Pittsburgh Steelers Should Trade 15th Pick In 2014 NFL Draft

Roger Goodell at the NFL Draft

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz and add him on Google+


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  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Jeff, not sure I agree with your logic. The BIGGEST need we have is arguably in the D secondary, and my impression is that after Gilbert, Dennard, and Clinton-Dix the level of talent drops off pretty quickly. Yes, there are a lot of ‘good’ CBs/Ss later in this draft but to get one of these outstanding players at those positions, we would need to use #15. Don’t disagree that we have more holes to fill than normal but the other needs (WR, NT, developmental OLB) can be had later in the draft, AND we are going to get a 3rd rounder and 5th rounder as comp for Stonehands Wallace and Keenan Lewis, so it’s not like we are pick-poor. Selecting a NT in round 3 or 4 is like getting two picks in one, as it will allow us to fill the void at DE (Keisel, Hood) by moving McClendon to his more natural position.
    I am not in the camp of those that say we ‘have to’ get a WR in round 1 and personally think that Colbert uttered the ‘big receiver’ comment as a smoke screen to camouflage his true intentions. IF we got a receiver in round 1, I would prefer Ebron at TE, otherwise back to D and get either Clinton–Dix, Pryor, or Dennard (assuming that Gilbert goes first). We have a stable of ILBs (remember, Sean Spence coming back, Williams played a lot last year, etc) and as for OL, I would remind you that we are getting Nick Embernante back off injury and already have a lot of players in the mix (Velasco, Pouncey coming back, Wallace who I thought did a great job late in the year), to go along with the rest of the starters. If we were in much, much worse shape (a la the Raiders) I would agree, but we have 3 to 4 years left with Ben available to us and we need to take advantage of that window – trading away the highest pick we have had in like 10 years doesn’t help accomplish that.

    • mathew doakes

      Amen I cannot agree with you more just the other day I was talking to some clown about trading back giving our first pick to san Diego and we take their pick and second rounder .and with the first pick we take nix now how crazy do that sound we need another corner badddddd

  • Eric Robinson

    i would trade back if both dennard and gilbert are already gone. otherwise draft one of them. if Ike takes pay cut, move him to safety. With Will Allen signed and Shamarko, Gives us alot more options. Go get our big NT to sure up inside. Move Mclendon to the outside. Get Ben a big receiver, another corner, and running back and OLB . I think we will be ok at ILB this year, expecially if Spence returns.