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Colbert Says Steelers Offseason Free Agent Signings Won’t Influence 2019 Draft Plans

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Pretty much as expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t go crazy during free agency this past offseason. They did, however, fill a few holes via some middle-of-the-road priced veterans in cornerback Steven Nelson, wide receiver Donte Moncrief and linebacker Mark Barron. On Monday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert talked about the addition of those three free agent additions this offseason and how none of the signings will prevent the team from potentially selecting those three positions during this year’s draft.

“The addition of the three veterans, Steven Nelson, Mark Barron and Donte Moncrief, we think enhances the roster as it’s as it’s made up at this point, but really, the signing of those three doesn’t preclude us from doing anything from a draft standpoint,” Colbert said. “Again, when we’re going to be making additions to this roster, it’ll be from the bottom up and that’s encouraging no matter what round we’re going to be working in.”

Colbert went on to say that all positions are on the board this year.

“We’ll never going to close the door on any position because if a great player’s available at a position you think you’re great at, you’re probably going to pass greatness for mediocrity and that will eventually catch up to you,” Colbert said.

Colbert later admitted during the Thursday press conference that while positional need once again won’t be a driving factor when it comes to picking any player, if two players were very close in their ratings and one is the better scheme fit and fills a perceived positional need, that player would be given precedent even if maybe rated a little lower than another player.

“It’s always going to be a factor,” Colbert said. “If they’re rated close, if the player that’s slightly below the other one is a better fit, then of course, you’re going to take him. But if you drop into a significant different depth in a round, you’re gonna make a mistake and that’s been proven time and time historically. Drafting for need has never built a winning franchise. And I can say that without ever really having studied it because I don’t know with other team’s philosophy is.

“I know what this team’s philosophy, this organization’s philosophy has been since Coach [Chuck] Noll and Art Rooney Jr. put this organization on a different level and I know how they did it and why they did it. And Coach [Bill] Cowher and myself and Tom [Donahoe], when he was here, they’ve always built it the same way. And Coach [Mike] Tomlin and I are still going to value the better players. Of course you’re going to take a player here and there that might be a better fit, but they’d better be close. If not, it’s a mistake that will get you.”

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