Categorized | 2014 Draft, Article

A Draft Day Trade Scenario Including The Steelers And 49ers Worth Exploring


With the future of San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith currently up in the air following his arrest last week for making a bomb threat at the Los Angeles International Airport, there’s been a lot of speculation that the team might want to move up in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft next month to select UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr. So, would the Pittsburgh Steelers be a potential trading partner for the 49ers?

For starters, the 49ers currently pick 30th in the first round, so we are talking about a 15 spot jump and this assumes Barr is still on the board come time for the Steelers to make the 15th overall pick. When you look at the traditional trade value chart, that’s a difference of 430 points between the Steelers and the 49rs first round picks.

The 49ers, however, have two second round picks, 56th and 61st overall, so they presumably have good ammunition to trade up that far when you also consider that they have three third-round picks.

The 49ers 30th and 56th overall picks have a combined point total of 960, but that’s still 90 points short of the 1,050 point value that the Steelers 15th overall pick has. However, the 49ers are reportedly willing to trade running back LaMichael James, so that might be something that interest the Steelers, being as they could use a change of pace back to compliment Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount.

James, who was originally drafted by the 49ers in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Oregon, has only carried the football 39 times for 184 yards during his first two regular seasons in the league. He’s familiar with the outside zone and is blazing fast. While he is undersized at 5’8″, he is a willing pass protector, who caught 51 passes for 586 yards while in college. In other words, he’s a slightly bigger version of LaRod Stephens-Howling and he’s not coming off of a serious knee injury. The Steelers should know a little bit about James already as they brought him in for a pre draft visit back in 2012.

As far as being able to afford James’ salary on draft day, that shouldn’t be an issue for the Steelers, based on where they currently stand salary cap wise.

James is scheduled to earn a base salary of $641,718 in 2014 along with a $50,000 workout bonus. Assuming the Steelers would be on the hook for both amounts, they would only need $196,718 in cap space after top 51 displacement if they traded for James. Currently, the NFLPA has the Steelers with $311,934 in available cap space after signing punter Adam Podlesh, so on paper, they should be able to do the deal.

By trading for James, the Steelers also wouldn’t have to spend one of their later-round draft picks on a running back, so that needs to be considered in all of this as well. Would you rather have James, a former second-round pick, or would you want to spend a fifth or sixth-round pick on a running back with no guarantee he makes the roster?

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has talked quite a bit this offseason about how deep this year’s draft class is and we all know that this team could use as many early round picks as possible. At 30th overall, there would still be plenty of players left on the board that would fill an immediate need and the same goes for the 56th overall pick they’d presumably get from the 49ers.

I really hate speculating about draft trades, but I must admit that the scenario I laid out above sure would be enticing. What say you? Would you do this deal if you had the chance? If not, what would you want from the 49ers in return?

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • WilliamSekinger

    Considering the craziness that took place with the Redskins when they traded up a few years ago, I think it’ll take more that just 1 2nd round pick for them to move up 20 spots this year. They may need to give up both, or 1 this year and 1 next year.

  • Callentown

    Read about this on Behind the Steel Curtain – Neal Coolong – a few days ago. However, Smith’s trouble off the field does not sound like something the Steelers usually want anything to do with.

    Here’s a small excerpt: “Smith has been in trouble often in his three years in the NFL, stemming from multiple DUI arrests to a four-game suspension last year, it seems very reasonable he receives a significant suspension from the league or even the 49ers for the 2014 season.”

  • Caesar

    Think I’d rather have an extra third rounder than James, but the idea does make sense. Even though this is a supposedly deep draft, I would still be worried about losing the chance to get a blue chip player too.

  • DoctorNoah

    Not trading for Smith. The idea is to give the 49ers a chance at a top OLB to replace him because they want to drop him like a hot potato. Steelers would trade down in 1st and possibly pick up a few 2nd round spots as well.

  • Weiss Chad

    I see Miami for an ot wanting to trade up .cleveland maybe for qb,Jacksonville or Houston from second rd for qb and niners for cb:olb

  • 804Stiller

    I don’t think this scenario involves us getting Smith. It was saying the Niners would need to replace him. They get our 15 and we get their 30, 56 and James.

  • Alan Felicia

    IMO, if I’m trading the 15th overall pick, I wouldn’t take anything less than the 30th, 56th, and 61st pick.

  • http://www.thesportsbonanza.com/ TheSportsBonanza

    If Dennard and Gilbert are both gone by 15 (like Mel kiper predicts) then I would be 100% for that trade!

  • IQB

    LOVE this idea . None of the guys we are linked to at 15 excite me but having 3 picks between 30-50 and LaMichael James does!!!!!

  • http://www.thesportsbonanza.com/ TheSportsBonanza

    That was different.. Andrew Luck and RG3 were considered “decade Qbs” and there was two of them. Redskins needed to give up a lot to get that #2 pick. Rams had a ton of leverage that year..

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I would esp. If we can pick up james and hopefully 30/56 and next yrs first

  • pittsburghjoe

    I love the idea. This draft is stacked and would do it in a heart beat. Im not sure if I want James or maybe or an additional pick. I think I want the pick!

  • Jollyrob68

    Yes, trade back and take 30,56 & James. Then they have multiple options with appropriate draft value

  • RASTA

    L’great backfield Dave! Hell, we have finally morphed our off-season style to add experienced free agents to fight with actual draft picks in training camp for jobs, why not throw some even less frequent trades in as well!?

    Let’s pick up a 10th draft pick, along with our treasured scat back, and open up that RB draft pick for one of Munch’s draftable OL wants, and be able to double-down with the extra pick on LB’s, to go along with CB’s, DL, and WR/TE…and then let’s trade out QB Jones for Terrelle Pryor and get rid of our fairly worthless use of our QB3 spot (Ben should be incredibly healthy behind the line that Munch puts together for us this season!), and convert it to a fast, young and gifted football player that could be Heath’s replacement in the future who can fill our QB3 and TE3 positions in one this season!

    That would be an unprecedented and awesome off-season of movement from the Steelers FO in 2014! Either way, I have always thought SF would be our best bet to trade back if the value could be created and Mike Evans wasn’t available still.

    Go Steelers!

  • Jollyrob68

    Pryor & a late pick for Jones would be a nice trade off.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I would take 1.30 + 2.24 and run to the podium. Forget the trade value chart. Last year the 49ers moved up 13 spots (from 1.31 to 1.18) and it only cost them a 3rd round pick. We would be lucky to get the 2.24 in my opinion.

    The reason why I make this trade is because this way I should be able to get 4 starting caliber prospects from my first 4 picks. CB/WR/LB/DL.

  • Tullydew

    In a trade w/ the 49ers, I would rather take their 30th, 56th and their 4th round pick.

    2 years left on James contract vs 4 years of a 4th round pick in one of the deepest draft in years. I’ll take my chances and take the pick.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It would be nice to pass on James and maybe send them our 4th+ to get a third round pick with the supposed extra value.

    Our 1st and 4th rounders for 2 second and 2 third rounders?

  • Donny Simmons

    Yes, take the deal in 2 seconds!

  • http://batman-news.com Steelers@2010

    I like this move if it happens, I think Tomlin and Colbert would do well with three picks in the 2nd round. That would give the Steelers 5 picks in the first three rds including their comp pick in the 3rd.

  • Steelers@2010

    I agree, I think that would be enough as well. However, if they could squeeze a 4th, why not?

  • Jason Brant

    I would do this if Dennard was gone by 15. Otherwise, it would be difficult to pass on a shutdown corner.

  • RW

    In a heartbeat

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Alan I often agree with you but in this case you are way off base. As evidence please check last year San Francisco trades. You will see that they only gave up a third rounder in addition. Therefore this trade would be a no brainer all day long!

  • Ben Saluri

    Excellent job.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Good luck with that

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Exactly correct. That’s why I’ve been talking about this for two months now

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Wishful thinking

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I have said for months that San Francisco needs some players like CB. I believe it is something like 12 pics. Therefore Pittsburgh is a perfect candidate for trade. You need CB d now linebacker as well. Excellent news. Take the trade for whatever the steelers can get.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    AutoCorrect makes me want to scream!

  • dave

    I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m not as gung-ho for a trade down as most. Yes, I realize it’s a deep draft and the Steelers have a lot of needs, but when I look historically, it doesn’t always work out great. Would you rather have Troy Polamalu or Larry Johnson and Julian Battle? The Steelers could have taken Emmitt Smith but traded down for Eric Green. The Seahawks once gave up Tony Dorsett for a bunch of average players. I’m sure if I did a little more research I could probably find some deals that the team trading down won, I’m just saying it’s not a “no brainer” move. Sometimes you’re better off with the one stud player than 2 average ones..

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yes but if there is a draft where the trade down scenario is opportune it is this one. Take the odds and make that trade.

  • moderatelysane

    A different trade scenario that has me salivating is with Cleveland. They trade up in 1.15 to get their QB, giving us their 1.26 and 2.4. The point values are reasonably close. Perhaps we throw in a late rounder for good measure. That would give us three in the top 47. How about Fuller, Benjamin, Tuitt?

  • Ernest

    I somewhat agree with you. I’m not opposed to trading down at all but there has to be a considerable talent drop from 15 to 30. I’m not exactly sure who they would target at 30 considering most agree that CB and WR are our biggest need and I believe the top 4 at each of those positions are by 30. The only prospect I think the Steelers would target at 30 is Tuitt. I would be conformable only trading 5 spots, at the most 10 spots is pushing it depends who they are targeting I guess.

  • moderatelysane

    Big snack.

  • rey perez

    Love the idea if it works out its true we get 3 top picks and a scat back to complement our bruisier backs but thats if boths sides agree to these terms cause 30 is really high to pick in the first so if we do this trade we better get some value

  • rey perez

    Theres only 3 picks and thats 1:30 2:15 2:24 but still good value

  • joed32

    Looking at a lot of mocks and they all have Barr going before 15.

  • dave

    That’s a little bit different scenario, trading down from 16 to 19 for Hampton, but yeah, that’s an example of a trade down working out for the Steelers. Depends on who is on the board at 15, but I would still rather have one “stud” player than 2 or 3 average ones.

  • Doug Sawyer

    a second and a third and nothing less …resulting in a late first rounder (2) 2nds.. (2) 3rds (1) 4th (2) 5th (2)6th (1)7th …Steelers could do a lot with that

  • David OBIE!

    trade down scenario Steelers 1050 points

    Cleveland #26 + #71 + #106 = 1017 points
    San Francisco #30 + #61 + #95 = 1032 points
    We need picks not James.
    with the Cleveland trade we still have a shot at Benjamin – Tuitt – Fuller or Roby.

  • Brian K

    He’d have to change his name from LaMichael to LeMichael!

  • cp72

    Yeah I could see Miami coming up if Lewan drops or they see three tackles go and want to make sure they get Martin.

  • SFIC

    I would even be fine with SFs 1st and 2nd this year along with their 2nd next year. Though it weighs more in our favor, it doesn’t hurt SF as much this year and if they really want our pick they should put out more IMO.

  • Danny Delouize

    Would depend on who they lose out on at 15..Looks to me the Steelers are looking more for immediate help in round 1..

  • Dan Sunseri

    Take the trade 1.15 for 1.30 and 2.24. Throw in James it’s a nice haul. Then go after Shazier and Matthews. Then with 2.24 go after Crichton.. Would be a nice haul.

  • Paul Barracliffe

    I think we can’t afford to move down; that we need as much of a “can’t miss’ prospect considering the recent inability to develope talent.

  • Danny Delouize

    pretty sure they drafted tim worley in round 1 the year before…dont think they would have drafted smith..

  • Danny Delouize

    agree,,they once had 3 third rounders and have nothing to show for it…

  • Danny Delouize

    there round 2 history under tomlin also stinks..other than leveon there second rounders under tomlin have stunk..

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I like a scenario like this in theory. However, it takes so much control out of the first round for the Steelers. Essentially, the trade only becomes good IF a player you really have your eye on slides to #30. And that’s a BIG if.

    Likely, you’re looking at Dennard, Gilbert, Evans, Beckham, and Benjamin (just for starters) all gone. Then what? Maybe Jordan Matthews is still there? I like him a lot, but the Steelers haven’t brought him in at all. I’m not high on Nix in the first round. Pick 30 is really just a an early second rounder unless a big name slides.

  • SFIC

    This could net us Amaro at 30
    :-)

  • Doug Sawyer

    Woodley Worilds Gilbert and Bell …I’d hardly say that stinks
    with Sweed the bust and the jury not looking good for Adams but not a closed deal

  • steelster

    If I’m the 49er’s and really want barr I would trade with the lions and get him with the 10th pick because the titans pick at the 11th spot and are very interested in barr. The better deal is with the browns 26th pick.

  • Weiss Chad

    I think the best value is trade w Cleveland for 1.26 and 2.4

  • blackandgoldBullion

    That works for point value but last year was a lot less as Frisco only gave up a 3rd to move way up. This year the draft is deeper so there’s no way in hell they would get that much. Hopefully Frisco falls in love with a CB or LB or whatever WR or something, because if the team that wants that 1.15 pick goes nuts they may overpay, which would be great for the Steelers.

    But it’s not gonna happen.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Even if you were correct, that’s no reason to throw in your terrible towel expecting that it would never work.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Overall, I would take this or any similar trade in a heartbeat! With the depth this year and some decent picking, you are looking at 4 or more guys between 1.30 and the 3rd comp pick. That’s a flippin’ huge haul of guys that you would expect to all play at least a part time if not full time roll by 2015!

    Now look at around at the youth on the team and you should see the nucleus for a 5 or 7 year run of play-offs and making runs at the Super Bowl. Of course, you still need some luck on the injury front, etc.

    I would basically call up any team I may think would be willing to deal, and let the bidding war begin. That’s the way you have at least a chance of making a great trade down.

  • RyanW

    Big difference between trading up to number 2 overall with RG3 and Luck at the top and and trading up to number 15 this year. We aint gettin an additional first rounder. Not even the Clowns would be that dumb

  • Doug Sawyer

    that is true but they now find a real need to move on from Smith
    and considering they have 3 thirds and 2 seconds they can still make that move get their guy at 15 and still have a second and 2 thirds …just depends how much they want it

  • steelster

    The problem is once you get past the first 12 picks or so what player is worth trading up for, very few. I would be shocked if the steelers pull off a trade. I say less than a 10 percent chance but you never know.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Houston is a team I totally forgot about. Just think that these guys had a great D just 2 years ago. The offense was also decent. They won their division and were in with a chance. Last year the D falls apart, they have a load of injuries, including Arian Foster and their QB has by far his worst year ever. EVER! You never know if they may think that drafting Clowney and a QB with their returning players puts them right back in the hunt.

    Now that’s a few ifs, but if they want someone at 1.15, you may be able to squeeze their 2nd and 3rd, if they want it bad enough. Again, I would take it all day long.

  • Doug Sawyer

    Browns will draft a QB with their top pick and a WR with their second 1st …don’t forget if the WR draft class is so good the Steelers can wait the Browns can land a monster later in the first while staying put

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I agree that most teams would be thinking the same way and this deal will not materialize. My point is that SF has so many picks that they certainly will move up probably more than once. So even if you don’t get full value, I would take the trade even for their 1.30 and a 3rd. Seriously, I would!

    Bottom line is that you net out 1 extra guy in the 1st 3 rounds of a very deep draft. Hell, the guy they end up picking at 1.30 may end up being better than their 1.15! No one knows for sure.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Great point and they do have Pettine who loves his D as a new coach. However, if I am the Browns, I would take Watkins if I get the chance and some other QB later. Hoyer is going to be better than any of these QB’s for a couple of years. It’s just such a toss up really because history has proven that some teams will do the stupidest things, while others may actually smarten up. We shall see.

  • Doug Sawyer

    Even if the Browns went WR first and wait for their QB …Dallas Baltimore Miami Arizona Green Bay Philly NY Jets San Diego Cincinnati and KC are not drafting QB’s…so there is no reason to trade with us at 15 to get their QB…any QB available at 15 will still be there at 24

  • Doug Sawyer

    they could also trade #24 for Cousins

  • Ernest

    That doesnt add up.
    1.15 = 1050 points
    1.26 +2.4 = 1250 points

    But hey its the Browns so you never know.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    That’s why I started talking about a trade with Frisco 2 blessed months ago. Nobody even wanted to talk about it then. Let’s pray that the FO in San Fran feels a little sense of urgency having been close a couple of years in a row. Most teams actually move backwards after coming close but no cigar.

    I’m praying that they want someone bad (CB, LB or WR?) and that the Steelers can get a nice haul like you’re talking about.

  • steelster

    Arizona likes Derek Carr and so do the browns. He is the x factor in the draft if he makes it past the raiders and Vikings.

  • steelster

    I agree with you and doug if the 49ers really want it they will trade up. However, they may go even higher than the 15th pick. The lions have been rumored to want to trade up or down.

  • Skinny Merlino

    Drop 15 spots and only get James an a late 2nd no thanks

  • shawn

    Yup that would be awesome if we hit on all the picks !

  • shawn

    i dont know why everyone is so down on him lately … i still think he is a perfect fit to be split out as our 2nd TE

  • Weiss Chad

    I didn’t look at trade chart to do math on it..probably should have. Would a five do the trick

  • Weiss Chad
  • Weiss Chad

    1.26 Kyle fuller
    2.4steven Tuitt
    2.15-Jordan Matthews /moncrief
    3.33jaylen Watkins
    4.15 Jackson Jeffcoat
    5.15 De Anthony Thomas

  • Weiss Chad

    Wouldn’t be so sure Az won’t be looking for qb

  • Steve

    Houston lost their Head coach Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips (Defensive Coordinator) was in his place. Wade is NO head coach. Just asked the Cryboys who let him go. Although Wade is a decent Defensive coach.

  • LatrWildcat

    I would take it. In my “Dream” draft, I had the Steelers moving down to take Ryan Shazier late in the first, then trading their 2nd round pick plus the 3rd round pick they receive to move up in the 2nd and nab Stephon Tuitt. I know, it is not practical that this could happen, but I can dream. Geez, Dave, don’t get me so excited!

  • Brian K

    With Cleveland I think you could swap first round picks and get our original third back. I’d be all for this. You may be able to pry a 5th or 6th from them but doubtful.

    Something else to think about too is multiple teams being interested in Pit’s 15. That could drive it up and possibly get a team to “overpay”.

  • Brian K

    Rather have Crichton than Tuitt. And Seastrunk over Thomas. Just my opinion

  • WIINGY

    Last years draft was poor. It will cost more to move up this year.

  • Ernest

    On the other hand, in a deep draft like this one, there might be more teams wanting to trade down than up. For example, if 49ers want to trade up, they might have five to ten teams wanting trade down so therefore they likely go with the lowest bidder or asking price.

  • Randy Neff

    The difference between the picks is 450. SF’s 56 and 94 are worth 464. The Steelers 6th round pick is worth 15 points.

    I’d love James being added to the RB mix. But really don’t like moving down that far. Would prefer a trade with the Dolphins to get a third round pick.

  • Louis Goetz

    PULL THE TRIGGER! I would kill or die to get this deal done, and here’s why. If the Steelers move back to 30 and get the 56th and 77th overall picks in the process, they would have five picks in the first three rounds. They could easily take either Kyle Fuller or Bradley Roby in round 1, grab Tre Mason (the #1 RB prospect) and Kelvin Benjamin, Bradley Cooks or Allen Robinson in the 2nd, and address the D-Line with guys like Scott Crichton and Daniel McCullers in the 3rd. They could more than adequately address CB, WR, NT and DE and put together a backfield like no one’s ever seen. If Munchak can do what everyone hopes and thinks he can do, and the Steelers have a 1-2-3 punch of Bell, Mason and Blount at RB, the Steelers would own time of possession, Ben might throw the ball 15 times a game, and the defense might see the field 20 minutes per game. If that offer materializes, PULL THAT TRIGGER!

  • Weiss Chad

    If dolphins offer third id jump on it

  • IckyD

    two second-round picks AND a third in exchange for #15 overall [and let them keep their troublesome 30th) would be an “offer he couldn’t refuse” in order to rid themselves of such an unreliable player as Smith….

  • Weiss Chad

    I wouldn’t complain either way.I can see them going seastrunk over Thomas ex specially since we know they had a pdv with him.What do you think if dennard is there do you draft him or trade the pick?

  • Weiss Chad

    Keenan Lewis,mike Wallace,Craig urbik.Two possible pro bowlers and a serviceable guard.They drafted well with those three 3rd rounders ..The reason they’re not here anymore is irrelevant to the moves they made to draft them players.If I remember correctly we were picking 32 that year

  • RWhite

    Do the deal….in return get (1)WR Kelvin Benjamin, (2)CB- Keith McGill, (2) DE Stephon Tuitt (3) (ILB)Chris Borland……Instant production!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I think that is the key point. Who is still available at 1.26?

    To me, Kyle Fuller is a better Steeler fit than Darqueze Dennard. But what if they’re both gone? What if Banjamin and Beckham are both gone?

    Tuitt is a great fit, but does he represent good VALUE at 1.26? So what “elite star” are we getting that offsets Benjamin or Fuller?

    The reason the 49er trade is so appealing is because you could get a 2nd rounder (which offsets the talent drop from 1.15 to 1.30). I don’t think we get a 2nd rounder from Cleveland.

  • Brian K

    That’s a rough one. I’d have to see the details of the deal first. There are a few other corners I like. It’s tough to say.

  • johnhoien

    the more I look at Odell Beckham Jr the more i see a steeler uniform.. he is one of the best return guys in college.. Lets give AB a break with returning punts please… give Odell Beckham #3 receiver … this dude is not 6′ 5″ but is as fast as AB and runs crisp routes… having AB, Beckham & wheaton on the field would be extremely hard to cover.. not to mention having Bell out of the backfield.. Although the trade down sounds great…I think you loose too much value in your first pick overall.

  • steelster

    Being nit picky here but I think the steelers would put beckham as the number 2 and wheaton as the number 3 slot receiver. Also, beckham is a safe pick at 15 and it’s hard to find a flaw in his game.

  • Steven Vincent

    Didn’t you see Draft Day? When another team wants a player BAD, you make them PAY. They can have our 15 for their 30 and their 2nd and RB James. No? Fine.

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