(this article also breaks down all draft day trades made during the colbert era)
Steelers contemplate moving up in draft
By Mike Prisuta
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The Steelers were bold enough in 2003 to trade up a few spots in the first round of the NFL draft and landed, not only the player they coveted, but a future All-Pro in strong safety Troy Polamalu.
Still, the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that moved down from No. 16 overall to No. 27 in accommodating the Steelers, probably isn't complaining.
"It worked out pretty well for them, too, getting (running back) Larry Johnson," Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said.
Moving up 11 spots back in 2003 cost the Steelers' a third-round pick and a sixth-round selection, a price which remains the going rate for such transactions, Colbert said.
"It's usually going to take multiple picks in the first round, and sometimes, it's going to involve your third (-round pick)," Colbert said. "Teams have even traded their second (-round selection), depending on how high you want to go.
"It varies. You just have to go through the history of the picks, but it's definitely multiple picks (that are required)."
The Steelers are contemplating such a move again, in part because they annually explore that option and because, this year, it just might make sense.
They have 10 draft picks available heading into this weekend's draft, including a compensatory selection in both the fourth and fifth rounds. Compensatory picks can't be traded, but the Steelers' other seven draft choices can be dealt.
The Steelers have already begun to gauge potential interest, although Colbert doesn't expect those conversations to heat up until Saturday.
"Just to go back to Troy, those conversations started about mid-week -- 'yes, we are interested in moving; we will contact you,' or 'we will contact you if our player is there,' " Colbert said. "You don't really exchange any proposals at that point.
"It's very rare that anybody makes pre-draft trades. Sometimes, it happens, but if you don't know what you're trading for, it's a little more risky."
It's also potentially going to be a little more expensive, given that the Steelers are picking 32nd in each round.
"Obviously, those are the lowest picks in each round, so really, our first pick is like a second-round pick, and so on and so forth," Colbert said. "Each one of those is valued less, so it may take (more than two picks to move up in round one). If we say we are interested in giving a third and a fifth, they may demand a third and a fourth because we are so low.
"You'll make an offer, they'll make an offer and you just try to meet somewhere in between. Usually, it's not that complicated."