Steelers' Plan to Draft the Best Players Available

Steelers' Plan to Draft the Best Players Available

If you were looking forward to the words Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin had to say during their joint News Conference on Monday in order to inform your predictions for the NFL Football picks, you were probably disappointed.

Keeping their cards close with regards to the Steelers’ Draft plans, Colbert and Tomlin didn’t say much, instead assuring fans that they would draft the best players available. 

Football enthusiasts will be watching the pair closely. With Pittsburgh only having seven draft picks to work with and Colbert casting doubt over the idea of the Steelers trading up (though the possibility of dealing the 25th overall pick wasn’t ruled out), fans will have to wait and see if the Steelers draft in the first round on Thursday night.

While the Steelers haven’t used their first-round pick on a quarterback since Chad Scott in 1997, Colbert didn’t completely bury the idea of the team taking one at No.25; with talk of a safety or nose tackle arising.

According to Colbert, the team has always fallen short in the areas of hearts and smarts, achieving success in the arena of physical talent but dropping the ball in those two areas. Even taking into account all the effort they pour into evaluating every pick they have ever made during the training camps, Colbert admits that the Steelers cannot rule out mistakes this time around.

One bit of news that grabbed fans in 2016 was Colbert’s comments in February about finding corners capable of covering two-time All-Pro Receiver Antonio Brown in practice. Hyperbolic as these comments might sound, Colbert seems determined to find a corner capable of adapting to the Steelers’ scheme.

For Colbert, the key in this area isn’t merely talent but confidence and the ability to overcome the defeats he is certain will come. While Colbert has been known to bristle at accusations that the Steelers have holes to fill in their secondary, Tomlin has had to field a lot of questions about the lack of inexperience on the back of the Steelers Defense, rebutting in each case that such questions are a part of the game and that they are excited to resolve these problems and more, especially as they put their next group together.

Among the many doubts raised by analysts was the interest the Steelers have shown in top defensive backs: Mackensie Alexander and Karl Joseph, players with tremendous talent but for whom some weaknesses have been raised.

Alexander, for instance, has no interceptions to speak of in his college career, though Tomlin has continued to show a lot of confidence in the player, seemingly suggesting that his analysis of Alexander’s record and games provided convincing explanations for the lack of statistics and any weaknesses that others might have noted.

While Joseph, a West Virginia Safety, can boast of five interceptions in four games last season (before he tore an ACL in practice), some have questioned whether he will be ready for the start of the season. To this question, Colbert has pointed to Heath Miller in answer, who the Steelers drafted in 2005 despite a sports hernia.

For Colbert, it all comes down to the doctors, their decisions, and the data they provide with regards to Joseph’s injuries and chances of recovery. Whether or not Colbert and Tomlin’s faith in Joseph will pay off remains to be seen. 

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