As the 2022 NFL Draft approaches, fans see the Pittsburgh Steelers sitting with the 20th overall pick in the selection process and are weighing their options. When I speak about options, I mainly speak about the thought of trading back.
For the second straight year, in 2021 the Steelers possessed the 24th overall pick, fans are wondering if trading back in the draft is a smart option. Gaining more draft capital, especially in 2022 when picks are slim, is always enticing. After all, there is still tremendous value on both Day 1 and 2 of the draft process.
However, despite fans hoping the Steelers get a phone call and move back in the draft, it rarely happens in the first round. Why, you might ask? In a recent Asked and Answered article on Steelers.com, Bob Labriola spoke about this exact scenario:
Dan Rooney once told me that too often fans, or people who work in player personnel, are too interested in winning the draft when the idea is to win the Super Bowl. Trading for more picks might get a team a good grade the day after the draft, but what’s more important is to add the kind of players who will help a team contend for a championship.
Using last year as an example, bypassing Najee Harris to trade down 10 spots for maybe an extra pick in the second or third round hurts the team more than it helps because of the kind of player Harris already has shown himself to be.
There will always be those detractors to this theory, suggesting the extra picks would allow the team to address other glaring needs on their roster. At this point, you have to wonder how often the Steelers have actually traded back in the draft in recent memory. I asked BTSC editor Dave Schofield to do some digging, and he found the following information:
Since 1994, which is as far back as Pro-Football Reference goes back, the only time the Steelers traded back in the first round was when they drafted Casey Hampton in 2001.
Something to consider when you are wondering what the odds would be for the Steelers to trade back in the upcoming draft in April.
You have to look at a scenario where the Steelers don’t find any value at pick No. 20, and see plenty of value wherever they move after giving up their first round pick. Plain and simple, the Steelers find too much value with a first round pick to give it away. Then again, anything is possible.
With that said, do you think the Steelers trade back in the draft? Also, would you want the team to trade back if this becomes an option? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year and the 2022 NFL Draft.