks!
    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Says Team Needs Quantity Of Draft Picks Due To Departures

  • steeltown

    Interesting though that the JETS needs are almost the same as ours.. and they pick before us, twice. I could see them taking J.Jones or Mingo but also Tavon Austin or Eifert or even Milliner/Rhodes… especially considering they’ve lost Dustin Keller and now Revis

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I agree and to take it a step further, I think they need playmakers. On offense, they need a guy who will score touchdowns. On defense, they need someone to create the sacks and/or turnovers.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    GMs before drafts always say we feel a good player will be available at our current spot in the draft. 🙂 Colbert knows we need more players. Maybe he realizes this year teams are less likely to give up a 2nd or 3rd round pick because this year’s draft is well known for having so many good players to be available in 3rd round.

  • Nolrog

    Hey Kevin, you’ve had plenty quantity of draft picks. Let’s try something different and go for quality instead!

  • And they need a Guy up front on the line to block in the redzone so they can score more than a 20 and a half point average. If you have that, then there will be immediate playmakers in rounds 2-5.

  • Michael Mazanowski


  • Michael Mazanowski

    Colbert. . .Happy draftivus!

  • They had an extra third-round pick fall in their laps, and they thumbed their noses at it to keep a lame duck receiver who doesn’t want to be here. I’d LIKE to believe Colbert will do something savvy to gain extra valuable picks while still snatching a quality first round steal…then reality sets in, and I remember this is the front office that traded UP to draft Ta’amu (he of Twitter/whiskey bottle fame and the pin-ball scourge of parked cars in the burgh) and that numbers Limas Sweed among its ‘can’t miss’ misses (who turned out to be ‘can’t catch’). I’ve got a BAD feeling that we’ll soon look back at 2 of our first five picks this week and moan,”I can’t believe they picked HIM when they still could have had XYZ!” (usually such a pick will be an unknown project from left field with athletic ‘upside’ while REAL football players fall past us to teams with better sense.) Of course, fans of every team bemoan this every year. Our problem (over the last several years), is that two or three years from now we may look back at ALL of this week’s top five picks and bemoan their selections in 20/20 hindsight.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Trade down my good man! Trade down!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Hahahahhaha! Great post!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Cooper or trade down!

  • Michael Mazanowski

    I have bemoaned the Steelers drafts since 2008!

  • SteelSpine

    Ahh you are right annual reach for QBs helps all teams below them. Eagles too because they might reach for Gino Smith.

  • SteelSpine

    Good point. I love it. I remember times Kiper scratched his head after Jets’ 1st round picks & Jets fans there chanting to fire Jets’ front office, funny.

  • Hi Michael! I’m sorry I wrote the above with so many typos! Happily, I think you grasped my meaning. Historically (since Chuck Noll was hired), the Steelers make great picks in the draft…or they wouldn’t have six rings. But like you say, since 2008 they’ve slumped badly (with seemingly more than their normal percentage of busts or indifferent results). In my opinion, they’d be better served to re-assess their traditional approach to drafting–starting this week. Mainly, I don’t think they can afford to use rounds four through seven to only “build depth” as Colbert says and hope for starters in one through three. I say this because they need new quality starters in two positions asap (RB, WR) and could easily need them soon in eight others depending on the play of replacements, injuries, and pending retirements (DE, OT, OG, ILB, OLB, CB, SS, FS). This is why I wish Colbert would trade for at least one extra pick in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th rounds. I’d also like him to look closely for top 100 talent who may have slid to rounds 4, 5, 6, or below because of Ta’amu-like brain glitches. If the team could score solid with its first four picks (or first five if they trade down for an extra pick in rounds 1 thru 4) and get really lucky with a ‘gamble’ pick in 5, 6, 6a, or 7, they might weather their current storm. Just sayin’. :<)

  • JC

    I agree. We need a stud with playing making ability on either side of the ball.

  • JC

    They’ve definitely lost their touch in the past few draft classes. They’ve gotten away from drafting Steeler type players who fit the mold. A Steeler can’t be defined but I think as fans we understand what it means. We also need some tough, young leaders to improve the locker room. That’s why I’m really hoping we draft guys like Cooper, Eiffert, Vaccaro in round 1 and Arthur Brown, Bostic, Jon Simon, Stedman Bailey, or JJ Wilcox in later rounds. These guys seem level headed, tough, high-motors, and were considered leaders in college.

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    Austin and Mingo would be gone anyway..What I don’t want is for them to roll the dice and hope that group of WRs is still hanging around after Round 2.. especially Woods or Hopkins or even Hunter. If Vaccaro Eifert and Jones are gone by #17 they need to go WR

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    Last time Colbert did somethin “SAVVY” was moving up to take Troy..its not in his DNA as a GM. And your right..I think we’ll be scratchin our heads in disbelief when it’s all said and done. its “The Steelers Way”

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    Colbert is right..there will be Talent at 17 no matter what. Question is will it be a IMPACT player we need? or another PROJECT that’s gona sit and play special teams for 2-3 years. The only position that has a chance to start right off the gates is RB or WR..we all know NO Defensive Guy will start year one. RB is too deep to take 1st or 2nd unless its Lacey. Maybe if our Offense wasn’t so bad in the red zone AGAIN & they weren’t in the bottom 5-10 in points per game AGAIN we could afford to go Defense, Lord knows we need it with Keisel..Clark..Ike and Troy all on their last contracts more then likely. Ben needs HELP! His window wont be open forever SteelerFam..and how often do we get a chance to draft so low? Too much offensive talent to pass up in rounds 1-3

  • tricitysteel

    It cracks me up about how everyone complains about Colbert’s drafts. Granted, 2008 has turned out to be a bad year, but he’s still in the upper echelon of GMs and is in no danger of losing his job. He can’t control the injuries that happened on the field last year that were the main reason for the 8-8 season. Mel Kiper redrafted the 2007 draft on ESPN today and he had LaMarr Woodley at 9 and Lawrence Timmons at 10. That is the kind of draft the Steelers need to have this weekend and I think they can.

  • I agree Michael.

  • steeltown

    You’re talking about a Team and FO that has been to 3 SB’s in the last 9-10yrs and won two of them… for the most part I think I’ll trust their judgement

    Also, there is no way to gauge just how good the recent drafts have been. DeCastro and Adams could turn out to be All Pros, same could be said for Ta’amu or Beachum or Cortez Allen or Cam Heyward…we just dont know yet.. but we will soon

  • Michael Mazanowski

    You sure your name isn’t R. Kelly? Cause you smooth! Last year we passed on a few big names in later rounds which completely shocked me! We passed over Trevin Wade (taken 245 overall) and Billy Winn (taken 205)! I thought Billy Winn was going to be a Steeler last year! Now he and Wade are part of that team up north by the lakeshore…ugh! Like you, I’m all about picking up extra picks and we need several immediate impact players! Can you imagine if we would have picked up Wade or Winn in the 6th and 7th rounds last year?

  • Clint Martin

    The Bills will they want Nassib before he gets to Jets second 1st round pick.

  • Hi Michael! Who’s R. Kelly? LOL! Btw…I liked JC’s pick of JJ Wilcox for safety. Have you seen him? To me he seem’s way more impressive and effective than Vaccaro, which probably reveals I’m an amateur. Also, I seem to be alone in thinking that Kasheem Greene and Jamie Collins are among the best ‘steals’ in the linebacker crop.

    In other words…I’m thinking the team could get much better value by drafting Hopkins, Hunter, Eiffert, or an elite lineman if one drops to 17 than choosing Vaccaro or Jones in the first. I’m unsure about Eiffert, too, since there appear to be quality TEs that should be available later. Btw, the reason I don’t mention Patterson is his production at TN was limited to a single year; he’s considered raw, his hands aren’t the best (i.e., he can suffer the dropsies), and his attitude is reportedly questionable. When I recently read a good piece on Limas Sweed in BTSC, I noticed that Sweed also had moderate stats at TX but was considered to have wonderful ‘upside.’ Now I’m more impressed with gaudy multi-year statistics (and glue-like fingers) than athletic upside.

  • Clint Martin

    You have to remember teams say the same thing about some of our draft picks shoulda coulda. Looking back at past drafts a lot of these players on all teams that get drafted don’t ever make it in the NFL.They are developmental almost all of them.

  • Hey ya’all! I was thinkin’… (which usually gets me into trouble) I REALLY hope the team picks a killer rush OLB who can also cover (like Kasheem Greene or Jamie Collins) AND a dynamic safety NOT named Vaccaro (because I want one who can cover plus make tackles in run support–Vaccaro whiffs in the open field against quality running backs) AND I want a Tom Brady clone snagged in rounds 4 thru 6 (i.e, a football-smart QB to run Haley’s dink and dunk offense but who isn’t a loose cannon with a cannon arm). Why? This is where I’ll get in trouble…

    Because this team NEEDS to quit playing ‘salary cap Russian Roulette.’ I HATE to say this, but three players will need to take serious pay cuts–Big Ben, Troy, and Woodley–in the coming years whether their contracts expire or not. Woodley’s play in 20012 was NOT commiserate with his contract. Ben’s pointless scrambling against Cleveland trashed a promising season in 2011, and his injury in 2012 did the same. Likewise, Troy has been a shadow of his former self these past few years due to injuries. None of them have earned their mega-bucks contracts.

    I am NOT suggesting Troy’s injuries were his fault…or that Ben was to blame for being injured against KC last year. (Woodley’s play and his physical shape were another matter!) What I’m saying is that given their injury histories, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that two of these players stand a high likelihood of missing key mid-season or late-season games in the coming years as the the wear and tear on their bodies accumulates. In this light, is it smart business to tie-up so much of the cap on three players?

    If I was Colbert, I would definitely look to replace positions of need–but I’d also do so with an eye with 1) giving Ben the weapons he needs for the life of his contract to maximize his skills, and 2) grabbing quality replacements for our highest paid players (including Ike) whom the team could need to replace when their contracts expire should they refuse to take pay cuts in line with their recent or expected performance.

    If the team took such an approach, they might make it their common practice to have the cash (and cap space) needed to add key pieces selectively through free agency or to keep their better players.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    If the Steelers ever part ways with Colbert, James P. Kelly is up for consideration!