Around this time every year fans of every NFL team declare what they want their favorite team to do during the NFL Draft.
Either way, it is easy to simply make these declarations, but it’s another thing to have come to fruition. For instance, saying, “Trade back!” is easy, but you have to have another NFL franchise willing to trade up to make it happen. I’m sure all 32 teams have had moments in the last 5 drafts where they would have traded back to garner more draft picks, but no one was interested in that particular selection.
It happens and is life in the NFL.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, who possess the 17th overall draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, there are plenty of people who believe the Steelers should trade back and help them get more picks on Day 2 of the 3-day selection process. However, Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently gave his suggestions for what every team with a first round pick, sorry Miami Dolphins, should do in terms of trades.
Here’s what he said about the Steelers:
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
What they should do: Stay put.
The Steelers have not traded down in the first round of the draft since 2001, when Kevin Colbert was in his second season as the director of football operations. Colbert retired after the 2022 draft and turned things over to Omar Khan. It remains to be seen whether Khan will chart his own path, but outside of trading up three times in the first round over that stretch, this is an organization that generally stays where its picks fall early in the draft.
Barnwell’s “stay put” answer likely won’t be sufficient for the die hard Steelers fan base, so let’s just take a see what he has happening after the Steelers 17th pick in the draft. Of the teams who select after Pittsburgh, Barnwell has 6 teams labeled as suggesting they should “Trade Down”. In other words, those teams would also be willing to give up their top pick to move back and gain more picks.
But there were teams who Barnwell suggested could be in the “trade up” camp. Those teams were...
Trade Up teams:
25. New York Giants
Could one of these three teams want to give up enough to trade to pick No. 17? That’s exactly what was suggested by our own Andrew Wilbar in his latest Mock Draft. Check out what he has the Giants giving up to move to the 17th spot in the draft order.
Again, while it’s easy in theory to talk about trading back, teams value their draft picks to the point where they won’t pull the trigger on a dramatic move up.
When looking at the Steelers’ draft history, as Barnwell does above, under Kevin Colbert the team has only traded back one time, and that was in 2001 when the team selected Casey Hampton out of the University of Texas. However, with Omar Khan at the helm, it is safe to say you can throw all of this precedent out the proverbial window considering it will be Khan’s first time as the man in charge.
Almost all fans would be more than happy to see the Steelers trade back, now trading up is a completely different story...
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of NFL Free Agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.