Kevin Colbert talks about the strategy of trading back in the draft
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Along with being joined by Mike Tomlin in a pre-draft press conference with the media yesterday, Kevin Colbert also took questions from fans in a Steelers Nation Unite conference call.
During the pre-draft press conference, Colbert said it's "very doubtful" that they'll trade up in the draft given that they have only eight picks, but he said trading down could be a possibility if the circumstances fit.
Colbert further explained the situation of trading up or down in a draft during the Steelers Nation Unite Conference call.
"Our challenge every year is to try and put the best team we can for the '21 season on the field and never ignoring the future," Colbert said. "That is our job to always be competitive year in and year out. What we always look at is who we are looking at for a particular pick, if we like the player we are looking at and have the opportunity to pick, 95% of the time we are going to take that player and not trade back. If we do trade back, I always like to do it on a 100% guarantee that we will get a player we like. If we are looking to trade back five spots, I want to make sure there are five players we would feel comfortable in taking so as to get the player we want and maybe pick up some extra picks. We did that with Casey Hampton years ago and we obviously got a real quality player and ended up with some extra picks that helped us at other positions. We'll always value quality over quantity, but in a given year we may have to trade back and try to accomplish both."
During Colbert's tenure with the Steelers since 2000, they have traded down just once in the first round and that was in 2001 when they traded three spots back with the Jets to select nose tackle Casey Hampton at 19th overall out of Texas. The Jets ended up selecting wide receiver Santana Moss at 16th overall out of Miami. The Steelers also received a fourth- and six-round pick in the trade with the Jets.
I think trading back could realistically be an option for the Steelers in this year's draft if they feel like they can get a player of the same caliber later in the draft while stocking some extra picks to fill other needs on the roster. Of course, it all depends on how Colbert and the Steelers have their board set up. If they're really high on Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, they'll select him at 24th overall over a running back and then try to address the running back position in the second round. The problem is the big three in Harris, Etienne and Williams most likely won't be available at 55 overall in the second round when the Steelers pick next.