Predicting draft day trades is next to impossible, but it is fun to look at what we might deem the Pittsburgh Steelers draft board might look like along with perceived needs to speculate what trades could possibly take place.
While Jeremy Hritz has already wondered if the Steelers will trade out of first round completely, I personally think they will stay put there if I had to lay some money down on it. The second round though is where I believe the best shot of move down and out could happen for the Steelers.
Judging by where I personally have players graded that coincide with needs the Steelers have, rounds three and four offer up some tremendous value. Players like Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman and Michigan State safety Trenton Robinson are just a few names that look good in rounds 3 and 4 to go along with a bevy of guards, in what I consider a deep class this year for that position. One guard in particular that I have been high on is Brandon Brooks from Miami of Ohio and I feel very comfortable that the third round grade I have on him will stick. You may disagree with that assessment, and if so, there are a few others in this guard class that fit the Steelers bill in the 3rd if Brooks is indeed off the board by then.
When I look at the Steelers second round pick, 56th overall, I am not enamored with the value there that the Steelers could be faced with. Does that mean that there are not great players to be had there? No, and you never know what player or players might fall down there come draft day as well. From where I sit the Steelers second round selection will likely be a guard, tackle, inside linebacker or nose tackle, if they stay put. There is not a player that screams great value from either of those positions in round two from a value standpoint in my opinion. Many of you likely feel otherwise and I expect you will let those feelings be known in the comments below. Value, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
When you look back at the draft day trades that General Manager Kevin Colbert has made since he joined the Steelers, you will see that he has no problem moving the Steelers round two pick. You can\’t use draft day history as a predicting tool for future drafts though as the variables are so different from year to year. All you can do is point to it and that is what I am doing here. In 2006 and 2009 Colbert traded out of round two with the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos respectively. The 2006 trade with the Vikings was worth the Vikings two third round picks (83rd & 95th overall) that they had and the trade with the Broncos was also for their two third round picks (79th & 84th overall), but cost the Steelers their fourth round pick (132nd overall) to get the deal done.
Now obviously there has to be a dance partner to get a deal done with and the Steelers 54th overall selection, if indeed they were to trade it, would likely cost another team two third round picks to be worth the Steelers move out of the round. As we sit here in early April, that list is narrowed down to the Miami Dolphins, who have two third round picks currently (72nd & 73rd overall). Outside of Miami, that is it, unless the Steelers want to acquire later round picks from a team to go along with that teams third this year. Also future year picks might be an option, but that is something the Steelers have not shown a penchant of wanting to do.
One interesting side note with the Dolphins is that there are plenty of rumors that they could be interested in trading up a few spots in round one to draft Ryan Tannehill. That would surely cost them their second round pick (42nd overall) to do so and maybe more. Should it not cost them either of their third round picks to move up in round one, they might want to get back into round two by dealing both their thirds. Yes I know, highly speculative, but plausible, just like every other draft trade scenario one could conjure up.
Now I am not blind to the fact that the Steelers will not be the only team willing to jump out of round two for that right price, or any round for that matter, I am just pointing out the most obvious of scenarios should the Steelers be that team. Is it likely to happen? No, but it would not hurt my feelings to see them parlay their second round pick into two third round picks either as I think they could really get some great value with three third rounders.
I am usually good for one post a year around draft time to speculate a draft day trade, so consider this it. You can make arguments for hundreds of scenarios outside of this one, but I prefer to stick with those that jump out as the most obvious in my eyes.
So would you be happy to see the Steelers trade out of round two if it brought two third round picks in return, and if not, what player presents the most value in your eyes with the 56th overall selection in round 2?