The Pittsburgh Steelers surprised quite a few people last year when they spent a third-round draft pick on wide receiver Sammie Coates and one could speculate that they did that due to the off-the-field concerns they might have had about Martavis Bryant.
While the Steelers made sure to address the offensive passing game this offseason with the addition of free agent tight end Ladarius Green, general manager Kevin Colbert let it be known during a Tuesday morning interview on DVE Radio that that move was not directly related to Bryant being suspended for the entire 2016 season.
“Ladarius, he was really mostly directly related to Heath [Miller] and fortunately he was available after Heath decided to retire,” said Colbert. “Really, with Martavis, when we drafted Sammie Coates last year, we wanted to insulate that position and we’re looking for big things from Coates. He flashed at us in that playoff game when AB [Antonio Brown] wasn’t available, so we’ll see what Sammie can do. Does that mean that we wouldn’t take [draft] a receiver? No.”
Colbert said Tuesday morning that a great player would have fall way down the board for the Steelers to take an offensive player in the first round. However, after saying that it’s highly unlikely that the team would draft a quarterback or a running back in the first round regardless, he left open the possibility of the team selecting a wide receiver should one fall to them unexpectedly.
“We’ve got a great receiver. You know you need more than one, so would you rule that out? No,” Colbert said. He later added, “I think it would have to be a great player.”
While I think most of us would agree that should any offensive player, let alone a wide receiver, wind up being drafted by the Steelers in the first round that it would be a huge shock. However, I do think Colbert made it clear that the organization is not above drafting another wide receiver in any round after that. In fact, as our pre-draft visitor list shows, they did bring three (one local) in for visits who figure to be drafted in the first four rounds.
When and if the Steelers do finally draft an offensive player in the coming days, I fully expect the first one will be a wide receiver and on top of that, I fully expect one to be drafted within the first three to four rounds.