Steelers need to draft for need not want

Yesterday Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin held their usual pre-draft presser and Colbert was full of quotes that just don’t make sense for this year’s draft. For him to say that every player drafted outside of the top 10 is just a hopeful dream was a little weird.
There are plenty of guys that will be drafted well into the second round that will make an immediate impact on their new team. Guys like Nick Perry, Coby Fleener and Kevin Zeitler are Day 1 starters but the teams picking in the top 10 are drafting for need. And that’s exactly what the Steelers need to do, no matter what Colbert said yesterday.
Even the newest Steelers fan, that finally got that promotion that enabled him to move from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, can tell you that the Steelers have significant needs heading into Thursday’s selection show.
A franchise inside linebacker is needed to replace James Farrior; the next generation of nose tackle is needed with Casey Hampton coming off yet another knee surgery; and at least one guard is needed since the two starting guards currently on the roster were undrafted backups until they signed their RFA tenders a week ago.
It was kind of weird though to hear Colbert basically say that the Steelers really didn’t need anything though.
“Need is not a good word. It’s ‘want.’ We want players. We don’t necessarily need. We try to add from within.”
Well, if Colbert uses the usual Best Player Available formula this year and the Steelers don’t end up drafting a backer, nose tackle or guard – or at least two of the three – in the first three rounds, the Steelers could be in trouble. It’s fine to want certain players, but this year the Steelers really do NEED certain guys. They don’t have the luxury of taking the BPA this year.
Don’t get me wrong, Colbert has been a great GM since he got the gig 12 years ago, but maybe the fact that the Steelers do have actual needs this year (whether he admits it or not) says something about his recent draft selections. It’s not like Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Farrior got old over night, or that the offensive line hasn’t had problems since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted.
“When you don’t get the first-round guy right, that sets you back for probably four years because that is a slot you are going to try to fill at some point. Yes, we are not big spenders in free agency and we will never be because we want to keep our own. But if we missed on a pick that we would want to be keeping as our own, it will set us back and distract us from what we need to be doing.”
Colbert may not miss on first-rounders but maybe it’s his “hoping” that certain picks pan out that put the Steelers in this pickle. After the Steelers address their three biggest needs this year, they should start addressing needs that aren’t quite as dire…yet.
Receiver, outside linebacker, defensive end and secondary help are all going to be needed as soon as next year. Instead of going with the BPA approach, Colbert just needs to go the Schmiegel route and go after what he needs not wants.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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