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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More ammunition

The two extra fourth round and one additional fifth round pick the Steelers collected Monday when the NFL announced its compensatory picks will come in handy for a team looking for an infusion of young talent.

The Steelers have drafted well under director of football operations Kevin Colbert, who's also shown no qualms about moving around to get the players he desires.

The team traded down in the first round in 2001 and up in the second to grab nose tackle Casey Hampton and linebacker Kendrell Bell.

A couple of years later, the team traded up in the first round for the first time in history to grab safety Troy Polamalu.

Bell is now gone, but Hampton and Polamalu are Pro Bowl players considered the best in the league at their positions.

By rule, teams can't trade compensatory picks. But if the Steelers are inclined to make a move in this year's draft, they now have the ammunition to do so without giving up the farm.

For example, they could deal their second round pick and their fourth to move up a dozeon or so spots in the second round if there is a player they want by don't feel will be there when they pick.

It would certainly make things easier to grab a guy such as linebacker Bobby Carpenter in the first round and trade up in the second to grab safety Darnell Bing.

That would be two quality players and the team would still own a third and two more fourths.

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