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2015 NFL Draft: Why the Pittsburgh Steelers should trade up from No. 22

The Pittsburgh Steelers are just a few players away from a championship team. Why they should consider trading up in the 2015 NFL Draft to get the player they want/need.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, it's good to have patience, while in other situations, it's not.

Come this year's NFL Draft, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and the Steelers' brass should choose the latter approach.

The Steelers are ready to win now, if they make the necessary upgrades at linebacker and cornerback. While Colbert and company didn't make any sexy upgrades to the linebacker position this offseason, Colbert did re-sign veteran James Harrison and Arthur Moats, while also signing Shayon Green to the off-season roster to add depth to the unit.

While the Steelers could still sign another linebacker in the draft, it's become clear the team will most likely use their first round draft choice on a cornerback. On Thursday, Peter King of The Monday Morning Quarterback predicted that Pittsburgh would draft LSU corner Jalen Collins with the 22nd pick.

Collins is considered a project by most experts, and that is something the Steelers don't need with their first round selection. Collins is very raw, having only started 10 career games in college. That lack of experience was exploited when Collins faced Alabama's Amari Cooper, who caught eight passes on Collins including a 23-yard touchdown in a match-up last fall. While Collins could be a very good NFL player, the Steelers need someone that will make an impact now, not in 2016 or 2017.

While there is legitimate concern about Collins and his ability to contribute right away, there's seemingly no question marks about Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes, who drew praise from the NFC director of personal, who said Waynes is "the top corner (in the '15 Draft) and I don't think it's close." Waynes not only has the physical skills but also the technique and mental capacity to be a strong contributor right now. That's the type of player the Steelers need to go after in the first round.

Waynes isn't the only player the Steelers could have their eye on to move up in the draft to be a difference maker in 2015. A stud pass rusher like Shane Ray or Bud Dupree could provide a similar situation where the team might be inclined to move up in the draft to get someone who can contribute from Day 1 in some capacity.

To get Waynes or another top-tier player in the upcoming draft, the Steelers will surely have to move up in draft day, which obviously means sacrificing future draft picks to do so. This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, considering the Steelers should be well under the salary cap in 2016, allowing them to fill future holes with free agents while also having more money to keep their own talent in Pittsburgh.

Per Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ed Bouchette in one of his recent articles: "The Steelers could wind up with a healthy amount of salary cap room in 2015 that they can carry over into 2016, when the cap for each team also is expected to rise after jumping by $10 million this year. This will be the final year they must account for LaMarr Woodley’s bonuses, which carry a burden of $8.58 million in 2015; so that in essence will give them even more to work with next year."

Earlier this offseason, the Steelers gave Ben Roethlisberger a new, five-year contract. While this keeps the Steelers' window for winning another championship with Big Ben open for the next half-decade, Pittsburgh shouldn't wait to construct a team capable of winning it all. Mike Tomlin already said his offense is capable of being the very best in the NFL next year, so what's holding this team back from winning it all? It's the fact that the defense, for the first time in a long time, doesn't have an elite defensive player. The Steelers could change that in the 2015 Draft, bringing in defensive stud that can make an impact now to help get Pittsburgh over the hump.

After watching his secondary struggle mightily in 2002 (giving up 429 yards to Kelly Holcomb in the Wild Card Game vs. Cleveland), Colbert moved up from the 29th position to the 16th selection in the first round to acquire Troy Polamalu. Two years later, after losing Antwaan Randle El to free agency, Colbert moved up to grab wide receiver Santonio Holmes. We know how both of those moves worked out, and I believe that if the Steelers decide to move up again in this year's draft, a similar result very well could follow.