Colbert: Steelers Will Always Weigh Cost Of Moving Up Or Down In First Round

Sitting at No. 20 overall in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and rather clearly targeting the quarterback position, Pittsburgh Steelers’ General Manager Kevin Colbert finds himself in a rather difficult spot overall.

The Steelers could sit tight at No. 20 overall and hope that the QB they have as their top guy on the board falls to them in the middle of the first round, or Colbert could do what he’s done a few times in his 22 years at the helm of the Steelers and trade up to secure his guy. There’s also the possibility that with just seven picks (none in the fifth round), Colbert trades down in the first round as well, though the history certainly isn’t there.

Regardless of what he determines is the best course of action, the Steelers are well-prepared under Colbert and will always weigh the cost of moving up or down in the draft, the longtime GM told reporters Monday during his pre-draft press conference at Heinz Field with Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin.

“When we go into it, we will have touch base with every team above us, below us,” Colbert said, according to video via the Steelers’ official YouTube page. “You know, ‘Hey, they’re interested in moving up. They’re interested in coming out.’ We will guesstimate what it’ll cost to move from 20 to seven and from 20 back down to 32. And you’re always making those assessments.”

Was that a bit of a Freudian slip from Colbert there on moving up to No. 7 overall from 20? The New York Giants currently hold the No. 7 overall pick — their second of the first round — and there’s a long history between the Rooneys and Maras at the ownership level, which could make for an easier negotiation process overall due to the familiarity and willingness to work together between the two organizations.

Realistically, it probably doesn’t mean much right now from Colbert. But moving up is something Colbert is comfortable doing, having done it a number of times throughout his career, which is something he recalled in the press conference.

“We can always go back and say, you know what we gave up for Troy Polamalu, a three and a six to move up more spots than we gave up to move for Santonio Holmes. We gave up a three and a four, and I forget how many spots we moved, maybe four,” Colbert said. “But in both of those endeavors, both those moves helped us win a Super Bowl. And that’s where we never will lock ourselves into, you know, they got the draft charts with the numbers and this is a good deal and not a good deal. I think you can determine all that only after the fact.

“So we’ll be knowledgeable of what it will cost, and then we decide as it unfolds,” Colbert added. “I never want to trade for a specific spot without a specific player. Or if you go back to Casey Hampton, when we traded back, we traded back three spots, but we had three people, Casey included, who was at the top of those three that we would’ve felt good about. So you’re always making those decisions, but it’s never black and white.”

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