Steelers sit tight in draft, like their results

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers watched teams zoom up past them in the draft. They saw others fall back below them in a given round. And team brass even fielded calls from other clubs eager to deal.

But none of that mattered. All that did, was that Pittsburgh relied on of few constants, and held firm.

Throughout this unique draft _ held during the on-again, off-again lockout _ dozens of trades were consummated with teams moving all over the place. Some even did so repeatedly, in an effort to get their targeted guy or to stockpile extra picks.

The Steelers didn’t join in. They were secure in the fact they could sit tight and get the players they wanted.

In the end, they feel they did just that.

“It’s much easier to just sit and let them come to us,” said Kevin Colbert, the team’s director of football operations, “because usually that’s when you get the best results.”

For the first time since 2005, the Steelers did not make a draft-day trade. Adding to their predictability of picking near the very bottom of every round, was the fact the reigning AFC champions hadn’t made any pre-draft trades of picks or for picks.

So, come the 31st pick of every round (until the seventh and final round, when they chose 29th), Pittsburgh was there and ready, confident in the player they were going to choose.

“This draft really broke well for getting good players that we feel fit and have a good chance to contribute,” Colbert said. “We got them in spots where we thought we may get them. But, we didn’t reach for anything to fill a hole.”

Under Colbert, the Steelers haven’t been shy about moving up in virtually any round when after a specific player. The team also has traded down at times over the years.

But Pittsburgh made its final four picks on Saturday with little fanfare. They added another cornerback and an offensive lineman, and just stayed out of the mix.

The Steelers also took an outside linebacker, Chris Carter of Fresno State, and a running back in Texas Tech’s Baron Batch.

Pittsburgh’s first two picks Saturday _ cornerback Cortez Allen of The Citadel and Carter _ were seen as developmental, long-term prospects who likely won’t make an immediate impact, but could have high upside down the road.

It worked out well the previous time the Steelers took a raw cornerback in the fourth round who took up football late and went to a small college. Ike Taylor was taken No. 124 overall out of Louisiana Lafayette in 2004, and has been Pittsburgh’s top cornerback on three Super Bowl teams.

The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Allen was selected No. 128. He joins Curtis Brown of Texas (6-0, 185) as corners the Steelers added this weekend.

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