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Insider Only Steelers Pre-Draft Conference: Tomlin, Colbert talk draft, Wallace & more

PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE
With the NFL draft just three days away, the Pittsburgh Steelers are wrapping up their draft board. “We’re probably 98% done with our preparation, board about set, ” GM Kevin Colbert said. The Steelers will go into draft with about 150 players on their board.
“We’re probably going to draft from a 150 and we have 10 picks and we’re excited about those 10 picks, ” Colbert said. “There’s always good players available and it’s our job to sort them out and find them.
After months of evaluating this draft class, the Steelers thinking process hasn’t changed in that the most depth is at wide receiver and cornerback.
“Going into it, we felt most numbers were definitely at wide receiver and corner and that has not changed, ” Colbert said. “Least depth is really at fullback, tight ends and center.”
None of those five positions are expected to be on the Steelers radar in round 1.

Buzz continues to center around the Steelers looking very hard at outside/inside linebacker, guard/tackle and defensive tackle in the first round, with linebacker and O-line regarded as bigger priorities by some due to the Steelers defense playing more nickle than it ever has, limiting the role of a nose tackle in their scheme.
“Teams starting in their own directions off need and we’re anticipating that happening a little quicker than it has in the past, ” Colbert said on his expectations of the first round.
Need though is not a word Colbert likes. “Need is not a good word, it’s want ” Colbert said.
As always Colbert said the team will explore moving up or down in round 1. “As always we will make all our calls and find out what teams want to move up and down, accordingly, ” Colbert said.
Mike Wallace as expected was a hot topic and the Steelers don’t appear too concerned over the possibility of Wallace not showing up until later this summer. “We are not worried about the reports about Mike Wallace, ” Mike Tomlin said. “We’ll see how it plays out and take it one day at a time.
Colbert indicated the Wallace situation won’t impact the Steelers draft plans.
“Our intention has always been to sign Mike to a long-term contract, ” Colbert said.
— With talk of Todd Haley wanting to use a fullback, Tomlin said “it would be great” if they drafted one but it didn’t matter to him.
— Colbert said the team will continue to watch the free agent market after the draft but a likely move down the road in the summer could be bringing Max Starks back in July if his knee checks out and sources say the team hasn’t ruled out bringing Mewelde Moore or a Moore type of back into camp, depending on what the Steelers do at the running back position in the draft.
Tomlin called free agent signee Leonard Pope as “hungry” to win and that is attractive to Tomlin, along with his familiarity with Todd Haley.
— RB Coach Kirby Wilson is back working and helping the Steelers through their draft preparations.
— Overall, the press conference went, as expected, boring as the Steelers will not talk about any particular draft prospects.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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