The 2021 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away, and with every passing day all 32 NFL fan bases are wondering if this is the year their draft haul changes the trajectory of their favorite team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, and their global fan base, is no different. It is the draft which brings forth a tremendous amount of hope for every team. Even if a team was dead last in 2020, the top pick can bring a player in who can change the team for the next decade and them some, hello Trevor Lawrence.
One of the aspects of the draft which has always intrigued and fascinated me were trades. I love watching teams wheel and deal their way to get a specific player. The Steelers have done this on more than one occasion in recent memory.
It was 2003 when they traded with the Kansas City Chiefs to move up and draft some safety out of USC. I think his name was Polamalu, or something like that. It was in 2019 when the Steelers traded with the Denver Broncos to jump up 10 spots to take Devin Bush out of Michigan.
It all just adds to the excitement of the draft; however, some trades take place days, sometimes weeks, before the draft even takes place. This has already happened with the San Francsico 49ers trading up with the Miami Dolphins, and again trading with the Philadelphia Eagles.
See how these trades look, via CBS Sports:
The Miami Dolphins are trading the No. 3 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the No. 12 overall pick, a third-round pick in 2022, a first-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023, the team announced.
After that deal was completed, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dolphins agreed to a trade where the Dolphins move back up to No. 6 overall with the Eagles. The Eagles will move back to No. 12 overall and acquire Miami’s first-round pick in 2022. The Eagles also surrender the No. 156 overall pick and acquire Miami’s pick at No. 123 overall.
When you want a specific prospect, or position, and you know you will need to move up in the draft you do whatever it takes to get there. Even if it means putting your future draft capital in jeopardy.
But now for Steelers fans favorite type of draft day trade, the trading back scenario. Despite the Steelers not doing this since 2001, when they took Casey Hampton out of Texas in Round 1, moving back in the draft can be a valuable move. BTSC co-editor Dave Schofield outlined a scenario for the upcoming draft, and what it could look like. Check it out:
How about the Steelers trade back eight picks in the first round with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then select at the 32nd spot. In return, Tampa sends Pittsburgh their second-round pick at number 64 in exchange for the Steelers 87th pick in round three. So by the Steelers losing eight spots in round one, they then gain 23 spots to move up into the end of round two. This would give the Steelers the 55th and the 64th pick in the second round. In order to make the trade a little more even, the Bucs might even have the throw in their fifth-round pick at selection 176.
These are all trades which involve nothing but draft capital. What about player trades? A perfect example of this type of trade is the one which went down between the New York Jets shipping Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers for picks.
Here is a breakdown of that trade, via ESPN:
The New York Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers on Monday, ending months of intense speculation about their quarterback plans.
In return for Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2018, the Jets received three picks: a sixth-rounder in the 2021 draft later this month and a second-rounder and fourth-rounder in 2022.
The scenarios are endless, but at this point you have to ask yourself, if the Steelers were to make a pre-draft trade, what would it look like? Dave Schofield did a great job outlining what a draft day trade would look like if they wanted to move back, but what about other situations?
Who would they want to move up to get? If they were going to throw a player into the mix, who would it be?
Before fans clamor to the comment section and suggest trading Jordan Berry for a 3rd round pick, all I ask is any proposed trade you suggest be realistic.
Here are a few scenarios I will throw out there to get the conversation going:
- After drafting a linebacker in the first round, the Steelers realize they want to add to the running back position, but waiting till pick No. 55 won’t work in this regard. The Steelers turn to a familiar trade partner in the Broncos to move up to pick No. 40 to draft Javonte Williams out of North Carolina. In return, the Broncos receive the 55th pick in this year’s draft, the Steelers sixth round pick in 2021 and a 2022 5th round pick.
Here is another scenario, involving a player.
- Considering the Steelers have depth at the position, they find a trade partner with the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver James Washington. In return, the Steelers receive the Eagles’ third round pick they received from the Indianapolis Colts, pick No. 84, and a conditional 6th round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
To be honest, between Schofield’s trade back scenario, the trade up in Round 2 scenario and the player trade option, I’d accept all of these trades. What about you? What do you think would be a realistic trade for the Steelers before the draft? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches.