I don’t know what came as the biggest surprise of the night for fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trading Martavis Bryant or drafting Terrell Edmunds. What isn’t a surprise is that Kevin Colbert didn’t shop Bryant. It was the Oakland Raiders who rang the Steelers’ phone, according to what Colbert said in his press conference following the team’s selection.
“As we’ve stated throughout the winter, we weren’t interested in trading Martavis,” Colbert said Thursday night. “We weren’t making calls in that regard. Teams were calling us. And really, when they called, they weren’t offering us anything that would interest us in trading a player of his caliber. But when it got to the third round, it was something that was very interesting to us and we pulled the trigger on the deal. We wish Martavis nothing but the best.”
Colbert then pointed to getting the extra pick, 79th overall, being all the more important because the Steelers traded away their fourth rounder in the Vance McDonald deal.
Later in the presser, Colbert again stressed it was Oakland who called. Pittsburgh never reached out to any team.
“Again, it was something they pursued. And continued to pursue. When it got to that point, we said let’s go.”
As Matthew Marczi wrote about earlier, the value here is strong. Surprisingly strong. This was almost certainly going to be Bryant’s last year and it’s difficult to imagine the team getting a third, maybe not even a fourth, in a compensatory pick, given the rigid criteria of the comp formula.
While that leaves a pretty noticeable hole in the Steelers’ offense, Colbert said he’s confident he can find quality talent to not just replace Bryant, but make the roster better across the board.
“We said, ‘look, if we get the third, we’ll do it.’ At worst, we’ll have a two and two 3’s like we did last year. And I know there’s plenty of good players available tomorrow. Having that third in our pocket tomorrow is very valuable.”
We’ll know this time tomorrow what the Steelers do with that 79th pick they picked up. Look for an article Friday morning on some options for Pittsburgh on Day Two of the draft, which kicks off at 7 PM/ET.