Pittsburgh Steelers Get Much-Needed Help with Compensatory Pick

By Clyde A. Speller
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not much, but every little bit helps. The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the 16 teams that were awarded a compensatory draft pick on Monday by the NFL. The pick that the Steelers were given is the 38th pick in the sixth round (206th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

This now gives Pittsburgh a total of eight picks for the upcoming draft, which will be held from April 25th-27th.

For those who don’t quite understand what a compensatory selection is, it is a draft pick that is given to a team that loses more or better free agents than it acquires. Looking at how the Steelers received their pick is a good example.

At the end of the 2011 season, Pittsburgh lost cornerback William Gay to free agency and didn’t sign a player of greater or equal value for the 2012 season. Therefore, the Steelers were awarded one compensatory pick for 2013.

Looking at the holes that need to be filled on Pittsburgh’s roster, that extra selection in the draft will come in handy. Furthermore, if restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders does sign with the New England Patriots, then the Steelers will get New England’s third-round pick, which will give them nine selections in the draft. However, if you ask me, the Steelers are better off keeping Sanders, who is familiar with the offensive scheme.

With the organization’s salary cap troubles, no much could be done via free agency for Pittsburgh. They did sign reliable backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski plus welcomed back Gay and tight end Matt Spaeth, but those are minor additions to the team.

The draft is probably the only way for the Steelers to rebound from losing key players on the heels of a disappointing 2012 season. This draft will also be very important for Pittsburgh because two of their division rivals also received compensatory draft picks to revamp their rosters.

The Baltimore Ravens, the defending Super Bowl champions, were awarded four picks, and the Cincinnati Bengals have two of their own.

Personally, I don’t think the Steelers will add to the little noise they made in this offseason’s free agency. My suggestion for general manager Kevin Colbert and the rest of the organization is to use the next month to game plan for the draft and to try their best to take advantage of the extra pick.

Clyde A. Speller  is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google

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