I know almost everyone is sick of discussing Ben's actions, and the consequences there of, but I'm going to try to look at the silver lining in the only way I know how, with regards to the draft. Far some of use Ben is worth a king's ransom. After all, he's a 2-time Super bowl winning QB in the prime of his career. But in light of recent events, especially with his suspension, it's unlikely that we'll get the same kind of deal that Denver got for Jay Cutler from Chicago. In addition to QB Kyle Orton Denver received a 1st and a 3rd round pick in 2009 as well as a 1st round pick in 2010. ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that there are two teams with top 10 picks that have interest in trading for Ben as well as another mystery team. Below we will look at the potential suitors for Ben services and what we hope to get in return.
1. Oakland Raiders:
It's no secret that Al Davis was trying to trade for Donovan McNabb before he was sent to the Redskins. Even though he won't admit it publicly, Al's got to be tired of waiting on JaMarcus Russell to turn into the stud that he thought he would be. The Raiders organization has never been shy about acquiring players with character issues in the past. Oakland's also not shy about giving up anything for a player they think will help their team. Unfortunately for us they have already given up their 2011 1st round pick to the New England Patriots in the Richard Seymour deal. Oakland was the most likely candidate willing to surrender two 1sts in any deal for Ben. Something that would make most Steelers fan happy is what Al Davis was willing to deal for McNabb, which is All-pro Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Apparently the Eagles were unwilling to deal with Asomugha's 10mil a year contract. Would the Steelers? Ben is 5 years older than McNabb so conceivably we could get Oakland's 2010 1st round pick (8th overall) and Asomugha. If the team is willing to take on his enormous contract then that would solve our biggest immediate need draft wise and allow us to focus on other areas. With the 8th pick in the upcoming draft our options would boil down to two players as far as I could see it. The first is everyone's dream pick, Eric Berry. Could you imagine a defensive backfield with Nnamdi Asomugha and Ike Taylor as the starting Cornerbacks, and Troy Polamalu and Eric Berry manning the Safety positions? Teams wouldn't be able to throw against us. And to add to that we would still have the 18th pick to play with as well in which case I would definitely turn our attention to Mike Iupati. With Dennis Dixon at the helm in his first full year we would definitely need to re-establish a commitment to the running game to win games. The other player would be Jimmy Clausen, but that would only be in the event that the team does not have faith in Dennis Dixon as a long-term starter. A lot of people don't like Clausen, and I have to admit my own bias against all Notre Dame QB's, but he doesn't deserve a majority of the flack he's recieved from the like of ESPN's Todd McShay. Some people like to compare him to Brady Quinn but the only similarities between the two are that they played at the same school. Clausen is incredibly more accurate, posting a 68% completion percentage, and very tough after playing most of the past season with a toe injury. He's also been labeled as having poor leadership qualities which has ben refuked by his teammates numerous times. Personally I would much rather take Berry and see what Dixon can do.
The Bills are the other team reportedly interested in acquiring Big Ben. Fortunately they have a 2011 first round pick to add to a deal for him. If we were hunting for draft picks then this would be the team to deal with as they hold the 9th pick in this years draft, and due to their perpetual rebuilding mode, will probably have a top 15 pick in next years draft. Even with Ben at the helm I doubt they'll do much in the coming season which would bode well for us in the 2011 draft. With an early pick in next year's draft I would be a lot more comfortable with letting Dennis Dixon lead the offense and seeing where the teams lies with him next year. The 2011 draft will have a lot of quality QB's in it, provided that all of the top shelf underclassmen declare, and I really do want to give dixon a chance. Next years prize in my eyes is Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, a strong-armed QB with proto-typical size. But there's also Washington's Jake Locker, Stanford's Andrew Luck, and Delaware's Pat Devlin. With Buffalo's 2010 pick I would still want the team to target Eric Berry, but Joe Haden would have to come into play here as well. The unfortunate part about Buffalo's rebuilding mode is that they may not part with a second 1st round pick because they have so many holes to fill. It's more likely that they would trade us their 1st, 3rd, and a combination of later round picks. With the extra 3rd rounder (72 overall) we could target Ole. Miss OG John Jerry. A third option is that we take their 1st, 5th, and a quality player. There's really only a couple of players on the Bills roster that I would consider taking. Both of them are DB's in CB Leodis McKelvin and S Jairus Byrd. I doubt Buffalo would give them both to us but for a starting QB of Ben's caliber I'm sure they would part with one of them.
The best of the rest:
There several other teams they may or may not be looking for a QB in the draft, but there are only small handful of teams I think would even consider trading for Ben. The exclusions would be:
1. The Cleveland Browns
For multiple reason I don't think the Browns would seriously consider trading for Ben. First off, the Steelers wouldn't trade him to a division rival. Secondly, they are in a rebuilding mode and I think they would prefer to draft a long-term solution to the QB issues.
2. The San Fransisco 49ers
I think they could have interest in Ben but without GM I don't think they would pull of any type of big trade. Of course, seeing as how badly that franchise was run by the owners before they had a GM it wouldn't surprise me. They do have 2 first round picks and former #1 overall pick Alex Smith is in the final year of his deal.
3. The Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks also have 2 first round picks and a need for a franchise QB as Hasselback is not getting any younger and has a long injury history.Who knows how Coach Carroll is going to play his first draft, he may be willing to deal a few picks.
4. The St. Louis Rams
They reportedly have no interest in trading for Roethlisberger.