clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers will not let recent free agent signings influence 2019 draft plans

Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert discussed the team draft plans at their annual pre-draft press conference on Monday.

NFL: New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft just a few days away, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the final stages of their planning for 2019, a process that has involved meeting with around 210 prospects this offseason, according to the team’s general manager.

When speaking at their annual pre-draft press conference on Monday, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert spoke at length about their plans for the upcoming draft, while giving very little away at the same time. In many ways, a standard pre-draft press conference for the pair.

Confirming 74 players currently under contract, Colbert appeared perhaps more confident in the overall strength of the roster than some outsiders, with the coaching staff expecting a significant improvement from second-year players like wide receiver James Washington.

When discussing the recent free agent signings of Donte Moncrief, Mark Barron and Steven Nelson, the GM made it clear that their addition would not prevent the team from drafting players at their positions, even if he did acknowledge that the signings reduced the urgency of spending a high pick on those roles.

Espousing a philosophy of best player available as they always do, both Tomlin and Colbert left no doubt they would entertain a trade up if there was a player they valued, but gave no insights about the names who might inspire them to make such a move. Perhaps the most interesting revelation was the fact that Pittsburgh does not use a trade value chart like most other teams do.

However, in noting the quality of the talent expected to be available on Day 2, Colbert effectively implied it might be difficult to part with the draft capital necessary to move up this year given the options available in the second and third rounds.

And despite issues with certain star players and their use of social media in recent years, Colbert dismissed the idea that Pittsburgh would shy away from prospects who are controversial users of the platform.

The full press conference can be seen below.