It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for a playmaker when they select 15th in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The playmaker that they select will be either a wide receiver or a cornerback, but what if the best receivers and cornerbacks are off the board when the Steelers make their selection?
The Steelers have been very vocal about their desire for former Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, but the closer you look at the draft board from picks 1-14, you notice that there is a good chance Dennard won’t be on the board when the Steelers make their selection. The next best cornerback the Steelers would target would be Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State, but odds are that he too will be off the board when the 15th pick rolls around.
Most fans would then clamor for the Steelers to select a wide receiver at the 15th overall pick, but chances are that all of the high-profile receivers will be gone by the time Pittsburgh gets on the clock. So what do the Steelers do if their high-profile playmakers are all gone when they get the chance to select in the first round? They trade their draft pick.
The Steelers were given the gift of three extra compensatory draft picks for losing free agents last season, but in a draft that is so deep with talent, this would be the year to trade back to acquire more picks. Some possible suitors who would want to jump up in the draft would be the Cleveland Browns, who have two first-round picks and could always use the talent, the New England Patriots who select 29th, and the Kansas City Chiefs who select 23rd.
The best possible suitor for the trade would be the Browns, who have an extra first-round pick and a roster that needs players. The Steelers would not only move back in the draft, but acquire more picks to help fill holes in their roster.
When they move back, they can fill a major hole by selecting NT Louis Nix of Notre Dame to be the plug in the middle of their vaunted 3-4 defense. He’s an athlete who can play from day one for the Steelers, which is never a bad thing.