Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday during the Steelers’ pre-draft press conference that the team would not trade up in the first round and feels there will be a good player available at the 17th overall pick.
“We think we are in real good shape,” said Colbert via Steelers.com, who did indicate the team would not trade up in the first round. “We will be picking from a pool of about 150 guys that we have identified. Realistically I think there is probably six-eight guys in this group that we think are special players.
“What comes to us at 17…who knows. I doubt that we move up. I think the more picks we have the better, in this draft particularly. But there will be a good player at 17, there’s no question about that.
“Beyond that, there is a nice group of potential starters that I think you will be looking at in rounds two and three. Beyond that, with rounds 4-7, we will be looking at depth.”
Colbert said the talent that was assembled last year was only as good as their 8-8 record.
“As we’ve stated before, we finished 8-8,” said Colbert. “We weren’t good enough. Quite honestly the talent that we had assembled was an 8-8 team. Any other explanation than that I think is incorrect. Obviously the plan is to be able to upgrade the team that we are going to put on the field in 2013.
“All we try to do is add as many good players as we can. It’s not real scientific. There are going to be subtractions every year, it’s usually 14-20 guys per team turnover around the league. So, it’s not uncommon that there is change. Sometimes the change is due to finances from a cap standpoint. Sometimes it’s due to needing a change. I think when you go 8-8 it’s probably a combination of both for us. If we have the same team that we had last year, it would be silly to expect different results. So, it’s our job to try to improve that and all we can tell the fans is we’re working towards that end. You’ll be able to judge us in February, whether we got the job done or not.”
Colbert did mention this years draft class was lacking defensive ends who can play in the 3-4 defensive scheme, but he liked the talent available at the quarterback position.
“It’s a little concerning with the 3-4 ends because there are about 14 teams that are playing our scheme right now,” said Colbert. “That’s a position where there just are not a lot of guys. But across the board, the other positions, it’s probably up to the team’s preferences, what they like and how much they like him. But I think you’ll have at least a selection to pick from.
“There is a lot of talk about the quarterback position not being particularly special this year, and I disagree with that. I think that group of quarterbacks, you’ll have starters emerge from that group. I don’t think anybody sat here last year and was ready to deem Russell Wilson a starter, Pro Bowl, playoff-caliber quarterback. He came out and surpassed expectations, quite honestly. I think this group, you’ll see players pop out of the quarterback position that will be starters, and some may be stars.”