The Steelers have an unprecedented 11 picks in the upcoming 2010 NFL draft that starts on Thursday night and have not had that many in 11 years. The last time they had more draft picks than that was 1992, when they had 14 in a 12-round draft. Last year the Steelers had 9 picks a year ago and used every one of them, but one has to wonder if they will indeed keep all 11 this year. The draft is being touted as an exceptionally deep draft for both offensive and defensive linemen, positions that the Steelers certainly could use some youth and depth at. 11 picks though, may be just too many.
Currently the Steelers have 70 players on their spring roster and 11 draft picks would instantly jump that number to 81. The Steelers also will undoubtedly sign at least 7 or more undrafted players and using 7 as a starting point, that adds up to 88 players. Now of course NFL teams are only allowed 80 players on the roster come training camp start. Not all 11 draft picks will be signed by then, but 9 should be.
11 picks is over 1/5 of the total 53 man roster number. That is a ton of picks. I thought last year that the Steelers would trade away picks to move up a round or so, instead they traded down with Denver to get extra 3rd round picks and forwent their 2nd round choice. I just can not see the Steelers standing pat this year with 11 picks, no matter how deep the draft is. I look for them to try to move up this year in either round 1 or round 2 and dealing off a few of the picks in order to do so. The one factor working against them is the rule that the compensatory picks can not be traded. This means that the Steelers two compensatory picks in the fifth and one in the seventh can not be traded. The two fifth round picks are the 33rd and 35th in the round, which correspond to the 164th and 166th overall selections. Their extra pick in the seventh is the 35th of the round, the 242nd of the draft. This still leaves their original 5th and 7th round picks that may be dealt along with the 5th rounder they got from the Jets in the Santonio Holmes trade.
When the smoke clears on Saturday night, I truly believe that the Steelers will only have made 7 or 8 picks. 11 is just too many. I said this last year as well, but I believe the Steelers have their sights set on a special player in round 1 or 2 and will indeed try to move up this year to get him. Who that player might be is anyone\'s guess still, but I think it could be an offensive lineman. Luckily we have just a few days to find out.
Below is a chart of the current 2010 Steelers draft picks by round and overall pick numbers:
|Round #||Pick #||Overall #|
* compensatory pick