Among the many predictions for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, there is a level of uncertainty with the entire event. Athletes who are projected to go high in the first round could drop entirely to the second day. Other players could be selected higher than expected. All of this uncertainty makes predicting the draft a mere act of throwing darts while blindfolded.
Predicting the draft is difficult enough, but what is more difficult would be guessing who will be taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers who are selecting No. 15 overall, right in the heart of the first round.
The Steelers have a lot of needs to fill in this upcoming draft, but in a draft where GM Kevin Colbert declared it “the deepest draft I’ve ever seen,” that bodes well for Pittsburgh.
Draft needs for the Steelers would include (in no particular order): cornerback, wide receiver, nose tackle, linebacker, safety and offensive line. As I said, there are a lot of holes to fill.
So, who do the Steelers select in the 15th spot? No one. The Steelers’ primary needs are playmakers, and to be honest most playmakers at the wide receiver position will be off the board before the Steelers make their selection. However, the reason that the Steelers should trade their pick goes beyond the teams drafting ahead of them.
In a deep draft like this, the Steelers could get quality players that are NFL ready in the latter part of round one, as well as rounds two and three. Last year, the Steelers traded their third-round pick to move up and select safety Shamarko Thomas. That leaves them without a third-round pick in the upcoming draft.
If the Steelers trade back in the first round, they can still get a quality player and hopefully get an extra pick later in the draft to help fill other holes on their roster.
If the Steelers don’t get that top line wideout, the offense won’t be horrible next year. The offense could actually be better, even without that top rookie wide receiver.
In a year when the draft is extremely deep with talent, the Steelers could make a smart strategic move by trading that 15th pick, moving back in the first round and ultimately garnering more picks because of it.
Most will balk at this idea, but if you look at the logistics, it would be a smart move by Colbert and company.