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Kevin Colbert: Draft has “probably 6-8" prospects Steelers would call “special”

Kevin Colbert

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert walks on the field during pre-game warm ups before an NFL football game between the Steelers and the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. The Steelers won 24-10. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


One NFL evaluator who’s had success building through the draft sees less than 10 “special” prospects in the Class of 2013 -- and a lack of depth at certain line positions on both sides of the ball.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday that the club believes there are likely between six and eight “special players” in the draft, which starts Thursday evening.

However, Colbert, speaking at the club’s pre-draft press conference, indicated the club was unlikely to be trading up from its No. 17 spot in Round One.

“I doubt that we move up,” Colbert said, according to a transcript from the Steelers. “I think the more picks we have the better, in this draft particularly. But there will be a good player at 17, there’s no question about that.”

Of the 6-8 top prospects, Colbert said the best of the best in a draft are generally held in high regard by many teams.

“That’s usually a group I think everybody can identify and say, ‘These kids should be special players, be it with us or be it with somebody else,’ ” Colbert said.

Colbert told reporters the Steelers believe there are “about 150" draftable prospects in the Class of 2013. Colbert also noted that “there is a nice group of potential starters” on the draft’s second day, which encompasses Rounds Two and Three.

However, Colbert noted that three positions -- tight end, interior offensive line and defensive ends who can play in a 3-4 scheme -- are lacking in numbers.

“It’s not a deep pool at those positions,” Colbert said.

By Colbert’s count, 14 teams employ the 3-4 -- long the base defensive front for Pittsburgh -- and he called the shortage of defensive ends who would fit in a “30" front a “little concerning.”

“That’s a position where there just are not a lot of guys,” he said.