The Pittsburgh Steelers are in full on offseason mode. Coaches have been fired and hired, and players have already started to be added to the roster. While we are still a month and a half away from the start of the new league year and free agency, we know one thing will be certain. This Steelers team will have massive holes and a number of aging players that will need future replacements. Long story short, they could go in a number of ways in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The problem lies in where the Steelers are picking, and how often they will select. Sitting at the number 24 slot means the organization will never be able to snag one of the organization-shifting quarterbacks, or a game-changing prospect like Penei Sewell or Devonta Smith. It also means the Steelers would possibly be reaching on an offensive linemen, or running back if they remained at 24.
I would absolutely trade up to 10th like CBS mock draft is suggesting for Steelers.— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) January 27, 2021
Take Trey Lance and have him do what Packers are doing with Jordan Love.
Live with a QB room of Ben, Lance and Haskins and tell Rudolph to hit the road. Lance and Haskins fit Canada's system.
Sure it’s possible someone inexplicably falls into the Steelers’ lap and they can make a no-brainer selection. But these scenario’s are few and far between.
Let’s be honest, the only position the Steelers will trade up for this year is quarterback. So if the Steelers want to go get Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement, they’re going to have to make a deal to go up and get that player. Until we know the extent of the 2020 free agent quarterback carousel, we can only hypothesize the teams the Steelers would need to jump to draft a quarterback. The two most likely spots right now are pick number 11 (New York Giants) and pick number 14 (Minnesota Vikings). It’s possible that someone like Trey Lance, or Justin Fields may slide to these spots so any deal would be contingent of them being available. Here’s what the compensation would look like to make these deals:
Steelers receive pick 11, New York receive picks 24, 55, and 87.
Steelers receive pick 14, Minnesota receive picks 24 and 55 (according to typical draft pick value charts)
And while you may be thinking this is far-fetched, keep in mind the Steelers would probably have to trade up in 2022 for a quarterback anyway. At least this way the player could sit and learn behind Roethlisberger for a year.
The more likely of these scenarios however is the Steelers trading down to add draft picks and fill more of their holes while drafting the player they were possibly going to draft at 24 anyway. For example, if the Steelers were set to draft Alabama’s Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood, or Clemson’s Travis Etienne, they would be wise in moving backwards. The average trade packages they could receive would look something like this:
Steelers receive picks 29 and 92, Green Bay receives pick 24
Steelers receive picks 33, 96*, and 128*. Jacksonville receives pick 24
*Exact pick will be later once compensatory picks are awarded starting at the end of the third round.
Moving all the way back to pick 33 would be playing with a bit of fire, but adding two addition draft picks at the top of each round would be a major coup. In the latter scenario, the Steelers would hold picks 33, 55, 87, 96*, 118*, compensatory 4th, 128*, 189*, compensatory 6th, 208*, and 217*. In this trade the Steelers would have more than enough ammo to plug every gap the roster may have. In a cap strapped year a deal of this magnitude would be exactly what the doctor ordered.
But what do you think? Should the Steelers move up, down, or stay where they are in the draft? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.