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Kevin Colbert: Draft has “probably 6-8″ prospects Steelers would call “special”

Kevin Colbert AP

One NFL evaluator who’s had success building through the draft sees less than 10 “special” prospects in the Class of 2013 — and a lack of depth at certain line positions on both sides of the ball.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday that the club believes there are likely between six and eight “special players” in the draft, which starts Thursday evening.

However, Colbert, speaking at the club’s pre-draft press conference, indicated the club was unlikely to be trading up from its No. 17 spot in Round One.

“I doubt that we move up,” Colbert said, according to a transcript from the Steelers. “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.”

Of the 6-8 top prospects, Colbert said the best of the best in a draft are generally held in high regard by many teams.

“That’s usually a group I think everybody can identify and say, ‘These kids should be special players, be it with us or be it with somebody else,’ ” Colbert said.

Colbert told reporters the Steelers believe there are “about 150″ draftable prospects in the Class of 2013. Colbert also noted that “there is a nice group of potential starters” on the draft’s second day, which encompasses Rounds Two and Three.

However, Colbert noted that three positions — tight end, interior offensive line and defensive ends who can play in a 3-4 scheme — are lacking in numbers.

“It’s not a deep pool at those positions,” Colbert said.

By Colbert’s count, 14 teams employ the 3-4 — long the base defensive front for Pittsburgh — and he called the shortage of defensive ends who would fit in a “30” front a “little concerning.”

“That’s a position where there just are not a lot of guys,” he said.

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20 Responses to “Kevin Colbert: Draft has “probably 6-8″ prospects Steelers would call “special””
  1. tedmurph says: Apr 22, 2013 9:56 PM

    Another words, if I have another pedestrian draft, don’t blame me. There weren’t enough good players

  2. habsfanatic says: Apr 22, 2013 10:04 PM

    Unfortunately those three positions could be considered important needs for their team!

  3. si1m says: Apr 22, 2013 10:06 PM

    and the Steelers are going to need to draft all 8 of them to have any hope of being relevant. hopefully they’ll accept contracts at $15 an hour.

  4. classyjacklambert says: Apr 22, 2013 10:44 PM

    Best GM in the business! No doubt about it.

  5. modellforprez says: Apr 22, 2013 10:48 PM

    6-8 there could be 15 players you think are special and you are not getting any of them. none zero yes and zilch. but everybody and everything run their course and we might be at that time with colbert. his last 4-5 drafts have been ok and its really to early to judge the last 2 but if mufs this one his little cozy seat should be warming

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 22, 2013 10:50 PM

    Kevin found it a “little concerning” that there were no draftable prospects a year after the bulk of his team reached mandatory retirement age.

  7. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 22, 2013 11:01 PM

    Paraphrase: “those teams that were bragging about how many picks they have this year are morons.”

  8. mmmpierogi says: Apr 22, 2013 11:19 PM

    Let’s see how many schmucks turn this into an opportunity to run their mouths about the Steelers instead of having anything remotely substantive to say re: the draft, the specific positions discussed by Colbert, etc. …

  9. Steeley McBeam says: Apr 22, 2013 11:23 PM

    Best in the biz. Colbert wouldn’t be saying these things if it prevented him from getting someone he wants. Steelers will take BPA in each round as always and start preparing for 2014 on Sunday with their new additions.

  10. melkipershero says: Apr 22, 2013 11:37 PM

    Its a very deep draft. No qbs so these experts call it weak

  11. ttommytom says: Apr 22, 2013 11:39 PM

    The two Guards have to be considered ‘special’ and considering the lack of premium drafting wise on the position, the Steelers have a so-so shot at 1 of them…

  12. alchemistcirca1979 says: Apr 22, 2013 11:51 PM

    This will be in interesting draft.

    This is one of those drafts when talent scouts earn their money.

  13. ramcountry says: Apr 23, 2013 12:14 AM

    Isn’t that understood?

    It’s not a “special” talent if a lot of players share it.

  14. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 23, 2013 7:39 AM

    A shortage of pass-rushers?
    That’s the exact reason getting rid of James Harrison made little to no sense.
    I love how the Pittsburgh sports media never question the Steelers’ decision-makers about questionable decisions.
    When Colbert said there’s a shortage of quality defensive ends capable of playing in a 3-4 defense, that would’ve been the perfect opportunity for someone, anyone, to ask: Then why did you show James Harrison the door?
    Instead, SteelersNation is left with no answers. Typical.

  15. stillers6 says: Apr 23, 2013 8:37 AM

    I think this draft sets up well for the Steelers. They will be able to let the draft come to them and get a top player for a position of need for them. They could likely take the top TE or S or get an impact Linebacker to reinforce what once was a great strength of the team. They also could take the top WR and by all accounts a top RB could be had in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.

  16. morganstan100 says: Apr 23, 2013 8:56 AM

    I believe this team need a running back, a quarterback, and tailback. Even though they kept Sanders, they need a wide receiver and rush linebacker to replace Harrison. They also need a cornerback because Keenan Lewis is gone and Ike Taylor is getting close to retirement. It’s also time to think about replacing Miller. Of course, having been totally hoodwinked by Bill Belichick into blowing their salary cap, this is all but impossible. So, I would recommend they draft nothing but safeties and cornerbacks to try and prevent the Elite Joe Flacco from running up the score and turning Heinz Field into one giant bowl of depression soup.

  17. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 23, 2013 9:20 AM

    modell:
    There are zero holdovers from the Steelers’ 2008 draft. That’s hardly “OK.”
    It’s becoming more clear that the organization has missed having Bill Cowher’s draft input. Whether or not Cowher ever had the final say is irrelevant. Obviously, he had some say, which produced a great chemistry between himself and Cobert.

  18. steelcurtainn says: Apr 23, 2013 9:20 AM

    Its going to be great watch the steelers pick one of these special players just like they did last year. Colbert is the best in the business. Almost time to to reload future stars for the Steelers.

  19. steelerben says: Apr 23, 2013 2:31 PM

    bobzilla1001 says:
    Apr 23, 2013 7:39 AM
    A shortage of pass-rushers?
    That’s the exact reason getting rid of James Harrison made little to no sense.
    I love how the Pittsburgh sports media never question the Steelers’ decision-makers about questionable decisions.
    When Colbert said there’s a shortage of quality defensive ends capable of playing in a 3-4 defense, that would’ve been the perfect opportunity for someone, anyone, to ask: Then why did you show James Harrison the door?
    Instead, SteelersNation is left with no answers. Typical.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    James Harrison plays outside linebacker, which is where the majority of pass rush comes from in the 3-4 scheme. Defensive end in a 3-4 is actually an interior position, and unless you’re JJ Watt, is more of a run stopping/hold the line role. So, a lack of 3-4 DE in the draft and letting James Harrison go have no more to do with one and other than needing a tight end and letting Max Starks walk.

  20. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 23, 2013 3:00 PM

    steelerben:
    I’m aware of the differences between outside linebacker and defensive end. But in the 3-4, college pass-rushing defensive ends often times are converted into NFL pass-rushing outside linebackers, because in the 3-4, there are no defensive ends.
    I get it.
    It’s all about creating a fierce PASS-RUSH, which the Steelers no longer have now that they are without Harrison.

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