Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert didn't exactly tip his hand during the team's pre-draft press conference Monday. He did basically eliminate the possibility of the team trading up from the 15th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He also provided pessimism toward the thought of trading down.
It's not a lost cause, though.
Colbert said there were "easily" 15 players he'd like to take in the first round, and "probably" 19 players "you'd be happy to get" at that spot. But, as quoted by Steelers.com writer Mike Prisuta, he won't trade down unless there is a group of players he'd want equal to the amount of picks they'd move down in a proposed trade.
"If we trade back three spots, very rarely will you do it without three people you would take (still on the board). You want to be in a no-lose situation. Could you roll the dice and go 67 percent? Sure, but as a general rule you never want to trade yourself away from a specific group of players."
We connected a few dots from a Peter King article published Monday, suggesting the Philadelphia Eagles may give the Steelers a ring for the 15th pick if LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham was still available. By Colbert's general plan, seven of those 19 players he mentioned would need to be available. The Eagles draft at 22.
It's anyone's guess at that point, and of course, that all assumes the Eagles really would want to move up that far. As is usually the case, the most likely scenario is the Steelers stay put and draft at 15. They've traded up in the first round twice since 2003, getting Troy Polamalu at 16 in a deal with the Chiefs and Santonio Holmes in a trade with the Giants for the 25th pick. They've only traded down once, having dealt the 16th pick for the 19th, and ended up with Casey Hampton. The Jets selected Santana Moss.
Considering that alleged group of 19 players will be diminished by the time the Steelers are on the clock, and without knowing whether 12 of the 19 would have been taken, it's possible they swing a deal, but from what Colbert said, they won't risk not getting a player they feel to be worthy of a first round pick.
If nothing else, just expect Colbert to think about it.
"If we stay where we are there are probably a few positions that are off the table. But if we traded back there would be no position that would be off the table because, again, it’s a special group of players.
"If the situation presents itself, and we can get more picks in this draft, I think the more the merrier without question."