Steelers May Be More Open To Trading Picks Following Compensatory Haul

When Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said earlier this offseason that it was doubtful the organization would use either the franchise tag or the transition tag this year, he said it not knowing that the salary cap situation would be much more favorable than was expected.

Likewise, he recently said that the Steelers would be more open to trading down in this upcoming draft than trading up.

Perhaps that rationale could be influenced by the news of the Steelers’ compensatory selections, which came in a bit less conservatively than anticipated, with additional draft picks coming in the third, fifth, and sixth rounds of the upcoming draft.

Obviously, compensatory picks cannot be traded themselves. However, having those picks at your disposal could make one more prone to maneuvering than with the understanding of having a flat seven standard picks.

In 2012, for example, with an extra three picks in the seventh round, the Steelers traded away a sixth-round pick in order to move up in the fourth round to draft nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu.

Of course, that specific move didn’t work out, but it is an example of what the comfort of extra picks can allow one to do.

Since the Steelers traded away their third-round pick in the coming draft last year, for example, perhaps Colbert and company would be interested in trying to recoup that pick by trading a pair of picks in the later rounds.

That would give the Steelers four of the top 97 picks in what Colbert has described as the deepest class in decades. And deeper classes translate to a higher overall value per selection in comparison to other draft.

Compare the defensive end class of the 2009 and 2011 drafts. With the 32nd overall pick in 2009, the Steelers selected Ziggy Hood, whom the Steelers made no effort to offer a second contract.

In 2011, with the 31st overall pick, the Steelers selected Cameron Heyward, who is a prime extension candidate during training camp.

Having more, and higher, picks than anticipated, of course, provides greater flexibility, and that flexibility applies to both moving up and moving down.

While acquiring a higher number of premium picks in a deep draft is one strategy, acquiring a higher number of total picks in said draft is also highly tempting.

And as Colbert said, before this announcement, the feeling was that he would be more inclined to move down. Finding the balance between quality and volume in a deep draft is key.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • dkoy85

    Lewan falls, any team need to trade up to 1.15 to get him? Accumulate picks and really move around for that special somebody who falls like Benjamin or Fuller into the 2nd, or a RB later in the draft. I’d love to see them move up in the 2nd or 3rd with the extra trade down picks they receive.

  • 2443scott

    i just hope with extra picks the steelers dont end up with a bad draft by giving away picks to far down the draft and hopeing the guys they want will be still there..the team is retooling and steelers need guys who can start right away while bens in his prime yet …they cant back up to the later rounds and end up with starters that take 3 years to start ben dont have that type of time…i am looking for 2 te`s a left and right tackle 2 wr`s and def backs in this draft and 1 de ….my early christmas present i can enjoy come december into playoffs

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I can see your point. They may need to move up in the second to get the player they want (Tuitt?). It is nice when you have nine picks to get players in this type of the draft where the depth is so great. My mock draft now would be as follows to include the compensatory picks:
    1 – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
    2 – Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
    3 – Demarcus Lawrence, LB, Boise State
    4 – Josh Mauro, DL, Stanford
    5 – Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue
    5 – Jordan Zumwalt, LB, UCLA
    6 – George Atkinson, RB, Notre Dame
    6 – Wesley Johnson, OL, Vanderbilt
    7 – Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
    I think all of these picks fill needs that they have. Atkinson and Saunders can return kicks/punts, so that adds to their versatility, even though Saunders is pretty small.

  • dkoy85

    No linebackers? No DE? RB? 2 TE’s is a waste when you look at the rest of the needs. Same with a RT and LT this year.

  • Steelers12328882

    I hope they stay right where they are and draft 9 players they think will improve this football team. If we move at all I’d say moving back in rd. 1 is the way to go, so we could pick up a higher 3rd rd. pick. Kelvin Benjamin would be a great pick in the late 20’s if we moved back or even a CB like Fuller, Verrett or Roby.

  • Jason White

    I already had trading back in my mind while working on my mock draft. Its fun to try to predict a trade on draft day and then you can be more creative cause you will have extra picks.

  • Paddy

    Atkinson won’t be drafted

  • Derick L Young

    I am in favor of trading down in the draft. Unless Gilbert is there. That is a tougher decision. Or Evans for that matter.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I have been contemplating the trade down scenario for the Steelers for ages. I know how much it could help them if they can take advantage of extra picks. When I heard about the deep draft, I figured that would be great for my idea. I have even figured out the perfect trade partner: San Fran, as I think they are currently up to 12 or 13 picks with the extra Comp they were awarded yesterday. But they won’t get the full value for the trade, as last year SF moved up to pick their Safety but only gave up an extra 3rd. That got me thinking.

    If everyone knows this draft is deep and everyone wants to trade down, you won’t get what you expect. Instead of getting SF’s 1st, 2nd, and perhaps 4th as the value chart suggests, San Fran may only offer an additional 3rd. Not bad, but not the best deal.

    How about if the Steelers turn the tables and decide to trade up at some point in rounds 2, 3, or 4? That might present good value this year. Of course, the permutations and combinations are astronomical and they just got more complicated, just as Matthew suggests.

  • Zack

    Give San Fran the No. 15 for their own first, second and third picks. They want to move up and they have a second from KC and a third from someone else IIRC, so they’ve got a wealth to offer. Then maybe package some of our late round stuff for another 3rd or an earlier 4th. It’s possible we could leave with a first, two seconds, three thirds, a fifth and a sixth

  • Derick L Young

    They have done it recently so why not. If their “guy” is gone by 1.15 and they get calls for that pick, I say trade back only to acquire picks you can use to trade back up in the early-mid rounds. as you said. as many suggest, a guy like Tuitt for instance.

  • Madi

    That’d be great for us, but last year SF moved from 31 to 18 and only gave up a third to do it. With this draft being considered so deep, I’ll bet the price to trade up has gone down.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Obviously, that could be true. Walter Football has him listed as round 6 – 7 pick. He did have a very good combine, These guys with fast 40 times have a tendency to move up higher than they probably should be.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Zack, Madi. The value chart suggests Zack would be correct, however it will not go down that way. As you suggest, Madi, SF made a good trade last year and this year the draft is supposedly deeper. Thus, you might only get their 1st, and 3rd.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I still think the Browns might be willing to trade up. Say they take Watkins with #4. Maybe by the time the Steelers’ pick at 15 comes around (assuming Evans is gone), Cleveland’s QB prospect is still there. We could slide back in the first, and get the third rounder we traded last year back.

  • Jason White

    In my mock I have the Steelers trading their 2nd to the 49ers for two 3rds (The 13th pick (from Titans) and the 49ers original 30th pick) along with the 49ers original 7th. The Broncos traded for the last pick in the 2nd round with the Steelers in 2009 and got two 3rds so being that the Steelers 2nd round pick is 18 spots higher than it was in 09 I threw in a 7th. I’m not sure if that trade would be considered equal today but it is just a mock draft and for entertainment purposes only I wanted to be creative.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    As much as we’d all like the Steelers to have lots of picks, I have to wonder if the FO would trade away more of their picks just to land, say, four players they REALLY want. If they walk away with a CB, WR, OLB, and [Wild Card: DE, RB, OG/OT] that they really like, that might be worth not having seven or eight guys.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I was thinking the same would be great if we can get players we want/need and trade about two picks for better rd picks for next yr that way we can trade some to move up or have two first like the patriots be doiong

  • Madi

    Yeah. The value chart is for the fans, not the teams.

  • Bob

    We may get REALLY lucky as the QBs seem to have been mostly unimpressive, relative to expectations. One or even 2 of the QBs could still be there when we’re picking, THEN we may have some trade partners. If they’re all gone, maybe Barr falls to us. Let Worilds play under his tag this year and next year have Barr and Jones on the outside and NO $10mil/year guy for 2 years before you have to resign them. Or Worilds tears it up, and then you back up the truck to his house

  • 2443scott

    i am sure they will draft or pick up lbers even after draft i would like 1 de ..before draft gets here the steelers will more then likely already gotten there rb ..ben needs protection and rt and lt seem always to be down so thats why i wanted one each as for te`s since draft is suppose to be deep we need them in 2 years so maybe nows good time to get 2

  • Jollyrob68

    They can move back with San Diego and get a 2nd or Cleveland if a QB fall and get two 3rds,

  • pittsburghjoe

    i think their best chance to trade down will be if Evans is available at 15. There are alot of teams that want him. The bad news is that….you would have to pass on Evans. I’m willing to do it for another second round pick.

  • kamil

    I agree 100%. Lets get ready to play now guys, and eventual starters

  • kamil

    That would be great, its makes alot of sense

  • MC

    When you have glaring needs at WR, CB, DL and OLB, trading down is a must in my opinion. They need to nail best player available and need in each pick..

  • MC

    I don’t know a lot of the players in that list, but i think you nailed it with the positions and the order of those positions too.

  • pat

    Any possibility we trade completely out of the first round pick up a 2nd 3rd and 1st for next yr

  • geminimike07

    if Ryan shazier is available to be picked by someone later in the 1st round then why not the steelers with pick 15. I realize we have needs elsewhere but He was a beast with OSU. He got better each year.

  • geminimike07

    I’ve seen in Mock Drafts where we’ve been selecting Louis NIX from Notre Dame. This is not a bad Idea. I think we need to pick someone that is going to be there for at least the next 4-6 years.

  • geminimike07

    only 1 for the OL? and 1 for the DL? hmmm. NOT A FAN of that.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I think they have quite a few OL positions filled already and they did re-sign Wallace and Whimper. With the DL, they normally only keep six on the active roster and they have McClendon, Heyward, Thomas, Arnfelt, and Williams who will most likely make the roster. If they sign Kiesel for one more year, that would add one more to the list. Adding one DL in the draft plus I’m sure a few free agent rookies would seem to fill the needed spots. They are more lacking in depth for CB’s and WR’s, in my opinion. Thanks for the input, though.

  • Mike Cardwell

    With the many needs this team has the more picks the better imo. Moving up a couple of spots is rediculous. The No. 15 Pick should be a top quality pick. If anything trade down and get another 1st -3rd round pick. Who writes this drivel anyways. Barr is the only guy I would move up for ! Barr, Evans and Gilbert. One of those guys should be there without moving.
    1. Barr, Evans, Gilbert
    2. Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State
    3. Anthony Johnson DT LSU
    4. Christian Jones ILB FLorida State
    5 Ahmad Dixon SS Baylor
    6. Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
    6. Van Der Kamp P Iowa State
    7. Aaron Lynch DE South Florida
    7. FB Ryan Hewitt FB Stanford