Steelers 2013 Draft: Should they consider trading up?

Justin K. Aller

Another question pulled from the comments, this question is likely to be asked and answered and asked again many times leading up to April's draft. As it sits now, though, there's plenty of reason to think about doing it.

The "Best Player Available" vs. "Trade Out" argument is often debated leading into the NFL Draft. This year won't be any different for the Steelers, but it brings out more specific definitions of those two subjects.

The Steelers found great players in the past through trading up (Santonio Holmes in 2006 and Troy Polamalu in 2003). Those kinds of playmakers define a championship team vs. an ordinary one.

One outstanding player is worth two mediocre ones even when your roster is depleted.

Reader Steeler Fever brought this up in the BTSC Draft Prospects Profile on Barkevious Mingo.

Other than Plaxico who was the highest pick in this time frame (8th). The Steelers have gotten players who have been game changers or at the least exhibited the ability to be Pro-Bowl caliber players at their position for a long career in the B&G. What is it with WR's? Since 99, Troy Edwards (13) Plaxico (8th) and Tone (25th).

Casey Hampton 2001 (19)
Troy Polamalu 2003 (16)
Ben 2004 (11)
Timmon 2007 (15)
Pouncey 2010 (18)

I guess an argument could be made that Timmons has underperformed compared to the rest. But my point is when avoiding a WR, the Steelers have drafted very well in finding difference making talent that has had very good careers with Pittsburgh.

I would rather the Steeler move up a little if they spot another difference maker that is within their grasp. I realize with the expected departure on the roster we are gonna need a lot of fresh faces. But a difference maker can sure make a difference when it comes to trying to make another SB run. Now is the time to make such a move if necessary, IMO. Even if it means giving up a 3rd round pick. I would rather have my cake and eat it as well. Have somebody fall to us and spend a 3rd round on a position of need as well. But if I can't have both, I hope they move up. Of course I know a few people are hoping we move back in the draft. I understand that logic, but damn, I want a difference maker from this draft.

All outstanding points. Ones hopefully the brass of the Steelers' front office is considering. I think we have one of the lowest splash play-producing defenses in the NFL, and while I have to acknowledge the fact it's been one of the better defenses in the league over the last two years, I can't help but think it's like watching a baseball team that doesn't hit for power; eventually the station-to-station crap isn't going to work. You need to get some power if you want to win something other than the least yardage contest.

I'm not Kevin Colbert, but I really can't see how he's not thinking the same thing. Watch the Titans game in 2010. THAT is a scary defense. It was like there were 13 black jerseys on the field. Guys were flying around the ball, hitting, tackling, exerting their will. Now look at the San Diego game this past season. They got a bleep-ton of stops, they made no plays.

They got killed because the defense didn't make plays.

Look at the Super Bowl. Ya think San Francisco wasn't dying to make at least one big play on defense? They racked up more yards than, I believe, any Super Bowl loser in history. But they turned the ball over twice.

Yes, that's simplistic and slanted to my point, but ya see what I mean? It's not about not surrendering yards anymore; quarterbacks are too damn good. It's a completions league. The NFL wants completed passes. They want receivers to catch the ball. They want quarterbacks feeling confident in throwing the ball. The only way defenses can win games is if they do not allow quarterbacks to feel confident in throwing the ball, and prevent receivers from catching the ball. Sacks, passes defensed, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries...those are caused by playmakers. With the exception of Cortez Allen's from-nowhere run over the last two games where he was a playmaking machine, this team hasn't had defensive playmakers since before Polamalu got hurt toward the end of 2010. Baltimore gave the divisional game away in 2010. The Jets had ample opportunities to win in the second half after falling down 21-3. The Packers torched our secondary, and if not for the 49 drops their receivers had, they would have won by 60 points.

The reason we beat the Ravens and the Jets is because we got turnovers. We lost to Green Bay because we didn't force turnovers, and we turned the ball over.

Personally, I'm getting to the point where I don't care about third round picks on this team. The Steelers' percentage of landing outstanding players later in the draft has dropped significantly. Ya wanna know why Baltimore won the Super Bowl? They drafted outstanding players like Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee later in the draft. The Steelers? We have Chris Carter and Curtis Brown and Crezdon Butler and Thad Gibson and Frank Summers and Joe Burnett and Bruce Davis and Tony Hills....I could go on.

YES, I know we've drafted other outstanding players later in the draft, but NONE of the guys I listed were drafted after the 5th round, and I only went back four years.

It's almost more like they should trade it just to protect themselves FROM themselves. They can't resist trading up for Alameda Ta'amu.

I'm just venting now but do you realize, as of March 12 (and beyond), the Steelers most likely will have ZERO players from the entire 2008 Draft, two from 2007 and none from 2006? TWO players from 24 picks in three years...Timmons (who, after six years is NOW starting to play to his athletic ability) and Woodley (who needs a hamstring transplant or something).

One first round pick and one second round pick. Two first round picks didn't/won't get extensions. We traded up for a punter who's out of football and a defensive tackle who's already been suspended and released.

Let's add to the problem here; we still take a lot for granted. Think about this: what happens to a season if Timmons gets injured, based on what we have right now?


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